When The War on Drugs frontperson Adam Granduciel caught up with WXPN’s Bruce Warren on last Saturday’s Post-Sleepy Hollow Experience, the band was approximately 84 shows deep into their world tour in support of last year’s acclaimed LP I Don’t Live Here Anymore. In a 20-minute conversation, Granduciel and Warren chatted about being on the road and playing some of their biggest shows to date (including a Hyde Park gig opening for The Rolling Stones), while also reminiscing about the Philly shows the band played in their early days. Granduciel talks about the venue that hosted what he considers their first really good show… and it might not be the one you expect!
Adam also shared his experiences with balancing songwriting and touring, and the occasional spaces where they overlap; he shared his enthusiasm for a Bob Dylan deep cut — “Born In Time” from 1990’s Under The Red Sky — and he shares effusive enthusiasm for Philly’s Eliza Hardy Jones, the keyboardist / vocalist and newest member of The War on Drugs extended family.
Listen to the conversation and read some excerpts below. The War on Drugs headlines night one of the XPoNential Music Festival on September 16th; tickets and more information on the concert can be found at XPNFest.org.
Adam Granduciel of The War On Drugs chats with Bruce Warren on WXPN
…on the band’s 2022 tour, and how it’s been going.
Since the first show of the whole thing back in Austin in January, it’s really been incredible. Especially back then, January / February, people were ready to come out to shows. It felt like we were playing to our fans, people who wanted to see the band and go out for the night. We were super nervous going into it, especially about the COVID thing. How do you deal with it? What do you do? We were really fortunate we have a band and crew that are all on the total same page, and everybody wants to be out working and looking out for one another.
…on opening for The Rolling Stones in Hyde Park.
I knew it was going to be good, but the level to which it was good was way beyond what I thought it was going to be. The best part might have been in the afternoon, we were on the stage behind the curtains, setting up our pedals set up and everything plugged in. And there’s this guy wearing a work vest and a hard hat getting ushered up to the stage, looking at all the scaffolding and making sure the rigging looks okay. And it was Mick Jagger!
…on the song “Buenos Aires Beach,” and why it remains in Drugs setlists 14 years later.
In the context of the show, it’s really nice to, like…that song always is like a nice breath, you know, depending on how we play it. It’s almost a reset; you can build up to that moment and have those sweet four minutes of Buenos Aires Beach and decide where you want the show to go from there. But also, I think it’s like, when you have a song that you still love to sing 15 years later, you want to keep singing it. You’re always finding your voice, but back then, that’s a song that stuck with me. If I wrote that song today, I’d feel like I wrote a good song.