C Lane: This week I’m pumped to introduce Bellevue Neighbors to another Seattle-area band – The Adarna. Four artists whose individual histories couldn’t be more different, but who’ve managed to find each other in the massive venue that is the Seattle rock music scene. The Adarna name comes from a 16th-century Filipino (Tagalog) poem that tells the story of this mythical songbird -- Ibong Adarna – and its ability to heal or harm using one of the seven songs it sings before casting off to sleep with its eyes wide open!
The Adarna’s (band) fiery, dynamic, and high-energy sound comes from a concoction of influences from old school rock-n-roll such as The Cult and Guns N Roses to modern rock such as Foo Fighters, Sick Puppies, Queens of the Stone Age, and Muse.
I first heard The Adarna at a local venue in what I’d call a “happy accident.” There to see another band, Blue Helix, I hung around after the BH set to talk to the band. When The Adarna launched into their first song, I had to excuse myself from the discussion with BH and head back into the venue. I’ve been a fan ever since. Getting a chance to see The Adarna locally is, COVID-19 restrictions aside, a difficult task due to their relentless tour schedule. But as soon as we return to normal, whatever that might look like, find them and we’ll make a party! Let’s meet the band:
William Perry Moore is a founding member, lead “Vocal Viking” and Rhythm Guitar. He’s a military brat (of Filipino-Irish decent – the ultimate “lover and fighter”) who claims no hometown, and you’d be hard-pressed to find WPM wearing sleeves! He counts among the 10 albums that changed his life two of my favorites – the Top Gun Soundtrack, and Bee Gees Greatest Hits.
Andreka Jasek, Lead Guitar, is a founding member of the band and 1st generation Polish-American. Though born in Florida, she moved to Seattle at an early age and mastered her craft in several bands before The Adarna. When not pounding out the licks on her Gibson SG electric, you might find Andreka speed-skating, modeling, riding motorcycles or chillin’ with her cats, Radar & Lyric.
Oliver Spencer, the only true Seattle native in the group, Bass Guitar. Oliver was performing with several Seattle-area bands while moonlighting as an actor. You may have seen him in Battlestar Galactica, Hot Rod, and the Watchmen! His introduction to The Adarna came when he answered Craigslist add to play an extra in The Adarna music video for their hit Sugar. Oliver’s list of 10 albums that changed his life includes several from mega-bands Foo Fighters, Korn, Guns N Roses, and Rage Against the Machine. It’s pretty clear that Oliver is a fan of driving bass rhythms!
Murdock, Drums and Percussion. Okay, why are the drummers always the last member of the group introduced? [Hey, if you go around with only one name you risk falling to the end of the list!] Murdock also found his way to The Adarna via Craigslist and is a founding member of the band. Hailing from Rochester, NY, Murdock spent a lot of time running sound boards in New York venues for a very impressive list of artists. Who hasn’t heard of Muse, Joan Jett, The Donnas, Average White Band, Kansas, Dickey Betts, 10,000 Maniacs? Holy cow!
Bellevue Neighbors sat down with The Adarna recently to know them better, man!
Bellevue Neighbors: Most people hear "Seattle-area band" and think they're going to hear a steady diet of grunge-influenced tracks. Not so of The Adarna. How would you describe how 'Jet City Rock" is different?
William Perry Moore: “Jet City Rock is a way of us tipping our hats to our musical heroes of Seattle yet separating ourselves. Musically we have so many influences that we draw from across the board since all of the members listen to everything from jazz, metal, industrial, hard rock, soft rock, pop, and all sorts of fusion. By carving out our genre we don't have to tied down by one specific genre. As performers, Jet City Rock means our music needs to look like it sounds. If a song sounds like a turbine engine about to explode, our bodies should match that energy.”
BN: Which cuts out of The Adarna's typical set list would say give the readers a strong sense of the band and what you're about?
WPM: “Personally, I would say a typical set-list evolves with the crowd. We'll call audibles on the fly if we sense that a crowd is responding better to more aggressive/funkier/sensitive songs. We have a lot of original material to draw from which gives us the freedom to change on the fly. But in a live show, we normally have an understanding of the crowd by the 3rd song. After all, you can't be on a 10 the whole time. Sometimes we have to be still to really keep an audience with us.”
BN: Oliver is the only true "native" Seattle-ite in the group. Is there a high-powered magnet in the Puget Sound we're unaware of that attracts such great talent to the area?
WPM: Andreka has been pretty much here her whole life. Murdock and I have been here over a decade so that counts right? I can't speak for all people, but I will tell you the charm that attracted me -- I like how people here take their vices seriously. Tattoos, yoga, music, beer, motorcycles, sports, etc. whatever it is. In Seattle, I recognize a passion the people here have. When I was in LA there was a lot of talking about what someone was doing but not a whole lot of doing. It's infectious to be around do-ers.
BN: Your hit Superman has been widely heralded and found a strong fan following among comic and anime crowd. Did you know it was special when you wrote/recorded it, or have the accolades surprised you?
WPM: “Honestly, I don't think we realized it was special at first. I was worried it was too gushy. A cry to want to be someone's hero! It wasn't until we noticed people knew our words and could follow us after the first listen that we realized we had something special.”
BN: As a follow-up, we first heard Superman performed live at a local show -- where the imagery the song evoked was different than what we see in the official music video. Do you view the different "visual renderings" as a strength or weakness in our post-MTV world today?
WPM: “What an excellent observation! Honestly, it's art. There are no wrong answers and the fact that you see a difference from what you hear is wonderful! I'd be curious to hear what you thought the song was about.”
BN: We all look to the future and bands with full tour date calendars again. How has the band been using your time during the pandemic, and will we see any music influenced by the event?
WPM: “Right now we're tracking a new album, revamping my studio, and putting in some much-needed love to our tour vehicle -- Wendy. This has also been a great time for us to learn new skills individually. We've been doing select performances here and there on social media but honestly, there's so much noise out there right now. We've been non-stop touring and pushing for the last 8 years and this pandemic has been maddening for us as performers. Yet it's been rejuvenating for us to stop, lift-up our heads from the grind and be present with our loved ones. Do I smell yacht rock in the air?”
BN: If we invited the band over for a potluck BBQ, what side dish would each member bring?
BAND: “Whiskey, wine, and coconut pie!”
BN: Final question - Is Andreka as bummed as we are over the delayed release of Top Gun: Maverick?
AJ: "I'm bummed that it's been pushed back to December because I am so excited to see it!”
The Music – As you know by now, I find music as much a visual medium as it is auditory. Thank MTV for that, I guess. So I’m not a big fan of music reviews telling me what to like, so I won’t do that to you either. I will tell you that The Adarna’s music, each track, each album, really hold their own. The instrumentation really comes through and very quickly you learn there are no weak links in this group. I will say, though - this is a band worth supporting!
Until then, keep the volume cranked to 11!