The multihyphenate Adam Goldberg talks classic songwriting and shows off his air-drumming skills in the video for ‘Shush’
The pop world is littered with the ghosts of movie stars’ failed rock-n-roll dreams. Think of Keanu Reeves’ ‘grunge’ band Dogstar, or more recently a bleached blond, sunglasses-clad Jared Leto rocking out with 30 Seconds to Mars. But ace character actor/director/writer, Adam Goldberg (Entourage, Saving Private Ryan, The Hebrew Hammer) might manage to escape the curse yet. After putting out an impressive debut album as LANDy in 2009, Goldberg has returned with The Goldberg Sisters – a lush, psychedelic 70’s indebted rock album that tips a hat at classic song writing from the likes of John Lennon and Elvis Costello while retaining a compelling weirdness all of its own.
Dazed Digital: What gives with the name Goldberg Sisters? Are you trying to confound listeners?
Adam Goldberg: In fact I'm trying to un-confound them. Search LANDy (my last nomme de me) and discover Taiwanese pop sensation Landy Wen, Landy Cognac, Landy Insurance Company...Search MySpace and discover rapper Landy and his whimsical ballad: "I Wanna Fuck."
DD: What was your first passion - music or acting?
Adam Goldberg: My first passion was acting though I would often sing to myself as child. My second passion was filmmaking - pushing acting down a rung. I began writing and recording songs late, when I was 23...pushing acting off to another ladder entirely. Making music and directing movies exercise similar muscles and are far more personal to me.
DD: Tell us about the subject matter – is it drawn from your own life or are you being an actor again and playing different roles?
Adam Goldberg: I would say both of my albums are personal but the LANDy record by virtue of the fact that it was not written or recorded as an album per se, but recorded as songs over many years, tended to explore the same theme; since often I would write a song if I felt forlorn or pissed. This time it's a combination of that as well as more third person story telling. But all of my artistic ventures as I would imagine is the case for many, exorcise some pathos, concern, or obsession.
DD: The pop world is littered with actors living out their rock star dreams – what makes you different from them?
Adam Goldberg: They make more money.
DD: You engage in some pretty enthusiastic air guitar while driving in the video for Shush – is this an accurate depiction of your driving skills?
Adam Goldberg: I tend to drum more. I was the kid who drummed all the time, on his legs, tables, people. I played drums before any other instrument. When I smoked I would often marvel at my ability to eat a sandwich, smoke, talk on a cellphone, and drive with my knees. As a native Angeleno that's a fairly constitutional skill.
DD: What have you got planned for 2011 and beyond?
Adam Goldberg: For the past year I have been uploading parts of songs or fully realized demos or me breathing on to a Tumblr blog along with lots of Polaroids and scanned film shots and short films. It started out as a casual virtual journal but my OCD or hypomania or whatever it is that possess and wires me ended up spawning the makings of another album. I'm not sure if I will be lucky enough to do that this year but the seeds are sown. I'm finishing a script, the first in many years, that I hope to make the following year, and I'm presently doing a tv pilot for CBS so I can afford to be adamgoldbergdilletante.com
Photos by Adam Goldberg