Counting Crows’ Adam Duritz talks new music, new bands and the song he’s most proud of

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Adam Duritz 2021
Photo – Mark Seliger

After nearly seven years,  GRAMMY and Academy Award-nominated rock band Counting Crows released their highly anticipated new project, BUTTER MIRACLE, SUITE ONE via BMGProduced by Brian Deck, the four-track, nineteen-minute suite is available now worldwide. 

Duritz wrote BUTTER MIRACLE, SUITE ONE while living by himself on a friend’s farm in rural England in the summer of 2019. Following a five-year hiatus from songwriting and finally feeling inspired by his surroundings and frequent periods of isolation, Duritz penned the first track on the record, “The Tall Grass.” The lyrics, reminiscent of his mood, are simple, almost lament-like at the beginning but open up with a subtle shift of chord sequences and flowering melodies. While writing the end of “The Tall Grass,” Adam found the track effortlessly flowed into another song, “Elevator Boots,” the band’s first single in nearly seven years that appropriately broke the top 10 at AAA Radio in less than two weeks.

“We make records because I start writing,” says Duritz during our Zoom chat from his home in New York. “It’s always been that way. Every time we get off tour, I’m home for a little bit and then I start writing and then we run into the studio and I keep writing in the studio.”

Lyrics changing melodies and melodies changing the music, BUTTER MIRACLE, SUITE ONE was stylistically written so that each song flowed seamlessly out of the track before, creating one masterfully written song. “Elevator Boots” segues into “Angel of 14th Street,” a mythical portrait of New York City whose climatic crash is the first power chord in the intro to the final song, “Bobby and the Rat Kings.” A profoundly personal track to round out the suite, “Bobby and the Rat Kings” pays tribute to Duritz’ adolescence in San Francisco, the allure of what takes place in the middle of the night, and the mysterious magic of music.

I ask Adam which songs he thinks represent Counting Crows the best. “I would think Round Here is the most representative song. I would think Palisades Park is the one I’m most proud of previous to this record and I would think the most recognizable is probably Mr. Jones.”

As for when we can expect to see Counting Crows back in Montreal, Duritz admits “crossing borders is difficult right now, even in America.” Yet he remains hopeful that the band will make it north of the border early next year.

“My hope is to get overseas and over the border after New Year’s. I would love to be able to go other places in 2022. We would love to come. We’ve played so many shows in Toronto, but you don’t get to go to Montreal as much, and it’s such a unique, beautiful city, you know. I’d love to go back there.”

Watch the full interview with Adam Duritz below:

BUTTER MIRACLE, SUITE ONE is available everywhere now.

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