All The Details: Our Interview With Paul Adelstein

You probably know Paul Adelstein as Paul Kellerman on Prison Break or as Dr. Cooper Freedman on Private Practice. But did you know he's also a singer? His band, Doris, will be releasing an album on February 21st entitled All The Details. He was kind enough to sit down and talk with us about the album, his influences, the video for "Ladybug Luck," The Poncey Lads, and his dream music festival.

How are you doing today?
Very well, thank you. It's Super Bowl Sunday. I mention that for no apparent reason.

You're releasing your album, All The Details, on February 21st. Do you have anything special planned leading up to its release?
We're doing giveaways of the CD and the 180g vinyl through contests on Facebook and Twitter. I'm going to New York to do some promotion and to do some radio stuff. We're going to have a fun record release party in Los Angeles and I hope to do a tour in the spring. We'll release a video we're working on for the song "Commencement."

I'm really enjoying All The Details and at times your voice reminds me of Randy Newman. Who are your musical influences?
Well Randy Newman is definitely one. I think I have eclectic taste, I listen to everything and I suppose everything is an influence, although that's a terrible answer. I think I learned how to write by learning Costello, Beatles, Squeeze, Replacements, and R.E.M. songs when I was a teenager. And in terms of song craft, I'm in search of the perfect three-minute song. That pushes me towards Leonard Cohen and Townes Van Zandt and Nilsson and Bowie and on and on. In terms of the arrangement and production, I do whatever I think will serve the song, but when you write a piano-based song with a soaring chorus, you can't help but try to make is sound like "Rocket Man" or "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road." On All The Details, we referenced a lot of Jon Brion produced records--especially When The Pawn... and Bachelor No. 2. I love how those records sound.

What song on All The Details is the most autobiographical?
Hmm, good one. The last song, "Turning Blue," I'd say, in that it is really about one conversation I had with somebody. There are specific moments or lyrics in some songs that are very, very personal, but they end up blended with completely fictional, which is how I've always written.

The video for the album's first single, "Ladybug Luck," uses footage from the film On Any Sunday. Why did you decide to go this route?
Well, Kyle Davison, the video director, decided. We talked about doing a video for the song and he saw the movie on TV one night and decided to cut it to the song. He sent it to me, I loved it, and that was it.

You're a very well-known actor, but it seems to me you're not using your notoriety to call attention to your music. Are you trying to let the music speak for itself?
Well, I do want the music to speak for itself. I'm as committed to making music as I am to acting, and have been for as long as I can remember. That being said, I make music to be heard, so if someone gets to my music because they know my acting, that's great. Whatever it takes. Of course, I'm self-conscious about being seen as another douchey actor with a record, but I can't really control that.

Does your work schedule allow you to perform live often? Any plans on doing a mini-tour soon?
I played a few shows in LA last year that were really fun and went over well. Hopefully there will be a tour in the spring.

In addition to music and acting, you're also a director. If you had to pick between music, acting, and directing, which would you choose and why?
Hmm. Tough. Music. I love acting and I'm cutting my teeth as a director, but I think I might actually die if I couldn't play music.

What can you tell us about The Poncey Lads?
The Poncey Lads is an alternative-universe super group that takes songs they claim to have written and play them the way they are supposed to be played. Example: a "Hava Nagila/Mother's Little Helper/Oompa Loompa" medley. Oh, and we wear 20s bathing suits with handle-bar mustaches. We come from Waltimore, England. And then we do "Work It," "Breakfast In America," "The Pina Colada Song," etc. People go insane for it.

Now it's time for The CB3, the three questions we ask every guest. Thriller or Purple Rain?
Purple Rain.

In school, were you a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, or a criminal?

Finally, you're the opening act of a music festival. You can get any five artists, living or dead, to perform on the bill. Which five do you choose and what song do you all perform as the final jam?
Doris opens. Then George Harrison plays with the Concert For Bangladesh line-up. Then the Pixies pick things up. Then the Talking Heads get everyone dancing. Then Prince keeps it going. He ends with "Purple Rain." Then the Beatles come out and play four up-tempo numbers and we all come out and do the Leonard Cohen song "Don't Go Home With Your Hard-On" to end. Can The Band sit in too?

After that, I'll go towards the light. No problem.

Thanks for taking the time to speak with us. Best of luck with All The Details!
Thank you.

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