Interview with Stuart Adamson – Mucchio, February 1985

M:   You’re coming from a small town too, Dunfermline, Scotland. How’s life there?
SA:  Not many good things. There live 50.000 people and their condition of life are not the best. Consider that only 2 buildings have an elevator. Nobody wants to build anymore, there are no industries, and a few opportunities of finding a job. People have always been very proud, either of their land and of themselves, they don’t like to hide into imagination. And as far as music is concerned, they want it to reflect their reality, their life, instead of making a false escape of it. Big Country want to represent all of this and try to do it honestly and simply.

M:  How would you define the US audience reaction?
SA:  It hasn’t been different from our audience in Scotland. Music is a language which passes all barriers. It can express emotions without telling a word.

M:  BC sound is very peculiar. Did you inspire to anyone in particular?
SA:  No, this is the sound we wanted to have, something highly atypical and peculiar and that’s the reason why we didn’t want to copy any guitarist. I can tell you my favourite: Nils Lofgren (E-Street), Phil Manzanera (Roxy Music), Mick Ralphs (Mott The Hoople), Mick Jones (former Clash) and Bill Nelson (BeBop Deluxe). Leonard Cohen in his first band, too, Buckskin Boys, was not bad. Anyway we calculate the guitar parts together when we write a song: we don’t want to have solos, everything should be coordinated together without parts to be played individually. Big Country are more an ensemble than a classical rock-band with a drum-solo, a bass-solo and different guitar-solos.

M:   How old were you when you started songwriting?
SA:  I was 12 and still learning to play guitar. The first 6 months of me having a guitar were the most frustrating in my life.

M:  Where do you draw your inspiration from?
SA:  An idea can come from everywhere. It often happens that I get a hint at 3 a.m, when I’m in bed; so I get up and start writing. My wife surely thinks I have a serious case of diarrhoea.

Translation by Rossella Di Nuzzo

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