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Bryan Adams: ‘It’s Always an Adventure When I’ve Been Here’

The veteran rocker tells us why India stands out from other countries, which major Indian musician caught his interest and what to expect at tonight’s Ultimate show

Riddhi Chakraborty Oct 12, 2018

Bryan Adams is currently on his fifth tour through India. Photo by Bryan Adams

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Despite a jam-packed schedule, our September 2018 cover star Bryan Adams sat down with us for one more conversation before his big show in Mumbai tonight. The Canadian singer-songwriter has so far finished two out of the five stops on his Ultimate Tour through India–Ahmedabad and Hyderabad–where he was joined by Indian fusion opening acts Rushil Ranjan feat Abi Sampa and Threeory Band in each city respectively. Bollywood Sufi singer Harshdeep Kaur will join Adams at Jio Gardens tonight and in New Delhi on October 14th, while playback singer Aditi Singh Sharma will open for him in Bengaluru on the 13th.

“We have a great show in store, our best work,” Adams says about the Ultimate Tour. “We spent months preparing. It’s a long way from our first tour of India where the light switches were large levers beside the stage.” In this brief chat the veteran rocker tells us which major Indian artist he wants to collaborate with, photographing 30 severely wounded veterans from the British Armed Forces for his book, and why there’s no other country quite like India.

A lot of people across generations consider you one of their biggest musical influences and look to you for inspiration–why do you think so many different kinds of individuals are able to connect to your artistry?

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I try and design songs that are going to be easy to perform live. I try and create songs that I’d like to hear if I was listening to the radio. I try and create music which pleases me and I just happen to enjoy making records. I think it boils down to one thing. If you’re going to make records make sure that you put the best songs that you can on them. Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Beatles, Lennon and McCartney, Everly Brothers, Simon and Garfunkel. Then, later on, rock music such as Led Zeppelin, Bowie and Elton John.

I’m also a massive fan of your photography. Who has been your favorite person to photograph?

There are so many… I suppose working on my book Wounded – The Legacy of War was the most memorable. I photographed around 30 severely wounded veterans from the British Armed Forces that had returned from Iraq and Afghanistan for my book and exhibition at Somerset House, London. It was a humbling experience.

What are some other hobbies of yours that people don’t really know about?

I swim a lot. That’s what I like to do.

You’ve been coming to India since 1995 and the love is definitely a two-way street. Why is our country different from the other places you’ve toured in?

It’s always an adventure when I’ve been here. On my first trip to India, there were no cars to collect us, so Keith my guitarist and I got in a taxi from the airport. The suspension was broken in the car so we leaned over the seat to watch where we were going. Along the way we had to stop because an elephant had gone to sleep in the middle of the road. That story would not happen anywhere else in the world, welcome to India. This will be our fifth tour of India, I’m not sure many artists have done that from the West.

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What’s the biggest evolution you’ve noticed both in the audience and Indian music industry? Are there any Indian artists who have caught your interest?

We were the first Western artist to do a big show in India, and I feel like India has taken huge leaps globally, especially with film. I’m a great fan of A.R. Rahman.

Finally, how is the Ultimate Tour different from any of the shows you’ve done here before? Can you give us any details about what to expect tonight?

We have a great show in store, our best work. We spent months preparing this tour, it’s a long way from our first tour of India where the light switches were large levers beside the stage.

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