The Seattle-based Rock project Adams Traktor releases an anthem for new beginnings with their sweet single, "Time To Wake Up."
Founded by JR Smith, Adams Traktor features the likes of talented artists like the recurring Billboard recording artist Gregory Darling, the original drummer for Tears for Fears Manny Elias, and the critically acclaimed singer/songwriter and producer Fernando Saunders who's performed with Michael Jackson, Lou Reed, and Slash.
Through the group's recent single, "Time To Wake Up," Adams Traktor goes on to tell a story of needed change, a story of realization. While fueling the song with lyrics that sing of positive change amid our world of chaos, the supporting instrumentals send the song into West Coast-bliss through the woozy and dazed sonic aspects.
"Time To Wake Up" begins with soft acoustic guitar strumming that gradually moves into the overall warm instrumentals that set a daze over listeners. As JR Smith begins vocalizing the need to wake up and smell the roses, the song continues to drift through with Fernando Saunders' tender bassline and Manny Elias' punchy drum patterns. We must note the brilliant production by Gregory Darling that has perfectly tightened the song to offer immense passion with each reflective aspect. Adams Traktor has fused this song with incredible Alt-Rock instrumentals while JR Smith powers through with a twangy delivery, expanding the soul and depth of this hit.
With each blissful instrumental in their single, "Time To Wake Up," Adams Traktor pushes through to remind listeners to take note of their surroundings and enforce positive change within the world.
What inspired your group to create a song that encourages positive change in the world with your single, "Time To Wake Up”? “Time to Wake-Up,” is the sound of a world in crisis and an anthem for a new beginning. It bears witness to our collective suffering, while at the same time it calls us to a new future. “Time to wake-Up” is sonic hope. Within your single, “Time to Wake Up,” you offer incredibly inspiring words with your lyricism. Who wrote the song’s lyrics, and what did your songwriting process look like when finding the right words to strike inspiration amongst listeners? Thanks for the kind words about the song and its lyrics. In the end, the song’s lyrics are a metaphor for the current state, and future, of our planet, the state of the world we live in, and the overall human condition. It’s almost as if the planet is speaking to us as its caretakers. From a state of sadness and with a broken heart. I (JR) wrote the song in my living room in Prague back in November of 2019, basically a year ago. I like to write whenever inspiration hits me, which is generally when I first wake up in the AM. As an early riser that’s around 5 give or take. I like to be alone with my thoughts and creativity before everyone else gets up and my brain gets too distracted. I just tend to wander downstairs, pick up my guitar (an old Fender Strat) and just start playing around to see what comes out. This was exactly the case with this track. The night before we had all been discussing, debating, etc. the state of just about everything, as one does after a few.. so I guess I woke up with it all still in my subconscious; I did not start with the intent of writing this type of song, it simply came out that way, so I followed it. The theme and intent became obvious as the song evolved. The music, being made up of somewhat odd chords and progressions led me to the overall tone of the song and lyrics. It always starts with the music with me; that’s the inspiration. Seeing as Adams Traktor is full of raw talent through each member, how did your group divide the sonic creative process for "Time To Wake Up?" Is there a particular process or method that works best for you? I guess I answered the question about my personal writing process above, that part is simple really. But the best part was working with Gregory at 2Lions studio, Manny, Fernando, and Olda. I’m the weak link in this crowd so we just let the song (all the songs on the album actually) take on a life of its own. I let go of what I had originally envisioned and let them put their signature on it. While it independently stayed true to the intent, in my opinion, they sprinkled magic all over it. I don’t even know where to start… what was originally written on simple guitar turned into an airy track full of layers and texture. On the music front, we all played around with lots of variations in the studio during the creative process. In the end, Gregory and I laid down the rhythm guitar, drums, keyboard background, and vocal stems as a guide, and then Fernando added about six different bass ideas that we melded together to form what you hear on the track. Manny then created a drum track that really flows with the lyrics. Gregory told me that Manny plays to and with the lyrics, avoiding robotic timing. His drums take the song to an entirely new place, they are a very integral part of the track, hanging back just a little, dancing around the lyrics to contribute to the ambient atmosphere. Olda on lead guitar came in last to add the accents and lead part; can’t say enough about how talented he is on this front. You can be your own judge. Gregory, as the producer, then played with the tune for days to form it into what you now hear. Is your band familiar with inspirational and forward-thinking songs like "Time To Wake Up?" Or are songs like these a new venture for Adams Traktor? We are familiar with inspirational and forward-thinking songs but I believe “Time to Wake Up” fits this description best and is a real standout in this regard. We tend to be pretty diverse in our approach to music so there is a lot of variation in what we created. Songs like “Time to Wake Up” are definitely not foreign to us, especially Fernando who tends to write, publish and perform a lot of ballads. I think this applies to Gregory and Manny as well. We like to think of Adams Traktor as a project (as opposed to a band) where we came together to create an album that really combined our similarities and differences into something unique. When I listen to the entire album I can hear the thread that ties all the songs together, but we at times struggle to define their genre(s). We may do some live gigs together in the future, but that has yet to be seen. In this age of COVID, it’s impossible to play live, and since we live on different parts of the planet, hard to even stream a performance properly. Do you have any other releases lined up before the end of 2020? Yes, we do. In the studio, we did a total of eleven songs. We released “Need” the first single about two months ago just to get the ball rolling. Did not promote it because we wanted to put our efforts behind “Time to Wake Up”. We will release nine more songs over the course of the next months. We are discussing the idea of releasing the full album on Feb 28th or just releasing each song on its own single after single over the course of 2021. Do you have an opinion on this? Would like to hear it if you do. You see this all the time so your insight would be helpful.