COURTESY FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE
Fountains of Wayne count among their musical influences the Beatles, Beach Boys and Randy Neuman.
Creativity keeps flowing for longtime band mates
He wrote the title track to Tom Hanks' feel-good movie "That Thing You Do," and he's written, performed and produced more than a handful of solo projects since then -- including stints in the band Ivy.
Fountains of Wayne
In concert: 7 p.m. Tuesday; doors open at 6 p.m.
Place: Pipeline Cafe
Tickets: $22, $45 VIP
Call: (877) 750-4400
But it's the work he's done with Fountains of Wayne that bassist Adam Schlesinger is primarily noted for, splitting song-writing duties with longtime friend and band mate Chris Collingwood.
Though Schlesinger is proud of both the quirky and the classic pop songs he's crafted with FOW, he can't seem to eclipse the monster hit "Stacy's Mom," off the group's 2003 CD "Welcome Interstate Managers."
A continual critics' darling, FOW earned a Best New Artist Grammy nomination for "Stacy's Mom." A terrific surprise, yes, especially considering the nomination was for the band's third album, not first, and three of the four band mates have been together for more than 10 years. (Lead guitarist Jody Porter left the band earlier this year to pursue a solo career.)
Schlesinger and Collingwood live in different parts of the country now and gather in New York for recording sessions. Most of the music for FOW is written individually by New York-based Schlesinger and L.A.-based Collingwood in advance, with songs fleshed out in the studio by the four members.
The two prolific songwriters grew up in New Jersey, meeting at college in Massachusetts and later living in various states along the Eastern seaboard during the earliest days of FOW.
"We are all really good friends," said new father Schlesinger. "We tour together and record together and still enjoy each other's company."
"Traffic and Weather," the first album of entirely new tracks since "Welcome," is written in traditional FOW fashion; songs are created around a cast of characters -- some real, some imaginary.
The first single, "Someone to Love," written and sung by Schlesinger, is a love story of sorts, he said. "The track is about two single people living in New York City. They're lonely among the millions of people in the city, and just when it seems like they're about to meet, they don't."
The Beatles, Beach Boys and Randy Newman are a few of the band's influences and can be heard in FOW's mixture of pop and alternative music.
"We steal from a lot of different sources," said Schlesinger wryly. "We like music of the '70s, '80s and '90s. We like to mix it up. We're chameleons like that -- writing lyrics on top of unexpected music. Each record gets more interesting as we get more confident ... and you're not going to hear 10 different versions of the same song."
The irony that FOW broke through to the mainstream after so many years together is not lost on Schlesinger.
"It's sort of funny," he said of the Grammy nomination. "It's good that we were recognized, but it was unintentionally insulting after we've been working together for eight years. But I'd rather be recognized for new music than old."