Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fountains of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger stays busy

Foutains of Wayne
New tunes: The latest album from Fountains of Wayne, featuring Adam Schlesinger, bottom right, is “Sky Full of Holes.” (Courtesy photo)
It’s a wonder Adam Schlesinger hasn’t turned schizophrenic. No sooner did he wrap his tour with Tinted Windows (a power-pop supergroup he formed with Taylor Hanson, James Iha and Bun E. Carlos) than he was back in the studio finishing records with Ivy, which just released “All Hours,” and Fountains of Wayne, with its new album “Sky Full of Holes.” Moonlighting doing film and TV soundtracks over the years, he has been nominated for an Oscar, Emmys and a Golden Globe. He has three Grammy nominations, including a win for Stephen Colbert’s “A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All.” He brings Fountains of Wayne to The City on Saturday.

How do you keep all your different bands straight, writing-wise? I write for each thing that I do, specifically. It’s not like I write a bunch of songs in a vacuum and then decide what to do with them. If I’m working on a project, my mind is in that project at that time, so I can try to pick up the vibe of it. It’s all about defining the assignment before you start, so writing for one of the bands I’m in is not so different from writing for a television show or a movie.

How do you get all your side gigs?
It’s mostly people finding me just because they liked something else I did. And at this point, I really know a lot of people, so I try and stay in touch with folks I’ve worked with before and not burn a lot of bridges.

You’ve had some wild recent assignments, right? Well, I just co-wrote the opening song for the Emmys, “TV Is a Vast Wonderland,” that Jane Lynch performed. I got into this weird award-show niche this year — I did the opening Tonys number that Neil Patrick Harris sang, “It’s Not Just for Gays Anymore.” Those were both collaborations with David Javerbaum, a comedy writer who was at “The Daily Show.”

Were you at both shows? Of course! Part of the gig is actually helping the artist perform the song, so we worked with Neil and Jane. And it’s fun to write something, then give it to such an established performer and watch them bring it to life.

Did you meet anybody cool at the Emmys? After the Emmys, there’s this ball/dinner, which is like a prom except everybody in the room is super-famous. I was sitting with David, and the only other person at the table was Kate Gosselin. And I had no idea who she was!


Fountains of Wayne

Where: Slim’s, 333 11th St., San Francisco

When: 9 p.m. Saturday

Tickets: $26

(415) 522-0333;

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