Story: Jack Foley
"I love DJing but it's very niche, it's hard to actually
say anything and we've got a lot to say. A band is personal. The
message gets through." - Adam Freeland
THE dancefloor is a wonderful place and it's hard to find someone
more aware of it than DJ, producer and man about Brighton, Adam
But with a new album on the way, Freeland confesses that there
is more to life than merely spinning the decks and filling the
dancefloors of Brighton.
"Although my roots are on the dancefloor it's a relief to
be able to express my influences beyond that, the idea of making
12 breakbeat tunes and calling it an album was about as appealing
to me as a hard kick in the nads," he says.
As a result, Freeland, the band, aren't about double CDs of seamless,
Freeland are a living, breathing band. Their debut gig, at London's
Cargo, was so packed with lights, projections, ear-tickling sound
tricks and talking robot heads, that it is already been spoken
of as one of the shows of 2003.
So who are they? In the main, they are comprised of two nutty
Chileans, a bald wizard drummer, a soul diva, and a DJ.
On Guitar: Antonio - A Chilean, who escaped Pinochet's
regime, became a master of linguistics, a political campaigner
and a guitar virtuoso.
On The Bass: Carlos - Tone's cousin. A Board freak reggae
don who recently returned from a life in LA, where he was signed
by Fred Durst. Things are much better now!
On The Drums: Jim Carmichael - Having played for about
every significant band to come out of Brighton in recent years,
he is so on the money that at their debut gig, Free*Land's own
manager refused to believe that all beats we live!
On Vocals: Alison David - This stunning diva met Adam
by fluke on a bench in front of his house. Alison has the soul
of Shirley Bassey combined with the raw funk of Betty Davis.
On Vocals: Martin Fishely - Horace Andy protégé,
former Pressure Drop collaborator and really quite superb.
The Hip hop fundamentals are supplied by Juice Aleem and Toastie
of New Flesh (Britains deeply underestimated rap icons), Cage,
from Smut Peddlers (Rawkus), and the unlikely Justin G (North
London Via Wales).
Also integral to the project have been co-producers, Damian Taylor
(U.N.K.L.E, Björk, South, Prodigy) and Australia's finest
and Marine Parade label mates, Infusion.
It is fair to say that Free*Land is a thoroughly modern proposition.
The album opener, We Want Your Soul, has been described
by Adam as being about 'the destructive side of consumer culture'.
"It's about how we get force fed meaningless crap which
distracts us from the issues that really matter," he explained.
"It's the first time I ever tried to write any lyrics, but
it's a subject I feel strongly about. Bill Hicks has long-time
been my hero, he was fucking funny, but also spot on in the way
he revealed the bullshit illusion we are living in."
"It's been rewarding playing this record in America,"
Adam continues. "I always assumed it would piss a lot of
people off, but kids come up to me with a psychotic look on their
faces and say, 'You have no idea how much we need to hear this
message right now!"