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ADULT. at City Airport, 5 Things To Know
On its last album, "Detroit House Guests," the electronic duo ADULT. welcomed a variety of collaborators to, as the title suggests, its Detroit home to work on material (funded by a Knight Foundation Grant.
For its follow-up, the just-released "This Behavior," Nicola Kuperus and Adam Lee Miller opted for something a bit more isolated.
The new album -- marking 20 years since ADULT.'s first release -- was written in a cabin in Cheboygan during the dead of winter. Those demos were eventually fleshed out, but the finished versions still carry a sense of urgency and aggressiveness that stemmed from the circumstances in which they were written. And that should help ADULT. keep dance floors filled as it embarks on a tour that will take the married couple throughout North America until early November...
• Throwing themselves into the wilderness during December and January was part of ADULT.'s ardent desire to "not be formulaic," according to Miller. "We wanted to come up with a new technique for the brainstorming process for this album," he says. "We decided to take a really small amount of gear and go up to a cabin where we were super isolated. It was intense; It was kind of like 'The Shining,' but we wrote 23 demos, which was a lot. Normally we're like a dog that won't let go of something."
• ADULT. heeded the words of Nitzer Ebb's Douglas McCarthy, one of its "Detroit House Guests." "He said that if Nitzer Ebb takes two or three days on a song, they throw it out. They just assume there's something wrong with that," Miller says. "We don't work like that at all; We spend a lot of time and try to fix things. So we took that approach this time."
• Being quick to discard ideas that weren't working helped make ADULT. more productive, according to Kuperus. "We looked at them without any kind of preciousness," she explains. "I think the breakthrough was, 'OK, we can do what we actually set out to do.' We had moments where we would start obsessing and adding too much stuff and too many details, or start putting some kind of importance on a certain thing. But we would catch ourselves and back away and get to work on something else."
• Reaching the 20-year mark is "pretty surreal," according to Kuperus, although she adds that, "It feels really fortunate that we are still a band and that people still want to know what we're up to and listen to what we're doing. It feels now almost like we're just starting to be a band, which is weird. But after 20 years it's good to feel like you're still learning. Plus we're just an underground cult band; We're not like Duran Duran, where you're really sort of entangled with your hits. We don't have that pressure. We have room to futz around and grow and do things differently."
• ADULT. is launching "This Behavior" with a special show in a hangar at Detroit's Coleman A. Young Municipal Airport, an unorthodox venue the duo chose after plans to perform at Elmwood Cemetery fell through. "It's very serendipitous," Kuperus notes. "On our first album, the record jacket had an airplane on the cover; We took the photo at a small airport in the thumb of Michigan. So it's kid of wild that to mark the 20-year thing we're going to be at an airport. We thought that was pretty cool.
If You Go:
• ADULT., Universal Eyes, Zola Jesus and more
• Saturday, Sept. 8. Doors open at 6 p.m.
• Coleman A. Young Municipal Airport, 11499 Conner St., Detroit.
• Tickets are $15 and $20.
• Visit elclub.com.
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