Duritz on the levee in Saint Louis with Counting Crows
|Birth name||Adam Fredric Duritz|
1 August 1964 |
Baltimore, Maryland United States
|Genres||Alternative rock, pop rock|
|Occupations||Musician, Songwriter, Record producer, Film producer|
|Instruments||Vocals, Piano, Guitar, Harmonica|
|Associated acts||Mod-L Society, The Himalayans, Sordid Humor, Counting Crows|
Adam Fredric Duritz (born August 1, 1964) is an American musician, songwriter, record producer, and film producer. He is best known for his role as frontman and vocalist for the rock band Counting Crows, in which he is a founding member and principal composer of their catalogue of songs.
Duritz has recorded solo material of his own and collaborated with other musical acts, leading him to branch out as the owner of at least two record labels, acting as his own A&R man. His work scoring music for film has been recognized by the music industry, notably with an award for co-writing the song "Accidentally in Love" for the movie Shrek 2 from BMI.
Duritz's lyrics have been described as "morose" and "tortured" and as "wordy introspection" and his vocals "expressive". He also suffers from depersonalization disorder, which he describes as "a dissociative disorder, which makes the world seem like it's not real", which contributes to the length of time between albums and the inspiration for many of his lyrics.
Adam Duritz was born into a Jewish family in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Linda Dee (née Feldman) and Gilbert Duritz. Duritz moved to Boston, then El Paso, Texas, and finally to Berkeley, California. Duritz has lived in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Amsterdam and, most recently, New York City. As a student, he attended Head-Royce School, the Taft School, the University of California, Davis and the University of California, Berkeley, but dropped out before earning a degree.
Before gaining fame, Duritz sang (and later wrote songs) for a few San Francisco Bay Area bands. These included Mod-L Society, and another, was a college rock band, Sordid Humor. While Duritz was not a member, in the early 1990s, two other musicians who Duritz had not yet met were introduced while working with the band. Duritz had been tapped to provide vocals on one track, and future bandmate David Immerglück, (nicknamed "Immy") as a session musician on bass guitar. Producing the album, was David Bryson, both of whom became good friends. In 1990, Duritz joined with Bryson, and followed his lead in forming the band, The Himalayans. In the Himalayans, his songwriting talents were beginning to gain recognition from the other musicians and a song, albeit in its infancy, "Round Here" was written at that time. A year later, while The Himalayans recorded a demo tape for a major record label, Duritz and Bryson independently submitted another demo tape of just the two of them singing stripped-down musical selections, and called themselves Counting Crows. After listening to both tapes, Duritz and Bryson's tape was selected; although they were asked to record the song on their debut album as it was. She Likes the Weather was the result, containing "Round Here". After they performed as the music guest on Saturday Night Live (SNL), their single "Mr. Jones" jumped 40 spots in the charts.
He has collaborated with The Wallflowers (led by Jakob Dylan) on the album Bringing Down the Horse on the track "6th Avenue Hearthache"; with Ryan Adams on Gold and the song "Butterfly in Reverse" from Hard Candy; with Peter Stuart on Propeller and Daisy; with Live on V; and with Dashboard Confessional on the track "So Long, So Long" from Dusk and Summer. He also collaborated with Nanci Griffith on "Going Back to Georgia" and "Talk To Me While I'm Listening", from Griffith's 1994 Album "Flyer".
Duritz also contributed the songs "Spin Around," "You Don't See Me," and "You're a Star" to the Josie and the Pussycats soundtrack that were performed by the film's fictional title band. Along with bandmates Vickrey, Bryson, and Immerglück, Duritz co-wrote the song "Accidentally in Love" for the soundtrack of the movie, Shrek 2, winning them each an award from BMI.
Duritz has made slow progress in the music industry as a record label owner. In 1997, Duritz co-founded E Pluribus Unum, an independent label. Before the label was purchased by Interscope Records in 2000, Duritz signed Joe 90, Gigolo Aunts, and Neilson Hubbard – all of whom he took on the road to open for Counting Crows. In November 2006, Adam Duritz began production on the Chicago pop punk band Blacktop Mourning's debut record under the name "The Devil and Bunny Show" alongside Counting Crows guitarist David Immerglück's current album. He later announced, on January 15, 2007, that he was launching boutique record label Tyrannosaurus Records. His debut artists include Notar and Blacktop Mourning. The label also re-released the sole album by Duritz's former band The Himalayans.
In addition to his musical pursuits, Duritz was executive producer for the films The Locusts (1997) and Burn (1998). He appeared in the 2007 mockumentary film Farce of the Penguins. Adam teamed with the Broken Lizard comedy troupe in 2009 as Executive Producer for the film Freeloaders (2011). The film revolves around "five guys and a girl who live in the lap of luxury in a rock star's mansion. But their sweet situation is threatened when the rock star decides to sell the home. The friends will do whatever it takes to maintain their rock and roll lifestyle, as hilarity and shenanigans ensue." Written by Dan Rosen and Dave Gibbs, the film stars Clifton Collins Jr., Olivia Munn, Jane Seymour and Dave Foley as well as a multitude of stars making brief cameos throughout. The film was to be in limited theater release April 2012 with DVD release to follow.
Relationship with fans
Adam maintains and frequently updates an account on Twitter. He also reads and responds to posts on the band’s messageboard, and recently started a feature called AskCrowsAsk where fans can email questions for band members to answer. This relationship has not always been smooth; Duritz has clashed with some fans, chastising those involved in flame wars on his blog, "Some of you are truly fucking unpleasant people." In addition, Duritz frequently guest blogs for websites, including American Songwriter.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2005). "Counting Crows biography". VH1.com. Archived from the original on 15 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-01.
- Kot, Greg (2004). "Counting Crows: Biography". Rollingstone.com. Retrieved 2007-03-01.
- Savage, Mark (2008-03-27). "Talking Shop: Counting Crows". BBC.co.uk. Archived from the original on 3 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-07.
- Adam Duritz Biography
- Engaged To Marry Mr. John Jackson
- Feldman, Selma
- "Introducing THE HIMALAYANS biography". The Official Himalayans Website. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
- vanHorn, Teri (2001-07-12). "Tricky, Adam Duritz Guest On Fifth Live Album, V". MTV.com. Retrieved 2007-04-23.
- Moss, Corey (2006-01-19). "Dashboard Confessional Singer Records Duet With Adam Duritz". MTV.com. Retrieved 2007-04-23.
- imdb Awards
- Independent Music Awards - Past Judges
- "The Locusts (1997)". IMDB. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
- "Burn (1998)". IMDB. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
- "Farce of the Penguins – Cast & Crew". MTV.com. 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-23.
- "Freeloaders (2011)". IMDB. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
- Siegle, Tatiana (2008-11-11). "Adam Duritz, Broken Lizard making film". Variety. Archived from the original on 26 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-11.
- "Twitter.com Counting Crows (countingcrows) on Twitter". Retrieved 2009-09-16.
- "CountingCrows.com news.journal". 2005-12-22. Retrieved 2009-07-22.
- "Guest Blog: Adam Duritz Of Counting Crows". American Songwriter. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
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