Andrew Adkins Talks With Sonic Clash

When I hear your music, I hear a bunch of different genres rolled into one. There’s a little blues, a little country, a little funk. How would you describe the type of music you make?

I always have described it as “indie-roots rock” – of course that’s the only term I am “allowed” to say. Ideally, I would say we are just an American rock n’ roll band but these days nobody can get away with JUST saying that. Sometimes it’s hard to describe with all the different elements within.

Who were your influences growing up, and what made you decide to pursue music?

The first big influence of mine was Elvis Presley, then later on Ace Frehley from KISS, then that went on to Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, John Lennon. I think I was born into this. As far back as I can remember I have always had a love for guitars – the look, feel sound. I used to dress up as Elvis – put a little western suit on, grab my little guitar and jam out to my Parent’s records. When I put that guitar in my hand I felt like Clark Kent becoming Superman – STILL do. That is I think what planted to big seed. With a guitar around my neck I “was” Elvis!

It’s got to be cool getting endorsements from the likes of George Jones and Johnny Cash, but how did you wind up getting an endorsement from Young Buck of G-Unit? How did he come across your music?

It is one of the biggest honors to have Johnny Cash even know your name! He is now mythological, you know? It’s like saying “Zeus dug our music!”

Young Buck actually came about from a friend we had who worked for George Jones. They used to hang out on the same lake, lived in the same neighborhood. One day in passing he mentioned our names and it just sorta went from there. Buck is a really genuine person. Very proud and supportive of his hometown of  Nashville. He has this hard, gangsta exterior and image but he is such a nice person! He also has an eclectic taste in music. He’s a native Nashvillian – it’s in the water here.

MDE is touring the South this summer. Any plans to tour the rest of the country? How does performing live compare to performing in the studio?

I love the studio because you can make, mold, create all this music, art, poetry and just let your creativity flow. To me the studio is like a sanctuary meets laboratory…meets temple. I’m not really a religious person. So music is my vehicle, my medium. I can put down, channel, exorcise any demons, inner feelings, emotions right there.

Live shows, touring is my therapy. To me it’s a different release than the studio but each serves it’s own purpose. When the crowd is “on” and they are right there with you, hanging on every word you say – that is pure bliss to me.   There is hardly nothing better in the world.

We have had some Midwest tour dates and some out West but will be touring the South until October and probably head up North or perhaps the West Coast.

What do you see in Mellow Down Easy’s future?

I think Mellow Down Easy will be around for a while. I liken it to Wu-Tang Clan in that respect. There are different members, we will probably go off after the tour and each do something different with other people – side projects, solo albums, collaborations. No matter how far we get from each other – eventually we always come right back.

It’s “home” to us. We are a family – musically, personally and eternally. Our bassist, Daryl is getting ready to release a solo album, I have various songwriting projects and have been accumulating ideas for an album – be it solo or just something off the wall. I will also be playing with a couple of friends of mine in a side-project (Johnny Banzhoff and Jon Biggs formerly of The Loft). I don’t know if we will see a new MDE record anytime soon but eventually it will happen again.

Right now we are very proud of our latest album Cosmisutra and are focusing on that extensively.

Listen to I Am The Universe by Mellow Down Easy — free!