The Goldberg Sisters is the musical project of actor Adam Goldberg, who now belongs in a very rare group of actors that have managed to make the cross over into music without the embarrassing results (we're looking at you Keanu Reeves). The 405 managed to catch up with Adam to discuss the writing and recording of the album, as well as some of the influences behind its creation and eventual completion.   Why 'The Goldberg Sisters' rather than just simply 'Adam Goldberg'? There's a singer in Chicago named Adam Goldberg and I didn't want to miss the sisters band craze train. Plus my twin Celeste insisted. It sounds very much a labour of love rather than making a premeditated commercial MTV based album, was that the case? Really? That's hurtful. I really wanted it to be a commercial venture. I'm broke. I want Mentos ads. I hoped JJ Jackson would be playing the record on heavy rotation. I wish I knew how to say I'm going to make something commercial and then do it. Believe me. Did all the songs get written around the same time? There seems to be a similar thread running throughout the album. 'Erik Erikson' was written in 1999. Two others were written in 2003 and four were written in the year leading up to the record - 'The Skin of the Patriot' written during the session, 'The Difference Between' written a couple days prior. Death? It's the theme that keeps on giving. Will you be gigging this album? Any UK dates? I'm not a big fan of playing live. Crippling anxiety, fear of flying, and really cranky when it comes to sound; basically I'm a real pleasure. I like recording a lot. But I'm going to bite the bullet and do a little press tour in Europe. There' s 3 or four of us, no drums or bass per se. Andrew Lynch (trumpet, keyboards) and I sampled a bunch of my old drum machines and sequenced them and Optigan samples and I'm doing some onstage looping, etc. Plus we'll have two violins. It's sort of like we're a cover band - of my bands. This sounds a very personal record. Do you feel that it is a release from acting where you play different characters, here in fact you can strip them away and be yourself? In a sense. I liken it to the process of writing and directing. When I've done that, for better or worse it is an honest expression of my tastes and emotions. I view acting much more as a job, a craft I can employ and often times connect to but far less personal an experience.
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I heard early Elton John/Leonard Cohen in the record as well as the Plastic Ono Band album. Would any of them be an influence in your writing? I actually started listening to Elton John a bit during mixing. I'm not a huge fan, though I've tried. But I can really appreciate his genius and do often like his production. I love early Leonard Cohen but he's not a direct production or song writing influence. Maybe osmosis? Which bands/artists would you say had influenced the writing and recording of this album? Here are the influences, depending on the song....Plastic Ono for sure, always a big production influence; Eno's Taking Tiger Mountain, Curtis Mayfield, Dionne Warwick/Bert Bacharach, Bowie's Low and Station to Station, America, McCartney's Ram, T-Rex, Odessa era Bee Gees. I've found this is a really good album on headphones to listen to; each instrument has its own depth and place. Did you have any involvement production wise or make any suggestions? The insert/poster of the CD says "Wear Headphones!" so, I'm glad, thanks. Aaron Espinoza and myself co-produced. He has an incredible technical facility, knows when and where a kick drum should hit and its relation to the bass guitar; he has an uncanny ability tot translate my requests, i.e "Let's put 'Breaking Glass' drums on Erik Erikson," into reality. We have a similar sensibility and are able to communicate well through short hand. Lots of that layered stuff, backwards reverb, echoes, string arrangements, layers of bg vox, etc, have certainly been trademarks of my personal recordings but Aaron's ability to execute them and give them that certain sheen was a terrific contribution.. I personally recorded the more low fi 'You're Beautiful When You Die' and 'Skin of The Patriot'. Were you worried that being an actor breaking into the music and album’s market was going to be a problem and not taken seriously? So many have tried to make the cross over and failed after all. Not that I’m comparing you to Don Jonson or Bruce Willis albums obviously. Concerned a bit. Less so after having broken the ice with my first record (the LANDy record). At this point frankly it's more important that I feel comfortable in my musician's skin. After having done music for my film 'I Love Your Work', having recorded my own music for many years now, then eventually had the opportunity to collaborate with guys like Aaron and Steven Drozd, I feel a bit more acclimated to this pursuit of this "publicly.". I can't control the perception and invariably I get the response - this time and last - "Hmm, it's ACTUALLY pretty good" or "hmmm, it doesn't suck." Performers used to have to act, sing, dance. I don't dance though. I shimmy.