RRI sits down with Lords of the New Church frontman Adam Becvare
By Todd Houston
Exclusive to TRRT
Rockford Rocked Interview: Before we get into anything else let’s talk about what made you want to be a part of music in the first place.
Adam Becvare: My mom’s youngest brother was a real problem child. He got me into plenty of trouble and dirt bikes. He also gave me Deep Purple Made in Japan. By 12, I was in so much trouble on my dirt bike that my folks sold it out from under me. I was devastated and turned to the rock. In 1981 I guilted my mom into letting me see Motörhead and Ozzy at the Metro Center. Motörhead made me play rock ‘n roll. Randy Rhoads made me play guitar. Uncle Mike got me a telecaster that next Christmas.
RRI:Instead of going to college or a trade school right after high school you moved to Hollywood to be a part of the ever growing “Hair Rock” movement of the late ’80s. How supportive were your parents of your decision?
AB: I don’t recall my parents ever being supportive of any direction I took. They were more concerned that I was running with a crowd that was five years older than me. They liked that playing music was keeping me busy though. My dad had loaned me money for my first decent guitar. Once he realized I was serious and good he got me a job working under Lance Porter (Armed Vision) so I could save up and leave for Hollywood after high school. Last but not least, he cosigned on a credit card as long as I kept up with the minimum payments.
RRI: Tell us what it was like the first few weeks after you arrived on the Sunset Strip – where you lived, what you ate for dinner, how you made friends, etc.
AB: I followed my oldest Rockford friend and drummer Matthew Robert Lentz to Hollywood. His family had helped him get set up out there to attend Musicians Institute. I didn’t have those luxuries but I had Matt’s floor space. I knew if Poison could just move there and get signed anyone could, so I lived on that credit card for nine months and ate ramen.
RRI: You eventually found yourself in New York City giving it a go. How different was Los Angeles from NYC?
AB: Honestly, I hated LA. I experienced a very cool and important part of music history there but never bonded with anyone. It was just all too superficial for me. It took me a few years in Rockford with my folks help to straighten me out at 21. I then answered an ad in Village Voice and moved to NYC to play with Anthony Esposito of Lynch Mob.
RRI: You stirred things up a bit here in Rockford with your band Buick Mackane and the Drill. Was there ever any label interest in that lineup?
AB: Buick MacKane was me getting back on my rock ‘n roll feet after cancer and an overdose. I had to relearn guitar and I was on court-ordered meds, shrinks and counseling for three years. I was stir crazy and hungry and picked awesome players and friends to make some very wicked memories with. We were quite notorious and fearless. It’d garnered the interest of HAIR Producer Michael Butler but there was no label interest as grunge had the world by the throat at that time.
RRI: Tell us how you hooked up with I.R.S. Records recording artists Lords of the New Church.
AB: In 1997 I had moved to San Francisco. There I’d met a longtime rock photographer whilst playing in the band, American Heartbreak. I’d been also toying around with this “last minutemen of rock project” The LustKillers. That was me and friends of other SF bands who could take last minute shows as we were always hanging out anyways. We’d been recording my old revamped songs that Michael Butler had wanted for his musical. My photographer friend shared those LK demos with punk guitar legend Brian James (the Damned, Lords of the New Church). It took me quite a bit of convincing to replace the late, legendary Stiv Bators.
RRI: What happened after your band The Black Halos disbanded in 2008?
AB: I immediately ramped up LustKillers full-time, releasing two albums and touring the earth relentlessly until 2012. These days I’ve been writing and recording with old Rockford cohort John Soroka of Ministry. It’s a long ways from rock ‘n roll guitars but it’s also the best music and lyrics I’ve written in my life.
RRI: I’m going to say a word or phrase and you respond with the first thing that pops into your head.
RRI: The 229 Club (Former Rockford Club).
AB: 229 allowed me the opportunity to spread my music genre wings. We were young, drunk and crazy fun. My only Guilford Senior Yearbook picture was snapped there. True fun, 229 provided a ton of crossover for musicians and kids.
RRI: Triumph Motorcycles.
AB: Saved my life. Before guitars, girls, and Guinness there was motorbikes. I always wanted a Triumph. I now own two.
RRI: What do you sing in the shower?
AB: Beat So Lonely by Charlie Sexton. Someone has to. Charlie hasn’t sang it since ’86. He was a good friend of The Lords. I finally got to chat about all that with him a couple years ago.
RRI: Joe Perry or Ronnie Wood?
AB: Joe Perry. I had a great long visit with Joe in Milwaukee. I wasn’t awestruck until the entire ride home. Aerosmith are American rock ‘n roll royalty. Joe also happens to be the definition of cool. Surprise it’s not Dave Grohl.
RRI: Sushi or fish tacos?
AB: Neither unless you need to see my head swell the size of a basketball. Allergic to iodine.
RRI: What does 2016 have in store for Adam Becvare?
AB: I may do some singing for some ole LA Sunset Strip rock cats now living in Vegas who’ve reached out. I’m in Phoenix every six weeks now, so that could work. Maybe croon for some other Rockford transplants there as well. I’d really like to see The 5 song EP Vapornet featuring Synthia released. David Bowie’s Art Director Jimmy King shot two videos for it and it was produced by Grammy man, Larry Sturm. We lost Larry suddenly last December. He was huge talent that had worked with everyone from Naked Raygun to Jennifer Hudson. Larry always believed in whatever John and I were up to. He was our guru. Life is fragile. Live, love and learn to enjoy every day.