INTERVIEW: Adam Gregory

Adam Gregory had his first record deal while discovered singing cover songs at age 13, had a #2 Hit in Canada and his first release in the USA charted at #5. With his 4th studio album and 1st US Debut Album to be out in early 2009, Adam has been crossing the country promoting his music and introducing himself to radio and the fans. Adam Gregory is down to earth, hard working and dedicated to his music. I took a few minutes to visit with Adam before a show at the Tin Roof in Nashville and ask him about his goals, dreams and what is important to him in his future.

Bev: You started your career in 2000 in Canada, how does the music industry differ between Canada and the US?

Adam: I have been here more or less for two years and when I go back now, it seems like I have missed so much because there are so many new artists’ I have not heard of. I am very comfortable and used to the industry here. I love my label Big Machine Records and I am keeping very busy. CMA week here is the biggest night in country music and I am so thankful to be a part of it this year. As an artist, I feel like I am about as big as I can get in Canada. We have the CCMA (Canadian Country Music Awards) and it is just a very small version of what we have here.

Bev: You have a new video coming out, do you enjoy making them? What do you dislike about them?

Adam: Ohhh yeah, I love making them. I was in a movie once a few years ago, so I have done acting. Singing is very natural to me, and a part of me always comes alive on stage that is similar to acting, a part of me that would not be there in day to day activities, so it is an extension of acting. I do not dislike anything about making the music videos. You never know what to expect, because sometimes they are a couple days long and by the end the crew is ready to be done, but all in all, I enjoy the process.

Bev: Do you feel the video enhances a project or does it limit or stereotype a song to the character or direction of the video?

Adam: It enhances it I think, because it definitely has an influence on how well a song is going to do. I have put out singles in Canada and they did okay, but those I did put out a video on, did much better. The exposure is so much better.

Bev: What was it like for you performing the first time on the Grand Ole Opry?

Adam: It is one thing just to walk around back stage and be in the environment and feel the hype and the energy, but then you walk on stage and stand on the circle and it is the most incredible feeling. All three times I have had the nervous butterfly feeling and it never ceases to amaze me. I think of all the people who have been there before me and are legends. To stand on the side of the stage and visit with someone like Jeanie Sealy who just celebrated her 40th anniversary with the Opry and Little Jimmy Dickens 60 years is amazing.

Bev: I know you have in the past done some work with the Ronald McDonald House, are you still active in this or other charities?

Adam: I have also done work with Make-A-Wish. One of my friends died of Lou Gering’s disease and it was part of her wish to meet me and I kind of prolonged her life on the phone and giving her some extra time to live as she looked forward to my calls. She was buried in a shirt I gave her and a teddy bear, so it means a lot to me to know I meant that much to another person. The Ronald McDonald house actually has a house named after me called Adam Helps. We have been doing this for 4 years now. I think it is very important to reach out and help other people.

Bev: You recently signed on with Cricket Communications, have there been any surprises on the road as you do in store promotions?

Adam: We are very thankful for all the support and people that show up, but no there have not been any surprises yet while doing the promotional stops for Cricket.

Bev: You have previously done some entertaining for our troops, what is it you enjoy the most about doing that kind of performing?

Adam: I went to Afghanistan for three weeks, my band and I were the musical entertainment and it was great. You can see the emotions on their faces because they do not get a lot of entertainment, you see them crying and I would talk to them after and hear the stories and their concern for my safety and how much it meant to them I would do that for them. It was a life changing event in my career and for my band.

Bev: Your 1st US release was done on I-tunes – what are your thoughts on the new digital age versus the traditional radio and album release?

Adam: I think it is the new era. I am only guessing, but in the next four or five years I feel CD’s will be more like cassettes are today. I think people will access it like they are now and be able to choose a song for ninety-nine cents or whatever versus buying the whole album. I think it will still be profitable for the labels but it will be a different way of getting the music to the people. I think it is a good change.

Bev: Do you have any one big goal you are striving for? Any certain award or selling of a specific number of Albums you want to sell or anything that you ultimately strive for?

Adam: I definitely would love to break some records, but my attitude is so far removed from thinking I am better than anyone. I am very thankful for the gift I have been given. I have had some disappointing times, but they have made me stronger and now I am here and doing what I love, getting to travel and have already seen almost all of the United States and seems like every radio station possible. I do not know what the future holds, but I know I will keep doing my best. I want this all to work and be totally successful.

Bev: What is the most embarrassing thing to happen to you on stage?

Adam: I have started to sing the wrong song. Sometimes we rehearse a show and then have to cut it back to fit time constraints, and in my head I have it down and I forget and walk out on stage and start singing the wrong song.

Bev: I know your hit “Crazy Days’ was collaboration with some of today’s big hit makers and you also write on your own, who is the one person you would want to write with if you could choose?

Adam: I would love to write with Vince Gill. I have been very fortunate to have Joe Leathers, Lee Brice and Kyle Jacobs on this first project, but to be able to work with Vince would be a dream come true for me.

Bev: How about a duet partner?

Adam: I love Trisha Yearwood, Carrie Underwood, Kelli Pickler; any of them would be great duet partners.

Bev: Who would you consider one of your idols either in the music business or otherwise?

Adam: Vince Gill.

Bev: Have you met him?

Adam: Yes.

Bev: Knowing how you feel having met your own idol, how does it make you feel to think you are or may someday be someone else’s?

Adam: It would be really cool to think someone thinks that much of me to call me an idol. I hope to achieve that status. I think for someone else to cover my songs would be the ultimate honor and for example to walk into a karaoke place and hear people singing my songs would just be great.

Bev: I know you have recorded a song written by Garth Brooks called “Sweet Memories” – how did that come about? Is there any pressure or added expectations when you record something that someone of his stature has penned?

Adam: I met Bob Doyle when I was first looking for managers and of course Garth was doing ok (Adam chuckles) and Bob did not need another act, but he said he had some songs he wanted to play for me and that one particular song stuck out and I asked him to send it to me. As far as pressure, you cannot think of who wrote it because you will freak yourself out. I was very grateful for the opportunity and it was a hit in Canada and became one of my most requested songs.

Bev: Your debut CD as an artist on a US label is coming out after the 1st of the year and you have already released two songs off of it and had videos for them which have both been praised and well received. Do you feel added pressure on you when the CD actually hits the shelves because of the hype surrounding the songs already released?

Adam: I think it would be more pressure to just release an album with no taste of what is on it and this way as an artist you have a fighting chance to compete with all the other artists who are also releasing their music.

Bev: I know you have a blog on your myspace, which is a common means of communication these days. Do you think by having this personal way of “speaking” to your fans, friends and the general public it enhances your exposure or do you have to be very careful with it not to let out too much information?

Adam: I think it is beneficial, of course there are boundaries, but I think it is important to share what it is like to be an artist and what my every day life is like. There are so many things I do and to be able to give a little piece of that to friends and fans so they can experience it with me is part of connecting with everyone. I am very careful how I say things.

Bev: What is the best “horror story” experience you have had in your career to date?

Adam: Well we just left one of our band members in Ocala, Florida. We took off very early in the morning and did not realize it until we were two hours down the road when he called and asked us “where is the bus?” Needless to say, we now have a check off system so we do not have that happen again. (laughing)

Bev: What to you want fans and the music industry to remember most about Adam Gregory?

Adam: I want to be known as a good person who left a legacy of good music and was nice to people and made people feel comfortable.

Bev: Adam, good luck tonight with your show and with all you have going on right now. Thank you as always for your time and invitation to visit with you.

Adam: Thanks Bev, always a pleasure to see you and you asked great questions! Appreciate you coming to see me.

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