Adam Fein of Absinthe Blind, Cortisol, and Headlights

Adam Fein of Absinthe Blind, Cortisol, and Headlights

by Jason

Hey Adam. Thanks for taking time to answer a few more questions for Somewhere Cold. When last our little zine talked with you, you were in Absinthe full time. Could you please explain what has happened since your last toured with Absinthe?

I am taking on an “at-home” role in the band…I understand that if you want your job to be a musician and I didn’t always believe this, but I do now, you need to tour. But sleeping on floors, and playing for gas money and fast food money, and being gone from my wife for five months of the year really doesn’t fit into my plans for the future.

I will still be writing, advising, recording, and conducting a large portion of the AB business…just won’t be playing live outside of Champaign-Urbana, Chicago, and maybe a few special shows here and there around the US…

If I understand correctly, Rings is about your decision to leave the band and concentrate on your marriage. How long have you been contemplating leaving the band? Has this been a decision you are happy with so far? How does that affect the structure of the band today?

Well “Rings” was written when I was trying to work this decision out for myself. In a recent Outkast track on their new album, “Speakerboxx/The Love Below” there’s a lyric where he’s describing his time and he says “I’m married to the music”. Truth. If you want to be a full-time touring musician, that’s it – you’re married to the music. That’s not what I wanted music to be about in my life…believe me, I have a lot of respect for musicians that choose that path, but it wasn’t for me. I prayed about this decision quite a bit, in the end the Lord told me he has other plans for my time. Rings became my having to write my own goodbye.

The band has stated that you would be helping in the writing process. Will you also be singing on the new material for Absinthe or will Tristan take the reigns?

Erin will do the majority of the singing and Tristan will back her up. I will make a few appearances too I bet, but I certainly won’t be a majority as I won’t be able to help them reproduce it live most of the time.

Can you fill us in on your progress with Cortisol? When do you estimate the full length might be finished?

We now have 5 tracks we’re happy with. I’m very excited about the quality. Time-frame is difficult because Brett (AB, Orphans, Triple Whip, Second Story Studios) and I are so busy. I’m hoping by Mid-2004. You can keep up with our progress at:

What is Headlights and how did that come to fruition? What type of music are you and Erin making? Is it similar to Absinthe?

Headlights is a chance for Erin and I to perform a bit where the centerpiece are the voices and not necessarily all the swirling layers that AB usually employs. It sounds like mellow Absinthe Blind, in fact we’ve mostly been performing the newer AB tracks (post-RINGS) that I’d written some old favorites like “fantasy loss” and “lifelike.” It’s a lot of fun and lets me get out and be in front of a crowd once in a while. We’re opening for a fantastic band (Explosions in the Sky) in two weeks.

What does the future hold for Adam Fein?

Family, my wife and I would like to have some kids in a few. She’s finishing Graduate school right now however, we’ll wait on that. I’ve started Rockin’ for Jesus every 3rd Sunday at my church as well (with Roy Ewing from Braid/Very Secretary actually). It’s amazing to see some of these teenagers have that much faith. I’ll always be writing songs, and whether they’re released under Absinthe Blind, Cortisol, Headlights, or something else, it will always be a way I can relax and transfer some things out of my head and onto the paper. I’m still amazed that anyone cares.

How are things going with Grand Theft Autumn? Anything we should be expecting following the fabulous Holy Nova Symphony disc?

Things at GTA are great. We have plans to expand, but we’re taking our time. We are EXTREMELY pleased with our 2003 releases (The Compilation, Wayne Everett, and Coco B’s/Eskimohunter) and hope 2004 will be just as good. More info at:

The only release we know is coming soon is a “City on Film” release, which is the side-project of Hey Mercedes vox/guitarist Bob Nanna, one of the best lyricists of our generation. I think, it will be worth checking out.

What are you listening to now? What are you reading?

Listening: The Appleseed Cast-Two Conversations, Outkast-Speakerboxx/The Love Below, Pacific UV-Pacific UV, Ester Drang-Infinite Keys-, Maserati/Mercury Program – The Confines of Heat EP, Mojave 3 – Spoon and Rafter and some older stuff — Billy Ocean- Greatest Hits, Siouxsie and the Banshees, New Order, Wang Chung, Depeche Mode, Tears for Fears – a lot of 80s.
Reading: The Brothers Karamazov  (Dostoevsky)

Any other information you would like to add, like contact information, etc?

You can sign up for the cortisol mailing list at – that’s going to be the home for all Adam Fein’s projects.

Take Care Everyone!


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