Home > Interviews > Adam Ezra Group: Playing Out & Boston's Music Scene



History of the Band

Writing & Recording

Playing Out & Boston's Music Scene

In Closing





BB:  So what makes a good show for you guys?


Jeff:  Sounding good.  The crowd being into it.  A transfer of energy.

Jimmy:  Yeah, I think it’s everything.  You get a good stage volume and we get a nice sound out in the house, and definitely the crowd.  Without the people we would be playing to an empty room and that’s why we want to perform you know, for people.

John:  I have to say though, if the bands on its game, there could be crickets in the audience and I’ll just absolutely dig it.  And then when we’re on our game and there is an audience out there, that’s just the icing on the cake.

Adam:  I like to think that we create a community within the place that we play.  The best nights are when people come and they hang out and they feel like they now know John, Jeff, Jimmy and I.  Everyone’s comfortable, and we’re not these guys displaced from the rest of the room up on the stage performing for them. Instead it feels like we’re all kind of making music together. Those are the best nights for me.


BB:  What do you think was your best show?


Jeff:  We sold out the House of Blues last summer and the place was just packed.

Adam:  We’re all really disgruntled that it’s closed down now.  We had a gig a couple of weeks ago that I was saying was a really good show.  I mean, we’re at a fledgling stage right now.  I’m still learning how to play with these guys.  You know I started out playing by myself and it’s a process in terms of me adjusting.  I really set high standards for who I decided to play with and I think that since these guys are older… all these guys have twenty years experience playing professionally.  And I think that it is their experience really helps out my live performance as I’m learning so much about music from them and feed off of their experience.  They’re taking my music and my songs to a new level.

Jimmy:  I think one of our better shows was opening up for the Goo Goo Dolls in Las Vegas.  That to me was pretty cool, I mean we’re opening for the Goo Goo Dolls in sunny Las Vegas.  That happened because VH1 did a summer concert bash in conjunction with Budweiser. 

Adam:  Oh yeah, we’re currently endorsed by Budweiser.  It’s part of something called True Music.  Budweiser is sponsoring a bunch of grassroots bands around the country.  We’re the band they’re sponsoring in Boston.  They give us a small salary and a lot of nice publicity in the area.  They’re also supporting us with merchandising the T-shirts that we give out at shows. But they're also helping with the manufacturing of our new CD that’s coming out.  So, it’s great.  They’re really helping out with that.  What we give in return is… when we work, we drink our Budweiser.  And the “Warrior” cover that we played a while back was inspired by the Budweiser guitar… In our original contract it said that we’re going to give you this guitar and we want you to play at least one song in your show with it.  I’ve since talked to the local Budweiser guys who said that it was pretty comical and they don’t really care.


BB: Any other memorable shows?


Adam:  We played in Gillette Stadium for the Woman’s World Cup Quarterfinals last fall in front of 25,000 people.  Pretty fun.


BB:  What equipment do each of you use?


John:  My drums are a custom set made by Premier.   I use Zildjian symbols.  I have an endorsement from Premier and an endorsement from my stick manufacturer, Silver Fox Percussion. They make my snares as well.  I use DW bass pedals and uh…

Jimmy:  Who does your hair?

Band:  (Laughter)

Adam:  I play a Taylor acoustic guitar and I use Dean Markley strings, and they endorse me right now.

Jimmy:  I use a Gravity 5 Fernandes five string bass.  I use an Ampeg SVT 3 Pro Head, which is a newer version of their old style SVT and Hartke’s 410 XL cabs.  I’m endorsed by my mother.

Band:  (Laughter)


BB:  We will need to contact her to verify.


Band:  (Laughter)

Jeff:  I have Latin Percussion congas, classic series, that I use live.  Timbales are Latin Percussion, Tito Puente models.   The bongos are Latin Percussion Generation II.  Remo Djembes, Remo heads on all the drums.  Zildjian symbols and various bells, blocks whistles and toys. 

Adam:  Chimes

Jimmy:  Chimes

John:  Chimes

Jeff:  And Indian Street Percussion studio bar chimes.

Band:  (Laughter)

Jimmy:  And Adam loves them.


BB:  Do you guys do any interesting covers?  How often do you change them up?


Adam:  It’s an interesting subject for us.


BB:  “The Warrior” kicked ass.


Band:  (Laughter)

Adam:  We’ve had about 10 to 15 request just this week from people who were at that show that want to hear that again.  I think we phucked ourselves by playing that.  I had an experience when I was starting out that lead to one of our popular songs “Coverman.”  I got hired to be the regular guitar guy at this bar after they heard my original CD and they fired me eventually for not playing cover songs.  The guy just wanted me to play cover songs and I tried for a week or two but it just kind of got exhausting.  It’s a hard line when you get to a certain level as a musician and you can play other people’s music and people love it and you can make a lot of money and be successful.  With that said, I always like to mix it up and play different cover songs in a show.  I think that one of our strongest assets is that we have this awesome grassroots regular following that come to so many shows and are always into it.  We try to mix up the songs that we play that are original and I always try to mix it up with a couple different cover songs so we really vary whenever we play.  I drive these guys crazy with it.  I show up at rehearsal and tell them “I wanna try this maybe…”

Jimmy:  We’ve done Bob Marley.  Some Led Zeppelin Grateful Dead Poison.

Adam:  We use to play at this club called Porters.  It’s right across from the Fleet Center.  We use to play there all the time. And there was a tradition.  A sad and upsetting tradition that at the end of every night, at the end of the set, I would play “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.”  There were nights we would play for like four hours and by the time it was over everyone would be very drunk and very loud.


BB:  Any interesting pre- or post- show rituals?


Jimmy:  Roman-Greco Wrestling.

Band:  (Laughter)

John:  Say a prayer.

Jimmy:  Adam likes to grease himself down, or grease himself up? at the end of the night.  But no, there’s no ritual.  We have a little meal. We chill out.  We get a sound check if we’re lucky.  And then a half an hour before show time we puff our hair and change our sticky shirt.


BB:  What about your audience.  What are your fans like?  Any interesting stories?


Jeff:  I think we’re still trying to figure that out.

Adam:  It’s funny.  For me it’s been particularly rewarding to watch our following evolve.  I’ve only been playing with the band for a little over a year now.  It starts that you know 80 to 90 percent of the room and it’s friends  and people that went to school with you, people you grew up with.  As time goes on, they bring friends and they bring friends and it gets to a point where in the last six months we’ve been playing shows that people are singing along that I don’t recognize and that’s awesome.  For the most part we have a fairly young following between 20 and 30 years old.  And people in and out of college around the Boston area.  We’re starting to get a pretty nice following in New York City as well.

Jimmy:  What’s kind of cool for me is that based in Boston we see people that aren’t associated with the band and we go drive four or five hours to New York City and we start to see the same people that we see in Boston all the time.  To me that is like, wow.  That’s when you know what you’re doing must be pretty good because people are following us around.  That’s a strange thing.


BB:  Any groupie stories?


Jimmy:  What happens in camp stays in camp.

Band:  (Laughter)





BB:  What are your favorite places to play?


Adam:  These days I would say our two biggest spots are the Paradise and Harper’s Ferry.  House of Blues, but it closed down.  When we were just starting, when I was playing solo, I liked playing at the Kendall, but that place closed down.  I love the Burren.  It was our first time playing there a few months ago and we’ll see if we play some more there.


BB:  How would you compare the music scene in Boston to other cities you’ve played in?


Jimmy:  Boston is happening.  New York is happening too.  I haven’t really toured all over the country but I try to keep my finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the music scene at least nationally and I think the East Coast is doing pretty well.

Jeff:  The nice thing about Boston is that there are a lot of nice clubs in a small area and I think that just adds to the scene here.

John:  I think it’s good.  I wish there were more places in Boston to play but I think we’re lucky to have good places like Paradise and Harper’s Ferry.  I think Boston is great for music because there is an eclectic mix of so many different types of music.  You’ve got heavy metal.  You’ve got blues.  You’ve got this stuff here, acoustic rock.  I think it’s good.  I think it’s a happening scene and I think it’s getting more light shown on it, by virtue of the fact that you have a lot of nationally recognized bands coming out of Boston right now and that helps bands like us.

Adam:  It’s funny because when I had been playing around the country in the past it was usually solo and it was the folk/coffee shop/me-and-a-guitar kind of thing.  There is a reason why I decided to come back here and to get a band going.  Maybe it’s because I grew up around here, but I dig this city and like the people in it and I like the vibe of the music scene, so I was excited to make our regional stand in the Northeast.




Part 1: History of the Band

Part 2: Writing & Recording

Part 3: Playing Out & Boston's Music Scene

Part 4: In Closing


*Pictures courtesy of http://www.adamezra.com/

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