Captain Accident’s new album, Bad Press was released last week and it’s a class piece of work. We caught up with the man behind the name for a chat.
Captain Accident creates his unique blend of roots reggae, ska and rocksteady at his studio in Cardiff, a sound that is then transformed to the live stage with the help of five exceptional musicians, at which point he becomes Captain Accident and the Disasters.
With a new album, Bad Press, released last week the timing seems to about right to have a word.
We caught up with him on Zoom, natch. You know how it goes, by now.
His real name isn’t Captain Accident, by the way. His friends call him Adam and, so did we. He didn’t seem to mind.
P3dro: Where are you and what are you doing?
Adam: I’m in Cardiff, in my living room. Had a lovely day, out with my daughter.
P3dro: Tell us a bit about Captain Accident. We understand as far as recording goes, it’s all you, but you have a band when you go out on the road.
Adam: Yeah. It’s very much that. It’s a solo recording project. I write and record the songs as I’m writing them and layer them up [as that happens]. But then I have a band of absolute wonderful musicians who will then come out on tour. I owe a lot to them for wanting to do that, especially seeing as I sit and write it all on my own. It’s quite an honour that I have such a great bunch of friends that are willing to come and tour it with me.
P3dro: Has that always been the process?
Adam: Yeah, it has. Initially I started [Captain Accident] because I was in a heavy rock band, I jumped off a drum riser and tore my cruciate ligament. My knee gave way under me and my leg went in a direction where it was not meant to bend. I thought I can’t be writing music where I have to jump off stage any more, so I spent this time when I was at home, healing, just chilling out and writing some reggae music. So, that’s how it started.
And I guess that’s how it’s continued.
P3dro: And is that the case with the new LP? Can you write and record at home?
Adam: Yeah. I do it all in my home studio. It’s getting more difficult now I have two young kids and I don’t have as much time on my hands as I did when I started, when I embarked on this about 10 or 11 years ago.
It was three years between albums, originally, but this album and the last one have been a five year gap. That’s purely down to not having as much time on my hands.
P3dro: Where does the name, Captain Accident come from?
Adam: I’m just ridiculously clumsy. Anything I can bang my head on, or trip over.
P3dro: What about the new LP? Was that written and recorded in lockdown?
Adam: A lot of it was. I record as I write, so it’s been recorded over three years or so. But lockdown helped me to step it up and get more done. I mean lockdown was horrible, but one positive it gave me was the time and the chance to get in the studio and focus on getting it finished.
Before that, we were quite busy gigging and finding the time to write was really difficult, so a large percentage of it was written in lockdown. But I’ve been chipping away at it for about three years.
P3dro: You’ve got some gigs lined up.
Adam: The plan is to do a proper Bad Press tour when we know things have settled down. I really want to do a big home town [Cardiff] show. The first opportunity is next February and that will probably be the start of the official album tour, even though the album is out now.
It would be good to be able to do a gig and not have to cancel because one person has been pinged, or whatever.
P3dro: Is there anything behind the title [Bad Press] of the album?
Adam: There’s an edge and a little bit of politics. Not every song, but I think the premise behind the title is how the press, throughout history hasn’t always been a good thing. Newspapers skew things and can really manipulate us as humans, if we allow them to. The reason I chose album cover [the 1950s style] is because I think that thing has been going on ever since the press was a thing.
What we get fed by the news isn’t always 100% true. We need to question things more and, as a society we’re opening up to [realise] what we’re being told isn’t always true. Whereas, maybe back in the 1950’s you maybe wouldn’t even have thought of questioning it.
A lot of the songs were written prior to what’s going on now. One of the things that stuck in my mind was the Brexit vote and how that was fed to people, through a lie. That bus with the claim that all that money was going to the NHS. The newspapers that wanted Brexit to happen very much manipulated it to happen. They made it a thing.
But, let’s not delve into that one!
P3dro: Recommend a band or an album you think we should be listening to right now.
Adam: I’m gonna go with Jaya The Cat. They are brilliant. They’re a really good band.
[Ed note: We’d not heard of Jaya The Cat before. We like these recommendation questions. This is one of the best answers. They’re superb].