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One Night Band Crush: Adam Ritchie

July 29, 2009

To find out more about/purchase tickets to Boston Band Crush’s One Night Band please visit: http://www.onenightbandboston.com
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Check back each day for more interviews with our participants!

Adam Ritchie is the lead guitar player for The Lights Out. When he was 14, he walked into his first guitar lesson and told his teacher to show him the guitar solo from “Stairway to Heaven.” Not the song; just the guitar solo. His teacher laughed and spent 30 minutes writing it out for him. He shut up when Adam came in the following week and played it for him. The “F” in the AFR on Adam’s amp doesn’t stand for Funny business.

Local Band History: The Minor Catastrophes (2006-2007), The Lights Out (2007-present)

Boston Band Crush Interview:

BBC: What Boston rockers, past or present, would you most like to have a One Night Band with?
AR: Stephen Brodsky (Cave In)
Travis Richter (The Motion Sick)
Justin Day (The Luxury)
Dave Grohl

Cave In’s Tides of Tomorrow showed me there was still hope for rock. Travis and I would make loud, sloppy music together and have a blast doing it. Justin and I would be fun to watch stomping and running around a big stage. Dave Grohl isn’t from Boston and never spent any significant time here. But he gave me a yummy recipe for grilled asparagus outside the Wang one time. That makes him an honorary Boston rocker, and I’m calling dibs.

BBC: What Boston rockers, past or present, would you most fear having a One Night Band with?
AR: Duncan Wilder Johnson (Destruct-a-thon)
Tony Savarino (Black Fortress of Opium)
Joel Simches (Count Zero)
Donnie Wahlberg

I hadn’t met Duncan before catching his Rumble performance. Mid-set, I turned to my drummer, Jesse, and said, “I’ve never been afraid of anyone onstage before – but I am afraid of that guy.” Tony knows so much about guitar I’d end up getting a free day’s worth of lessons from the experience and would feel guilty not paying him. Joel and I would spend the whole day tackling the entire Lamb Lies Down on Broadway double concept album as our cover and never get around to writing songs. Donnie Wahlberg would probably have the nicest rehearsal space; I just don’t want to get spoiled.

BBC: What is your normal song or part writing process? Will writing three songs in a single day drastically differ from your usual approach to creating music?
AR: Write three songs in a day? My grandma could do that. (Do they have to be good?)

I like rolling out of bed and seeing how many ideas I can come up with in an hour. I come back to them in a day or two to see which I really like. From those, I wait and see if any get stuck in my head. Then I’ll send them around to my band to see which ones jump out.

For guitar parts and solos, my favorite thing is to take the instrumental track and sing alternate melodies over it. When I’ve got something I like, I make a recording, then pick up my guitar and figure out how to play what I sang. It forces you think in terms of what works best for the song. You’re not worrying about hand position, scales or going where muscle memory takes you. You can create some unique and memorable parts this way.

Here’s the catch. These approaches require time and rumination: things One Night Band doesn’t allow. I heard they’ll take our phones away from us and we don’t even get a meal break. If we get hungry, the weakest band member is SOL.

So my other writing technique is loosening up with a few Allston Cocktails (High Life with a lime), falling into the groove and reacting to the music. That could be a good strategy for this thing. I’ll hope for band mates with good short-term memories who can tell me what I just played.

BBC: What Boston band do you have the biggest crush on right now?
AR: The Honors. We did a showcase at The Wave Gathering Emerging Music Festival in Asbury Park, New Jersey with them last month, and hung out again at the Rock ‘n Roll Social. Good songs, solid performance and great road stories. Ask them about their run to Charlottesville and their creative uses for a band sticker.

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