Adam Schlesinger says that asking what it takes to get Fountains of Wayne working together is "a loaded question."
After all, the New York-based rock group -- formed by Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood during 1996 at Williams College in Massachusetts -- exists amidst its members' other projects. For Schlesinger that's a busy life as a composer for hire in films and theater, where he's won a Golden Globe and been nominated for Oscars and Tonys. He's also in the bands Ivy and Tinted Windows, while Collingwood, guitarist Jody Porter and drummer Brian Young keep their own schedules packed.
"In terms of just scheduling our lives it's one thing, then in terms of the band functioning among itself, that's another things," Schlesinger says of Fountains, which is touring to promote 2011's "Sky Full of Holes," its fifth album and first in four years. "It always takes us a long time to get it together enough to finish a record and put it out. There's always a lot of drama between each one. We're never sure if we're going to keep it going or not."
But, he adds, a "passion" for the band usually brings it together before too long. "Sky Full of Holes," in fact, saw a greater degree of commitment from Collingwood, whose acknowledged battles with alcoholism limited his input to 2007's "Traffic and Weather."
"I ended up taking the reins more on that record," Schlesinger acknowledges, "but I think on this record (Collingwood) was writing again and wanted to make sure he had more songs. And in terms of the sound of the record, he had some ideas we went from as a starting point.
"I was happy to see that, so I just let him run with what he wanted to do. And I think, if anything, our fans seem to like the idea that, because of that, this record has its own character and is a little different than the others."
Fountains of Wayne and Nicole Atkins perform Wednesday, April 25, at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call 248-544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.
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