How long have you been writing music?
Adam Moezinia: For a while! Almost as long as I’ve been playing guitar, so probably about 20 years or so. I grew up playing rock/punk rock, so I feel like it kind of comes with the territory unlike maybe classical music. I remember performing “Damnit” by Blink-182 and an original in that vein at my 5th grade talent show, haha. I also had a hit amongst my friends in middle school called Ganja Man”…
What are your influences? Who or what inspires you?
Adam: I have so many influences in music, It’s hard to name them all. Some of the music that got me into jazz was the classic Miles, Coltrane, Sonny Rollins etc. But I’m also heavy into the guitarists; Wes Montgomery, Kenny Burrell, Grant Green, Barney Kessel, Peter Bernstein…
I also grew up listening to all kinds of music, and still do have an eclectic mix of artists running through my headphones. I’m actually listening to Bonnie Rait as I’m writing this, haha! But I’ve always had a real soft spot for folksy music; singer/songwriters and such: Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Mississippi John Hurt, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Norah Jones.
One of my more recent endeavors has been to combine these influences into a sort of folk-jazz fusion. Some people have done it really nicely; Bill Frisell, Pat Metheny, Charles Lloyd… But I have my own concept and my own sounds in my head that I’m trying to get out.
What can you tell me about your album "Folk Element Trio"?
Adam: Yes! That’s the name of the album, and also the name of the group that I’ve been working with for the past few years. It goes back to what I was saying about the folk-jazz fusion… A little while back I realized that most of the music that really gets to me has some sort of foundation in folk music, whether it’s blues, Americana, world music or something else, so that’s the concept of the band! Everything we play has a connection to some sort of folk music from around the world; a “folk element” if you will… haha.
On the album, there are a couple tunes (“Celebration” and “Groove March”) that are part of a suite that I wrote called the “Ivory Suite”, which is inspired by West/South African music; people like Oumou Sangare and Abdullah Ibrahim. Another track on the album, Lisa Lan, is an old Welsh folk song that I, believe it or not, first heard on Law and Order, haha! There’s also a Bob Dylan track (Don’t Think Twice), and an interpretation of “Come on in my Kitchen” a tune by one Robert Johnson, one of the originators of the blues genre. The other originals are more loosely connected to folk music, but the sensibility, harmonically and aesthetically is still there.
Do you create art with a specific message? Or do you prefer art for arts sake?
Adam: That’s a great question… The music I’ve created thus far doesn’t have a message, definitely not a political message, although I’m not necessarily opposed to it. I’m still somewhat “closeted” politically in my field, so that makes things a little complicated…
That being said, I haven’t really had the inclination to write anything with a message, politically or otherwise with my music. I sort of keep the two worlds separate. When I’m writing or arranging it’s almost purely emotional, so it usually doesn’t even present itself as an option in my mind. I also mostly play instrumental music, within a jazz framework, so it would be a little trickier to do that even if I wanted to.
What is your creative process like? What tools and methods do you use to make your music?
Adam: Ya, that’s an interesting thing to think about. I have a few different ways of going about it… A lot of the time, I’ll just get an idea in my head as I’m going about my day. Often it’s a reoccurring one that sticks around for a few weeks, or something like that. This happens with arrangements of other songs as well as originals. I’ll usually record a bit of me singing it into my phone, and then really sit down with it later, usually with my guitar, and work the details out.
Another process I utilize: When I’m practicing (guitar), I often stumble upon ideas/fragments that I like. In that case, I’ll do a similar thing…. I’ll make a little voice memo of it and come back to it later. It could be the next day or the next year really… Right now, I have dozens of little ideas like that in my library. I’ll get to all of them eventually!
How long have you considered yourself a libertarian?
Adam: That’s a bit complicated. So, I grew up in a very progressive environment. I’m from LA, I went to an arts high school, my mother is a public school teacher, I went to a music conservatory, I live in NYC… I don’t know if I ever identified as “progressive”. I really didn’t care one way or the other about politics until a few years ago, but that was my environment, and I didn’t really fight against it until recently. Although, I still remember my father telling me about welfare when I was about 15… I was shocked! My gut reaction, even then was one of revulsion.
I may have heard the term libertarian some years after that and liked it, but I didn’t really get into it on an intellectual level until recently. During the lockdowns, things really ramped up politically. I call it “the great awokening” haha. Honestly, if it wasn’t for this rapid, aggressive movement, I might have just stayed somewhat apolitical the rest of my life.
Anyway, at that point, a lot of my skepticism and resistance to these ideas came to the surface. I got heavily immersed in the YouTube sphere, ie “the intellectual dark web”, and through that found out about Thomas Sowell and Milton Friedman. From there I just kept digging deeper. I went to Freedom Fest in 2021 where I was exposed to all these different “schools” of thought/libertarianism. I’ve since gotten a bit into Austrian economics, and started my own libertarian meetup group in NYC. There aren’t many of us here, but we’re out there!
What do you think the role of art should be in the libertarian movement?
Adam: Hmmmm, ya, I think that progressives have done such an amazing job of completely dominating the culture in the last 60 years, especially in the last 10. There’s definitely something to be learned from that. It would be great to have more right leaning/heterodox artists with different messages than what is currently in our mainstream culture.
Honestly, I don’t know really what that looks like. It’s really hard for artists, especially up and coming ones with “different views”. Unfortunately, most of the scenes within the arts are very left-leaning (Jordan Peterson has some interesting takes on this), so it’s almost inevitable that being vocal or even “out” about being a libertarian, or even just not a progressive will work strongly against you.
And, especially as a libertarian, understanding a bit about economics and wanting to give people a good product that they feel good about engaging with is tough. I think it’s great when artists with more of a platform and more stability speak up, and I’m in favor of all these new sphere’s like Rumble and whatnot, but I don’t know. That’s a really tricky thing to navigate.
Are you working on new music?
Adam: Yes, always! Like a mentioned, I have oodles of voice memos just waiting to be made into real songs. I get bored of playing my own repertoire pretty quickly, so I just naturally like to develop new songs/arrangements pretty often and incorporate them into the set. It’s also just one of those things; music is a living, breathing thing, and as a musician you are constantly wrapped up in it. I’m constantly thinking of new ideas that I want to develop and share with the world.
Where can people go to listen to your music?
Adam: Everywhere/anywhere you currently get your music! The album is on Spotify, Apple Music, Bandcamp, YouTube etc. I’ve also been working on uploading more videos to YouTube; A lot of live videos from recent performances.
I’ll definitely have to record another album soon, but in the meantime, I’m documenting a lot of music that way. We are also playing out in NYC all the time! I update my website with that info every month. I also have a lot of tour dates in the works, so if you’re not in NYC, don’t worry, we’ll come out your way soon! The current project is a west coast tour. The entire month of July 2023 we’ll be up and down the west coast; LA, SF, PDX Seattle, etc. so stay tuned for more info on that soon!
Check out the merch!