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Actor-Musician Adam Goldberg Shares 'When Or Where Or Why' From New Album: Premiere
After the "intense" process of making his last Goldberg Sisters album, 2013's Stranger's Morning, the idea of another album "seemed almost kind of impossible" for Adam Goldberg. But he'll be back again on May 4 with Home: A Nice Place To Visit, whose lushly melodic "When Or Where Or Why" is premiering exclusively below.
"Somehow I found myself back downstairs doing it again," Goldberg tells Billboard. "I just needed a physical break (from music) and in the intervening years I was more busy as an actor and as a filmmaker," including starring and directing in 2015's No Way Jose, appearing in several other films, and on TV in Fargo, The Jim Gaffigan Show, Taken and more. "Eventually I just accrued a number of songs and thought it was time -- in fact, too much time." Home: A Nice Place To Visit ultimately took about two years for Goldberg and engineer Andrew Lynch to make, with Goldberg playing nearly every instrument, per usual.
"I was even more meticulous than I have been in the past -- which is pretty compulsive -- but I don't think I'd have it any other way," he acknowledges. "I don’t have a real large support team. I don't have a band. I don't have a label. I'm doing all of this in a very homespun fashion. So I don't think there's any other way I could do it in my current situation."
Goldberg doesn't remember the specific genesis of "Where Or When Or Why" other than "just sitting there and plunking out that progression. That was one of those songs that just did write itself." Producing it, however, Goldberg "toiled over this one extensively" and almost considered scrapping. At one point, he reached out to the Flaming Lips' Steven Drozd, his partner on the I Love Your Work film score and on their LANDy album Eros and Omissions.
"I was having a really hard time with the drums," Goldberg recalls. "I had used a drum loop thing from GarageBand and I couldn't really play it. I couldn't really get the feeling. We did a mellow version of (the song) completely different, and at one point I wrote to Steven and said, 'I think I'm trying to do some sort of imitation of you here. Maybe you should just do it.'" But after reaching out, Goldberg realized he could handle the drums and completed the song. The finished version for Home: A Nice Place To Visit features Lynch on trumpet and Merritt Lear and Goldberg's wife Roxanne Daner on violins.
In addition to the music, Goldberg has upped the conceptual ante by including a set of 14 of his photos in the vinyl package. "I've always been a visual person," he says, "but I really got heavy into larger format photography around 2010, and I have a collection of photographs with what seems to be a recurring theme" -- which Goldberg says echoes his blog Home / A Nice Place To Visit.
Goldberg isn't making any noises, at least not yet, about Home: A Nice Place To Visit draining him in the same way Stranger's Morning did. That means he's likely to find himself back in his basement studio again at some point, finding a new aural adventure for the Goldberg Sisters when he feels he has the right material.
"There's musicians and there's people who can make songs and records, and I guess that's how I think of myself," he says. "The whole thing is just an artistic evolution. For lack of a more romantic way to describe it, I need to do it -- and I kinda wish I didn't because I have a lot of other things like that. I'm very immersed in my photography, and my acting career is very much that, a means by which I live and support my family. But my more sort of self-starting artistic ventures, like music and photography, are very costly and exhausting, both literally and figuratively. But I just can't help it."