Adas Gecevičius


MXF: Hello! We’re gonna start with a simple question – what is your name?

Adas: Hello, I am Adas Gecevičius. 

MXF: Let’s talk about one of the many projects that you’re working on. Which one would you focus on?

Adas: Yes, I’m doing a lot of projects, so I can be at different places at the same time but today let’s focus on myself as an artist. I am creating music and making videos under the name of Adas.

MXF: Okay, so it’s your own real name as a solo project, right?

Adas: As an artist – Adas, yes.

MXF: You have a lot of other projects, so in those projects are you playing with other people or are you solo?

Adas: One of my most famous and accomplished projects is a band called Sheep Got Waxed where I play with a saxophonist Simonas Šipavičius and a guitar player Paulius Vaškas. Another project is Vilniaus Energija where I’m making music with a hip-hop artist Žygimantas Kudirka aka Mesijus. We’re doing avant-garde electronic rap music with him. I play with a contemporary singer Alina Orlova and I record music for her. We also produce stuff together and I play drums with her. Finally, I do my solo projects, which I can split in two parts: first part is solo drumming and the other part is electronic stuff. 

MXF: Okay, great. Let’s talk further about two things: the Sheep Got Waxed project and yourself as a solo artist. First of all, how did you come up with the name Sheep Got Waxed? 

Adas: The name is actually made out of our last names. Šipavičius is obviously sheep, I’m Gecevičius, which kind of sounds like Got, and Vaškas is a Lithuanian word for wax, so – Sheep Got Waxed.

MXF: I always wanted to know that.

Adas: Now you know.

MXF: I don’t know why I didn’t guess. So you’re playing with them as one of the band members, right? 

Adas: Yes.

MXF: Okay. And are you the leader or is another person the band leader?

Adas: We’re just working together, so we don’t really have a leader. Each of us takes more or less the same part in the band.

MXF: Okay, that’s important. We’re interested in the structure and dynamic between you and your other members. There is even a question here – would you say it’s a male-led band or male band or does that not matter in your opinion?

Adas: I don’t want to get into the whole gender thing because I don’t really care to be honest. As long as it’s cool music, I don’t care who is doing it, it could be a robot or an alien doing it.

MXF: If you’re performing as a solo artist, what kind of instruments are you playing? What’s in your set up?

Adas: As a solo act, if I play drums, I obviously use drums. I also use a synthesizer and Ableton and I combine them together with effects and custom effect racks. I also do hybrid percussion, which is combining electronic drums and acoustic drums. There’s a lot of stuff going on so it’s not just drums. But that’s what keeps me interested. After playing drums for 20 years, I have additional synthesizers and it’s cool to see what I can do in real-time with that, without using any playbacks or loopers. It’s a new world for me and I hope it is also interesting for others. 

If I play electronic music I simply use Ableton Push, some MIDI keyboards and some effects.

MXF: Okay, so you can do a show on your own, you don’t need to be playing with anyone else?

Adas: Yeah.

MXF: Okay, perfect. That’s the main details and now I’d like to go more into creativity and your specific genre. First of all, do you have lyrics in Sheep Got Waxed? 

Adas: No, we are an instrumental band. 

MXF: And what kind of genre would you describe it as? Just in your own opinion.

Adas: Turbo jazz. 

MXF: Turbo jazz, perfect. And what about lyrics in your solo stuff?

Adas: I haven’t released music with lyrics yet but I might be doing that soon. But basically I try to avoid lyrics.

MXF: And even in the tiniest amount of lyrics that you might have, what’s the main language that you’re using?

Adas: I use Lithuanian and English. 

MXF: Okay. Do you use one more than the other or is it kind of equal?

Adas: I think it depends on the context, on what you want to say and who the audience is.

MXF: Okay and what’s your mother tongue.

Adas: It is Lithuanian of course.

MXF: What other languages do you speak? 

Adas: I speak English and a little bit of Russian. 

MXF: Do you think you get influences from other musicians in places where those languages are spoken because you understand a little bit about the language? 

Adas: I mean – every different place is an inspiration for me, so kind of yes. 

MXF: Would you say you have a favourite language? 

Adas: No, I don’t have a favourite language.. wait no, I do! My favourite language is music.

MXF: Ooh, that answer was too good. Okay, let’s talk more about your location then. So when did you start your musical career? 

Adas: I started it in Lithuania, in a small town in the southernmost part of the country called Druskininkai. It’s a small resort town and I started to study music when I was in the first grade. My parents took me to Music School to play accordion as a main instrument and piano as the second. I was there for a while and then I was expelled from the school because I didn’t like the stuff they taught me and the whole system was very upsetting instead of motivating. So I was really not enjoying that and then I discovered drums when I was 13-years-old. I realised that you can play music without notes and you can groove with whatever you want to do. Music is free for everyone and free for everyone to express themselves. So I started to realise that and it was a pretty good experience for me. You know, I had this music thing in my blood you know since I remember myself.

MXF: So when would you say your career started? Whatever that means to you. 

Adas: I think my career actually started when I was 13-years-old. I started to play in some bands and jam with local musicians only a couple months after I learnt to play drums. I also got curious on what not just my teenage friends are doing but older musicians as well. I started to listen to more and more music and just practised the drums for hours.

MXF: And this all was still in Druskininkai?

Adas: Yeah, still in Druskininkai. And when I was 16, my father got me into this drummer competition. So I was playing drums for only 3 years and I already participated in Lithuania’s  drummer competition. I didn’t win the prize but I had so much good experience and some people remember me since then and remember my performance when I was with the really long hair playing metal with the double bass drum pedal. So yeah, it was fun. 

MXF: Were you with the other members from Sheep Got Waxed in Druskininkai or did that start in a different place? 

Adas: We met when I got to the Academy because they are 2 years older than me, so they were already studying there. We met and started to jam together when I got there and we’ve been jamming since then.

MXF: So you all met in Vilnius, right?

Adas: Yeah, in Vilnius.

MXF: And you’re still based in Vilnius, right?

Adas: Yeah.

MXF: Would you say Sheep Got Waxed is based in Vilnius? 

Adas: Yeah, it’s based in Vilnius, yes.

MXF: Where do you think your main fan base is? In which countries around the world do you feel you have some connections?

Adas: That’s a hard question especially after the coronavirus pandemic. It’s actually hard to answer that because travelling was stopped and in two years things changed a lot. So we need to reintroduce ourselves more abroad but we have some sort of a fanbase here in Lithuania and it’s big enough for our music so it’s really cool. We do have some fans in Estonia and Latvia but we also have some in places like Korea and Taiwan. We also have some fans in the UK and Netherlands, so there are some fans around the world but we need to travel more.

MXF: Do you track any statistics online for Sheep Got Waxed and for your own projects, is there a difference?

Adas: I don’t follow the statistics that much to be honest. 

MXF: So would you like to know more or you actually don’t want to know?

Adas: If I put a bigger effort on my social media, then yes.

MXF: Okay, so the time to find out this kind of information would take time away from making music for you? 

Adas: Yeah I think that’s just stats and sheets, you know.

MXF: You’re not one of the people refreshing everyday, right? 

Adas: No, I don’t want to be that. I mean sometimes I am when I release a new video or something but I try not to be. 

MXF: What kind of things would you do to find a new audience? 

Adas: Play new places – that’s the best thing that I can think of. 

MXF: How would you find those new places? 

Adas: Through connections. If you make good music, people share that good music with other good people. When they hear about it, they invite you and that’s how you do it. Just go and gig, you know.

MXF: Do you have a different strategy for Sheep Got Waxed compared to your own projects? 

Adas: It’s a different project so it’s hard to answer for Sheep Got Waxed right now. For myself the strategy is the same – make an album and try to be as visible as you can be. To go everywhere for interviews, get it up on the radio and stuff like this.

MXF: Do you have plans for upcoming tours/performances?

Adas: Right now I’m actually more into studio work, so I have more plans for releases and I’m more concentrated into making music rather than gigging. I did some gigs a couple of weeks ago, which was sort of a milestone to me because I was playing electronic music with the St Christopher’s Orchestra. It was really cool, as it was Vivaldi recomposed by Max Richter and I took part in the electronic stuff and I did live electronics. The conductor was really open-minded about that and let me do what I wanted, so that was an awesome experience with the live orchestra.

MXF: Okay, that’s a good project, when am I going to be able to hear that?

Adas: LRT Klasika recorded it so I don’t know when it’s going on air but I think there are some plans to do it a couple more times. 

MXF: So there might be a tour of that project?

Adas: I cannot say a tour but more performances.

MXF: Okay, now this is also just in your opinion of how you feel, doesn’t matter what other people think – does Sheep Got Waxed fit into some kind of musical scene around the world or a community of other people who you’re sharing stuff with?

Adas: That’s the feature of this band and also a pro and con for it because you can fit it anywhere and it also doesn’t fit anywhere properly. So we can play in electronic music, jazz and metal festivals but we can also play in a pub where people are used to eating and listening to jazz. That’s also a problem for us, if you try to eat your freshly cooked chicken breasts and suddenly someone hits you in the face with the chord, you know, it’s not lounge music.=

MXF: What about your own solo stuff then, do you think you have a scene that you fit into?=

Adas: My aim is to make quality music and make original music, so I don’t try to fit in any scene but if I had to say, it would be electronic/experimental scene. I think this is the field where you can be most original and do whatever you want and maybe something of good quality will come up.

MXF: Last question is about Vilnius and Lithuania but let’s be very local. So what inspires you from the local music scene and you use that in your work? 

Adas: Vilnius has a very small but very lively music scene and the more I visit the world, the more I understand where I live. Vilnius is a big inspiration for me because you can do whatever you want as a musician and also other people are super interested in all kinds of different stuff. For example we just recently did a solo performance of two drummers – I was solo drumming with specially programmed live lasers and visuals and the other guy Vladas also did a solo performance. So two solo drummers and we managed to do it in a pretty big venue actually. It was Loftas – one of the medium sized venues where you can fit more than 500 people and it was not empty with a €10 ticket price. Who is interested in solo drumming, you know? Have you ever heard a solo drummer with lasers and projections playing solo for one hour without playbacks or loopers? So I was like what the fuck? People still came because they know what we do and that’s what inspired me to do it more, because I can feel that support from doing stuff that no one did before. That’s what inspires me about Vilnius because Vilnius is really open to anything interesting. I can say confidently that it’s an art city and even a music art city, you know? People who come from New York also feel that they can do even crazier shit than in New York, so I’m super happy about that.

MXF: Okay, so that’s freedom and also a critical mass of audience that looks for new stuff and supports new projects.

Adas: Yeah, you can see that there is critical mass for that. We have a lot of music festivals, among them small DIY festivals from a huge DIY scene where people make objects and then they can have a gig with them. You can make an instrument yourself and then you can go to a gig and get paid. Try to do that in New York, you know? 

MXF: It’s not going to get better than that line, so I think we’re definitely going to end on that and I’m going to say thank you very much Adas, this was Listen Local Lithuania interview with Adas Gecevičius.