ADULT. return after their 2018 album This Behavior with Perception is/as/of Deception, an anxiety fuelled cyclone of pandemonium that only ADULT. would know how to harness. While This Behavior was recorded in the isolated snow-covered woods of northern Michigan, Perception is/as/of Deception was given life in a temporary space the duo created by painting their windowless basement entirely black, with the sole intention to deprive their senses, question their perceptions, and witness the resulting ramifications.
With over 23 years and a sprawling discography left in their wake, Adam Lee Miller and Nicola Kuperus have spent their entire career as ADULT. obscuring any defined genre or style. With a history as uncanny as ADULT., the pieces that making up Perception is/as/of Deception might be perceived as their most punk-infused and introspective work to date. The elements of frustration and apprehension that have consistently woven throughout their material are at full mast, although augmented by a strident and more “head-on” approach.
1: Trump is a racists.
2: ADULT. hate racists.
3: ADULT. hates Trump.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Kuperus: Continuing to make work to Keep Culture Weird!
Miller: Wanting to be part of a community of like minded weirdo-outsiders.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
Miller: I wanted to start a punk band in 1986. I got a bass guitar and I convinced three of my friends to start my first band with me that I named Problem Society. That band went through so many members and name changes in just 2 years. I was finally kicked out of what had become Acid Green for wanting to add synthesizer to the band.
Kuperus: I was always a fan of music. Going to punk shows every weekend, as soon as I could drive because I lived in a very small town. I had no ambition to be in a band. I took piano for many years in my youth from 12 yrs of age to 18 yrs, but that was piano, not a band. In 1996, I met Adam and we started making a bunch of weird shit in the studio, and this is where it started for me.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
Kuperus: Einstürzende Neubauten “Perpetuum Mobile” / Suicide “American Supreme” / The Cure “Head on the Door” / Chavela Vargas “Live from Carnegie Hall” / Kas Product – all
Miller: Einstürzende Neubauten “Habler Mensch” / Rudimentary Peni :”Death Church” / Depeche Mode “Music for the Masses” / Virgin Prunes “If I Die, I Die” / Drexciya “The Quest”
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
Kuperus: Oddly, the first show I ever played as a musician was in Berlin on August 6, 1997. We were still recording under Adam’s solo project name Artificial Material. I think the club is now defunct. I was terrified. Never performed ever. I was 22. Anyway. I was by NO MEANS a performer at that point. At one point, I think I was so terrified, I was stuck in the curtain at the back of the stage. LOST! I mean, can you imagine a person who has NEVER performed is suddenly performing in Berlin! Very surreal. So I do think of that moment! But I also think of such similarities of Berlin to Detroit. Landscapes. Industry. Work. Hard sounds. I also, love visiting the Hamburger Hoff. I love revisiting the Joseph Beuys galleries whenever I can.
Miller: I always think of our second show in 2001 at a place called WMF. All went well and we were paid and then the promoter said as he was dropping us at the hotel late at night that we would be back to pick us up at 5:30 AM to go the airport. We got showers and then watched The Bodyguard in German overdub. We waited in the lobby for a while and then started to freak out when he was late. There was no one working in the lobby and all phones required a phone card. I then remembered that we had passed the street that our friend from Chicks on Speed lived on. We had never been to her house, I just remembered the street name from mailing packages back and forth. SO we gave it a try with no GPS. Lugged our gear the 6 blocks to her apartment and rang the buzzer around 6:00 AM. She was of course first totally confused with what was happening and then got us a cab and we made her flight. Never heard from that promoter ever again.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
Miller: Our backyard.
Kuperus: My backyard (Nicola did not see Adam’s answer before answering this).
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Kuperus: I would make more visual work, but it would be truly sad, since I think music can touch people in a much more emotion way than visual work can.
Miller: Synthesizer repair person ;-)
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
Miller: T.A.G.C. “Burning Water”
Kuperus: FUCK! This is a hard question and good reminder to buy new music. BUT as touring musicians and also as a Detroit hosts to many touring bands, we get a lot of music from friends and record labels. I will just say some of my recent favorites are from HXXS, POD BLOTZ, HIDE, TWINS, HIRO KONE. The last record I purchased was from YMA SUMAC.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Miller: John Foxx
Kuperus: I already lived out a dream releasing Detroit House Guests in 2017, but if I had another name to add to the list from the grave I would say Chavela Vargas or Alan Vega.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Miller: Performer – Brussels (always) / Spector – Skinny Puppy “Too Dark Park” 1990 tour in Detroit
Kuperus: Performer – CMD Festival Mexico City 2019 / Spector – Cannot pick between The Cramps, Neubauten, and SWANS – all in Detroit!
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
Kuperus: It is not. But we would figure out other means if it went away.
Miller: 100% – not that I mean cutting edge technology. We are more sound collage artists than musicians when we write, so we need machines to loop so we can overlay and experiment .
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
Miller: I have a brother who is evangelical – he doesn’t get it.
Photo © Nicola Kuperus