Adam Duritz exclusive: Why Counting Crows Left Geffen |

Music | The Music Mix

Adam Duritz exclusive: Why Counting Crows Left Geffen


Adamduritzcrows_lYesterday Counting Crows announced on their website that they are leaving Geffen Records after 18 years. Lead singer Adam Duritz called the Music Mix from Australia—where he is currently on tour with the band—to discuss the split, the future of the Crows and the enduring hotness of Jane Seymour.ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why did you decide to split with Geffen? ADAM DURITZ: The internet’s changed everything. But the record companies aren’t owned by the David Geffens anymore. They aren’t owned by guys who might be visionary in this sort of way. It’s not the fault of the record companies. There’s plenty of smart people there. But, at a certain point, they’re owned by a guy who just works at a large large corporation. And his job is to see the bottom line. And when someone comes to him and says, we’d like to give something away free—I imagine that’s something his superiors don’t want him to say. The people we worked with at Geffen are smart and understood completely what we were doing. When we finally got cleared to do some things for this last record [2008’s Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings] they couldn’t have jumped in with more enthusiasm. But the fact is, it doesn’t matter whether you are artist-friendly or not, there are rules about proprietary uses of music, and those rules come from on high and you are just not allow to do things. You could see it in their eyes, too—there was a certain helplessness there.You seem to be saying that you wanted to give some of your music away and you weren’t allowed to.In some ways we were allowed to, and in other ways were weren’t. We gave away a digital 45 free before the release of the record and I think that was a big factor in the album opening at number 3. Jimmy Iovine was great about it. He said, you’ve been here a long time and you’ve had a lot of great ideas and you deserve a shot at trying this one.So, I’m not quite sure what it is that you weren’t allowed to?Look, understand that I was there for 18 years. A long time. And they did not have to let us go. So, I’d rather not get into specific things. There were things that we just weren’t allowed to do. The funny thing is, it leaked to the public anyways, it got out there before the release, and it still opened at number 3 and it still made money.What is the future for Counting Crows?There’s so many different things to do right now. I have an indie label. I have a movie called Freeloaders that I just finished producing that will have a soundtrack Counting Crows will do some things for. We’re quite capable of making records for very reasonable amounts of money because we own our own studio anyway and I believe we’ll always be an album band. That said, I don’t have one bursting out of me right now.How did you get involved in Freeloaders?Two friends of mine wrote it and I wanted to make sure they got to be able to make it and one of them got to direct it. It’s about a bunch of douchebags who live in a rock star’s house. So I took over the option and me and a couple of partners raised all of the finance for it ourselves. And Broken Lizard, who made Supertroopers and Beerfest, they came in and partnered up with us, which was great. They’re getting ready to do the first screening in a week or so. I think we made a hysterical indie comedy. It’s very funny and very vulgar.And one of the stars is Jane Seymour?Yeah, she’s the coolest chick I ever met in my life. Every time you’re on the phone with Jane she tells you something else that reminds you of how much cooler than you she is. Some other story about her life that’s, like, you’e got to be f—king kidding me.And, not to be rude, but I’ve seen Wedding Crashers and she’s still a fine-looking woman.Oh, yeah. She’s just cooler than I’m gonna be ever.More Counting Crows from EW:CD Review: Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings

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