Sometimes releasing an EP of one or two new songs, live material and a few remixes is a stall tactic for bands with nothing new up their sleeves. But in Adema's case, Insomniac's Dream is a way of giving back to the fans before gracing them with the next record, which is currently in production.
"We had a few leftover things that we wrote on the road and we didn't really know if we wanted to put on the new record, so we were like, 'Hey, why don't we make an EP and pretty much give it away to our fans?' It's got all our videos on it and it also has a new video for the feature track 'Immortal' " (see "Adema 'Immortal'-ized On New Mortal Kombat Game").
Adema wrote "Immortal" earlier this year while they were on tour in Europe. Soon after they banged it out, they started playing it for overseas audiences and received an enthusiastic response.
"When we were over there we were sort of bored," frontman Marky Chavez said. "It was really, really rainy and we felt detached and jetlagged and we didn't know our way around anywhere. Our friends weren't there and our families weren't there, so we said, 'Screw it, let's just write some music.' "
The song echoes Chavez's growing frustrations with the music business. But rather than give in to the powers of adversity, he's vowed to conquer his demons and win over the masses.
"When I wrote it, I was going through all the pressures of having to perform all the time and the pressure of people asking you personal questions," he explained. "On the first record I wrote specifically about myself, and people who did interviews would just take straight shots at my life. So all those feelings came out in 'Immortal,' which was just a testament to [the idea that] whatever comes my way, it's not gonna knock me off the path I want to walk down. I'm saying, 'Take you're best shot at me, because it's not gonna work. I'm gonna prevail over any situation.' "
The other new cut on Insomniac's Dream, "Shattered," was originally intended to be a track on Adema, but it didn't make the cut for the American release. The EP also includes a cover of Alice in Chains' "Nutshell," recorded when the band played the song in tribute to singer Layne Staley, who died in of an overdose in April (see "Layne Staley Died From Mix Of Heroin, Cocaine, Report Says").
"We played it in Austin the night we found out he passed away," Chavez said. "We're huge fans of Alice in Chains, and having Layne Staley pass away this year was a huge trip for me. It really wasn't a question of if he was gonna die, it was just a question of when. And it's sad to see an artist pollute himself and let himself go like that, so we did that song out of respect for that band that changed a lot of things in music."
Chavez is psyched with the band's interpretation of the Alice tune, but he's equally stoked about the remixes of "The Way You Like It," "Freaking Out" and "Giving In," which expose the band's material in a different vein.
"It gives listeners a different twist of what some of our other influences were," he said. " 'Tripping Out' is a really trippy remix with Chris Vrenna, who worked with Nine Inch Nails. And you get that type of industrial feel, which we love. And on 'As You Like It' we brought the song back to the hip-hop feel it originally had before we recorded it for our first album."
Instead of embarking on a full tour to support Insomniac's Dream, Adema are locking themselves up in a Los Angeles studio to continue working on their next record. Chavez can't say who will produce the album because the ink on the contract isn't dry, but he revealed that the band has seven songs written for the disc, including the tentatively titled "Canuck" and "Unstable."
"I'm really excited about the new stuff," he said. "It's really up-tempo and upbeat, but there's also some more atmospheric things that we've been working on that are a little slower and tripped out. The stuff we're writing smokes anything on the debut album."
In addition to being more musically developed, the lyrics will be more mature as well. They'll be just as personal as those on the first record, but they'll explore a wide scope of influence.
"I'm gonna be having a child in March and that's made a huge difference in my life," Chavez said. "Things that I experienced on the road [will be addressed, including] getting over abusing alcohol so much. It's good that I've learned some lessons. I've gotten my head screwed on straight now, and I'm leading the band in the right direction. We're not gonna let the world beat us. We'll beat the world."