One of my favorite things to do is come across new music, artists I've never heard of, or random songs that I absolutely love that no one has ever heard of. My best friend recently introduced me to a new band by the name of Doris that I am absoultely loving right now. Doris is actually the creative outlet by actor, Paul Adelstein. Even though he is most famous for his role as "Cooper Freedman" On ABC's Private Practice, Paul has always had a love of music since he was a kid and has really struck a chord with his musical venture. I was able to go to one of the band's shows at M Bar in Hollywood which turned into an extremely successful summer residency for them and I left wanting to hear more! Besides sounding great live, interacting with the audience, and even sharing a bit of humor, Paul and the band have a very unique sound that is full of influences from accross the board - all of which being qualities that many other bands these days are lacking. I got the honor of interviewing Paul before his next show in Santa Barbara and got to get the scoop on the band, his life, and their new music video "Commencement!" He was even gracious enough to give me 2 TICKETS to GIVE AWAY to one lucky BUZZNET reader! Keep reading to find out how to enter!!!
First off, I want to thank you for doing the interview with us Paul. It is definitely a pleasure. Most people know you as Dr. Cooper Freedman from the hit series "Private Practice," but many don't know you are actually the lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist to your band Doris. When did you start the band and where did the name come from?
It's my pleasure to be talking with you. I started the band in Chicago about 15 years ago. The band is named after my mother, which started as a joke and then just stuck! I think it was the bass player's idea. Being a smart-ass... as usual.
What is your earliest memory or experience with music that made you realize that you wanted to create it?
I used to fall asleep listening to my sister - she is 7 years older than I - practicing the piano downstairs. I also remember laying under the piano a lot while she played. Those are my earliest memories of listening to music. I was always drawn to music - listening to it of course, but also to looking at album covers and gatefolds, and even playing with my father's old receiver and turntable. And I was always bugging my family in the car about what was on the radio. 'How many instruments is that?' 'Is that an electric guitar or something else?' I'm told I was quite annoying.
You actually graduated college with a degree in English, which obviously isn't the field you're in. Did you always want to be an actor or musician? Or when did you make the switch?
I always acted and I always played music, and while I certainly fantasized about having a life doing those things I had no sense of how something like that would happen. After my sophomore year in college I had an opportunity to watch a Commedia Dell'arte theatre company in Chicago and I just fell in love with the work they were doing. I asked if I could sweep up and hang costumes, etc., in exchange for getting to keep coming back to watch... and I did, night after night. Then asked If I could get up on stage. Then I was asked back. And when they made their choices for an upcoming play they chose me. So I stayed in Chicago that year and did two plays with the company (and a lot more after college). And that was the same summer I started my first band. That was a big moment for me, I guess, when I was exposed to passionate, dedicated artists who were making their lives in that world. And after getting a taste of it, there was no going back. So I went back to finish college knowing I had this great theatre company and band back in Chicago when I graduated.
What types or music or artists did you listen to that influenced Doris' music or really inspired you to create your own music and sound?
Well, I have an older brother and sister who were very into music, so I was exposed to all the 60s and 70s music very early - The Beatles, The Talking Heads, Squeeze, and everything in between. And then they started coming back from college with XTC and R.E.M. records and those became very influential to me as well. Everything goes in the hopper, I guess. Once I started really focusing on songwriting, I think I gravitated towards the songwriter's songwriters - Randy Newman, Leonard Cohen, Paul Simon, [Harry] Nilsson, Elvis Costello. You know, the masters of the three minute song. I could go on and on... don't worrk, I won't.
Does creating music, playing shows, and gaining a larger fanbase for the band conflict a lot with your schedule as an actor? Or vice versa?
Sometimes, sure; but that's a champagne problem, as they say. I'll take it!
Would you be able to choose between being an actor or being a musician or is it just too hard to choose?
I was always told I would have to choose, and it took me a long time to realize that not only do I not have to, but that for me the two things compliment one another. So I like saying it's just too hard to choose.
I was able to see you guys perform in Los Angeles. The show was great and I kind of think that musically, Doris is in a category all their own. How would you describe Doris, their sound, and their genre?
I have some smart-ass answers, but nothing really satisfying. I guess I'd say the songs come first, and everything is there to serve the songs, but that doesn't really describe the music, does it? Sad songs with a snappy beat. Come for the music, stay for the lyrics. Those are the smart-ass answers. I'm not being coy, it's a hard question to answer, and I'm open to help in that area.
"All the Details" is available on CD, digitally, and on vinyl. Any reason why you decided on the vinyl realese? Do you have a preferred format when listening to music?
I prefer to listen to music in the car. I guess I always have, whatever the format! I read about an old record executive who actually had a phonograph built into his car - it must've been the 70s - with some crazy hydraulic system so it wouldn't skip. That would be pretty great. In terms of pressing the vinyl, I've never gotten to do that with my own music before - only 7"s. I love the album form, as opposted to thinking of an album as a collection of singles; I love thinking of an album in terms of an A and a B side; I love the size of LP album art. I just had to do it. It's a gatefold and everything!
Do you have a favorite song on the album?
I couldn't choose. I'm afraid they would get mad at me.
There are a lot of creative people on BUZZNET, so I always like to ask people what their process is like. Do you have a specific writing method? Lock yourself in a quiet room? Where do you get your inspiration from?
Well, if I sit down with an 'IDEA,' it usually ends pretty poorly. At the same time, only a few of my songs have come out all at once, in one sitting. What usually happens - not by any planning on my own - is I'll fiddle around and find some melody, or changes, or a lyric that I like. Then I'll add to it. Then I'll see what I have. Then I'll grind on it until it falls apart or becomes a song. Sometimes that takes a night or two, sometimes I'll go back to the same song for months. There are a lot of fragments down in my music room - which, by the way, I'm lucky to have, because I go over things so many times that if I didn't have a sound proof room I would probably be murdered by any person or beast within ear shot! And the process for the album as a whole works in a similar fashion. I have a few songs, and then I try to see if there's a theme or idea there and I try to fill in the blanks.
"Commencement" is the latest music video from Doris. Who came up with the concept and why did you decide on that?
I met Brandon Klein (the DP and director of the video) through a friend. I was very taken with his art, his photography, and his mad-scientist do-it-yourself approach. We got together a bunch of times and brainstormed about the video. He's pretty amazing and I think it turned out well.
What is your favorite part of being in the music industry to you? The writing process? Being in the studio? Performing? Making videos? What is it you look forward to?
The studio. It's still a 'pinch yourself' moment for me when I walk into a studio and get to record. It just kills me. They usually have to gang up on me to end a session. I'd stay forever.
You've already graduated college Summa Cum Laude, become a successful actor with acting, directing, and producing credits, and an accomplished singer/songwriter. What else would you like to see yourself accomplish? Where do you go from here?
One of the great things about music and acting and film making is there is always something to learn, to improve on, to explore. It's endless and varied. I have no idea what my next acting job will be, and while that's terrifying and doesn't ensure much security, it also keeps things interesting. I most likely will never play the same role twice. I'm still trying to write that great song. I have a short film I'm going to try and direct. There's lots of things I want to do. Sometimes it's a matter of convincing people to let you - or help you - do them.
What's next for Doris?
After the Santa Barbara show at SOhO we're playing the Sunset Sessions showcase in Las Vegas in November. This year it will be open to the public so that is probably going to be some good old fashion craziness. Also, I'm about 3 or 4 songs away from having another album written, so we'll have to figure out when to get into the studio. Oh, and we're opening for Lady Gaga in Tokyo on New Year's Eve (laughs). No... we're not.
Paul, I want to thank you again for taking the time to talk with me, and an even bigger thanks for letting us do a ticket giveaway to your show at SoHo in Santa Barbara on October 4th. Any last words?
VIEW THE NEW VIDEO FOR "COMMENCEMENT" NOW!
Now that you all know a little more about Paul, HERE'S HOW TO ENTER!
BUZZ this post, Like it, comment on it, whatever. Show me that you enjoyed it! NEXT, click HERE to send me a tweet saying that you want a chance to WIN 2 free tickets to the Doris show in Santa Barbara!
That's it! Super easy! ONE winner will be picked at random on October 3, 2012. You can enter as many times as you'd like so keep the tweets coming! You must be 21 or older to win since you have to be able to get into the venue and remember, YOU MUST PROVIDE YOUR OWN TRANSPORTATION! I'm just giving away tickets to the show.
Doris feat. Paul Adelstein, with special guests, The Chris Pelonis Band
Thursday, October 4, 2012 Showtime: 8:30 PM SOhO Restaurant & Music Club 1221 State Street (upstairs in Victoria Court) Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Occupation: Social Media Consultant. Writer. Actor. Dancer. Aerialist. Lover
Jersey Italian living in Los Angeles trying to make my dreams come true. Doing my best to spread love, inspiration, and self improvement. Anything is possible, and you will see that from a lot of my posts. Interviews with people that made their dreams come true, words of inspiration, and fun experiences I've been able to be a part of. For more about me please visit, http://www.facebook.com/OfficialAndrew