Philly indie-rockers The War On Drugs have just released their second album Slave Ambient and wrapped up a massive tour of the US. Lead singer Adam (first from left) has been compared to Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan, so we gave him a call to see if he agreed… It’s been four years between albums, what have you been doing? Recording this album, it took a long time. And touring a lot, I play in another band too, we all play in a couple of different things. So we’ve been busy with the other bands. All up this album took three years to make and go through all the stages. How would you describe your music? It’s kind of a mix of Tom Petty, with like a bunch of experimental music underneath. Our songs are in the vein of Tom Petty, well that’s what people say. It’s rock music, kind of like “Refugee” (Tom Petty), well maybe that’s what I want it to be like anyway. It’s classic American stuff with crazy tape hoops in it and some experimentation in it. I take a lot of time with my recording, so there is a lot going on. It’s not in your face or abrasive it’s just really beautiful music if I do say so myself. I gotta ask, the meaning behind your name? I kinda just came up with it back in the day. You know when you play music you’re always thinking of band names and that name got thrown around and I thought, that would be cool. And now I think it’s like the best band name around. There’s no political agenda behind it? No, not at all. We’re not anti-drugs or anything, it just sounds cool. What is Philly famous for? It’s famous for its cheese steaks, they’re like a roll with steak and cheese and like onions and peppers and there is an art to how you make them. The best ones are in Philly. But there’s also great record stores, a bunch of great live music venues and lots of restaurant/bars that have live music. And Philly Museum of Art is like one of the best art museums in the world, probably top 10 in the world. What do you think of when you think of Australia? I think of the first think I think of is the beautiful pavilion in Sydney that I’ve seen millions of photos of and then I would think of endless roads in the outback. And I think of super nice people, all the Australians I’ve met have been really nice. I read your music is very Bruce Springsteen. Is he an influence? Yes, for sure, I love The Boss, he’s great. “Born in the USA”, “Darkness on the Edge of Town”, “The River” those are all great. Your voice is a little Bob Dylan-like… Yeah, it is a little, I’m not trying to sing like him but I understand why you would say that. I have an improvisational approach to writing so I would say that is a little indicative of what he was doing. It’s definitely not an impression. But Springsteen and Dylan are like my favourite song-writers, great songs, big sounds, so both good comparisons. What do you love about touring? I love playing every night. The physical travelling of touring I don’t love, but it’s kind of getting to the point where a five hour drive is easy. It’s the 12 hour drives that I get crazy on. But touring is great. I get to meet a lot of cool people from all over the world and eat in a lot of good restaurants in different cities and do great things especially now because people actually come out to see us and know who we are. What do you to listen to on the road? We like bands like Neu, they’re an old German band. Also Deer Hunter and maybe like Willy Nelson and Tom Petty’s greatest hits. Rock, country, folk, whatever gets us to the next city really. If you weren’t in music… I’d be mowing lawns. The War On Drugs second album Slave Ambient is out now on Secretly Canadian. []