Despite his band Y’all Is Fantasy Island recently splitting, frontman Adam Stafford has been far from idle.
The Falkirk group played their farewell gig in March, but Stafford has already launched his debut solo album, ‘Build Me A Harbour Immediately’, on his own Wiseblood label. Or as Adam clarifies, “it’s just a digital distribution platform – for some of my friends and me to release music.” Those friends include former band members such as Jon McCall whose Bobby Womb project has a download EP available, as well as releases from local lad Jamie Sturrock and upcoming Glasgow act Paws.
And of course, Adam’s solo debut. Except, that’s not all it seems either, as he has already released three more DIY-based albums. “I guess it’s been pegged as the debut because it is the first time I’ve actually booked studio time and worked with somebody outside the YiFI/Falkirk circle,” he says.
This latest effort saw Adam head for Lanarkshire to work with award-wining producer Paul Savage at the Chem19 studio – quite a change from YiFI’s debut which was recorded in a derelict house in Falkirk.
“Paul was great, I can’t praise him enough,” Adam says. “I was reluctant to try some of his ideas at first, because I’ve always got the album mapped out in my head, but then I remembered that he was responsible for some of my favourite albums, and I just relaxed – whereas before, I was a right control-freak!”
So, a ‘proper’ solo album, and despite the digital nature of Wiseblood, one that’s available on retro yellow cassette to boot.
“I’m actually quite anti-technology,” Adam confesses. “It and I don’t get on! I have a pretty bad reputation for technological things such as computers and musical equipment mysteriously breaking on my watch. But the one thing I’ve noticed with the yellow tape is that if you present a nicely packaged collectible to serious music buyers, then you will sell out fast.”
Despite passing the production baton onto Paul Savage, Adam has plenty on his plate, being as well-known in the world of film as musically. YiFI appeared on the soundtrack to Leo Bruges’ Bafta-winning film ‘Fistful of Roses’, but the singer has moved behind the camera with a video for cult Kilsyth band The Twilight Sad, which has been nominated for a Scottish Music Award (alongside fellow Bairns The Ray Summers and Shatterhand).
Adam is of course no stranger to such ceremonies, having won at the prestigious San Francisco and Palm Springs film festivals with ‘The Shutdown’, a documentary made with Alan Bissett on the Grangemouth refinery. Bissett has described Adam as a “genius”.
“I am a little bit embarrassed,” Adam admits, “as you are when somebody pays you such a massive compliment. But I do think what I do is good, otherwise I wouldn’t do it!”
Hopefully there should be more to follow from the pairing. “Alan and I are actually discussing a feature film idea – a psychological horror – set in Falkirk.”
A new film project might bring Adam back home – he’s lived in Glasgow for three years and despite being a fan of the Predestination and De-Fence labels, confesses to being a little out of touch with the local scene.
However, despite his relative remoteness from his hometown, he’s still involved with his former bandmates. “There were certainly some tense times in that band,” he confesses, “but we’re all intelligent enough not to let a stupid thing like music ruin our friendships.”
Indeed, former YiFI members Jon McCall, Robbie Lesuik and Steven Tosh appear on ‘Build a Harbour Immediately’, which is available at www.wisebloodindustries.com. As is the complete Y’all Is Fantasy Island back catalogue – as a free download.