Bryan Adams: Back on the Road

By Karla Chavarría

There are definitely only a few figures in the music industry with a career that can be comparable with Bryan Adams’s.

One of the greatest storytellers in music.

Singer, composer, producer, photographer, philanthropist, and activist who can show off about a consistent and successful career of over more than 40 years. 

Beginning at 16 years old touring as the frontman of “Sweeney Todd”, a glam rock band, he got self assured about his solo proyects which led him to reach the global success, hitting #1 in musical charts on more than 30 countries around the world.

His music is distinguished for carrying everyone to an optimistic and relaxed moment, not only because of nostalgia but because of the energy around his productions which to this day, the feeling of joy, romance, and hope remains.

Over more than 40 years, he has explored other ways to manifest his artistic motivations.

His success crossed borders becoming a non-stoping and in constant creation musical Icon. A very hard achievment to get in an industry where we the modern relevant figures fade into a galaxy of shooting one hit wonders.

Bryan Adams released on March 11 his fifteenth studio album titled “So Happy It Hurts”. Produced during the lockdown, his new CD “Touches on many of the ephemeral things in life that are really the secret of happiness, most importantly, human connection, freedom, autonomy, spontaneity, and the thrill of the open road.” as he revealed to Billboard.

Bryan Adams (So Happy It Hurts, 2022, Album Cover)

The Jack, got a chance to talk with the Canadian about his most recent projects.

New Challenges

TJ: Hi, Bryan, and congratulations on your new material!

BA: “Muchos gracias

TJ: Can you tell us about the creative process behind “So Happy It Hurts”?

BA: “This album was recorded differently to my usual recordings, because I couldn’t put my band together for the record due to the restrictions of travel and proximity during the lockdown (they live all over the place), so I recorded most of the record part by part on my own. I’d put down a guitar and vocal track first and then build it up with drums and bass to see if the song worked. I recorded 30 songs this way and chose 12 of them for the álbum”

TJ: How was it to create music during a lockdown?

BA:”It was all I could do to keep busy, I’m so used to touring that to suddenly have all this time, it made perfect sense to start recording. I’m so glad I did!”

TJ: The love you give into your music is transmitted through your interpretations. There is no doubt you should love all of your songs but, what is your favorite track in this new album and why?

BA: “Like I said, I wrote 30 songs and chose 12, so those 12 are my favourites. It’s hard to choose one.”

The music video of “So Happy It Hurts” was released along with the single.

Directed by Adams and recorded at The Warehouse Studio on Vancouver, it takes a scene on a static 1966 Chevrolet Corvair convertible 1966, in which Adams, his mother Jane Clark and different people celebrate and create sense of motion as an analogy of moving forward even though lockdown.
Bryan Adams (Twitter:@bryanadams).  

TJ: We can get to see your mom in the videoclip of the track “So Happy It Hurts” to the album. How was it to work with her?

BA: “It was hardly work! She is a force of nature at nearly 94 years old, she needs no direction, she’s fabulous. When your parents get to this age, you want to be with them as much as possible, having her next to me in the video is kind of like encapsulating our journey together. And it was a lot of fun to do.”

So Happy It Hurts ain’t the only release of Adams this year.

People can get to see Pretty Woman: The Musical at Nederlander Theatre on Broadway since 2018.Based on the 1990 original script by Gary Marshall and J.F. Lawton, with Adams in charge of the music and lyrics which is presented as a studio album.

Bryan Adams (Twitter:@bryanadams).  

TJ: How was it to musicalize the story?

BA: “Yes, I recorded all the songs from the Musical this year, as it was only available as a cast album before and I wanted to have my versions of the songs out there.”

The albúm “Shine a Light” was released by Adams on March 1 of 2019 and debuted on number 1 of the Canadian charts. In this production he colaborates with Ed Sheeran and Jennifer López. Despite of this succesfull job, the touring was interrrupted because of pandemics.

TJ: We understand that some of the shows of the “Shine a Light Tour” had to be suspended and reprogrammed because of the pandemic. How was that for you? Because you are someone who is in constant movement. How was it to stop for a while?

BA: “Yes over and over again, we’d try and get things going again only to have them postponed. The Royal Albert Hall shows in London have been postponed twice, but we are finally going to play it in May. I’m very happy to see touring back on its feet, last year I really thought that touring was over forever.”

But all this musical work is not reason enough for him to stop.Adams is also the photographer for the awaited Pirelli Calendar, where we can find great stars as Cher, Iggy Pop, Rita Ora, Bohan Phoenix, St. Vincent, Kali Uchis, among others.
Bryan Adams (Pirelli Calendar 2022 On The Road).  

TJ: Speaking about constant movement. You are an acclaimed photographer too. The man behind the lens of the 2022 Pirelli’s Calendar “On the Road“. Excellent Job, by the way! As a musician, how was it to work with another great exponents?

BA: ”It was a fabulous project to do together with Pirelli, I think we became good friens in the process, because it too had to be postponed due to the pandemic. I feel honoured to have had done it, they loved the concept of musicians on the road, as the being on the road is part of the ethos of the company since they manufacture tyres.“

TJ: You also wrote a song for the Calendar presentation. Where do you get all that energy from? What is your biggest Inspiration?

BA: “Yes they asked me to write a song for the calendar project, and that is where the song “On The Road” comes from. With a title like that the song begs to be an uptempo song, the inspiration being getting back to the music, as that is what we were all longing to do.”

TJ: Getting back to your photographer facet. Back in 2013, we got the chance to see your shocking and beautiful photographic exhibition about war heroes.

BA: “Yes it’s a book titled “Wounded: The Legacy of War”. It is a collection of portraits of wounded men and women from the British Armed Forces who came back from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of the photos are quite shocking, but it’s a matter of revealing the truth.”

Bryan Adams (Wounded: The Legacy Of War).

TJ: On behalf of what is been living in Ukraine and around the world, what is your message to the world during these events?

BA: “What’s happening in Ukraine is terrible. We played there in 2005, but it seems like there is another conflict every other year somewhere in the world. If it’s not Syria, it’s Iraq. If it’s not Iraq it’s Israel/Palestine. Humans just don’t seem to learn, and of course the first casualty of war is the truth. I’m just a musician and music is there to lift the human spirit.”

TJ: Finally, Bryan, you have millions of followers in Mexico, being Mexico City the second city where most people listen to you at a global level according to Spotify data. Do you have a message for all of us?

BA: “I would love to come back and play for you as soon as possible, that would make me so happy it hurts!”

We are enormously grateful for this interview and for your dedication to your art.

Lots of success, Bryan!

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