He has a ghost in the family.
‘My uncle’s girlfriend, she got mauled by a lion at the circus in India, and was killed. Then she actually came back to haunt my uncle. For taking her to the circus? In a sense, yes. He passed her on the highway, and she wanted him to give her a ride.’
He thinks you can learn useful information from self-help books.
‘I read a book about trends – it was the only book in the studio. The concept was essentially that your first impression of something gives you nearly unlimited information about what you see. So, like, most of the time your first impression is right. And on the back cover they had a picture of the author, and I looked at it and my first impression was that he was a total d*****bag.’
He has musical premonitions.
‘I wrote my Jessica Simpson song (‘Jessica’) in 2001, and when I first started playing it I always had to explain to everyone who Jessica Simpson was. I just saw a picture of her at a Lakers game and I wrote a song about her. But at some point I started reading articles where people would accuse me of riding on her coat tails. Also, when Moldy Peaches did ‘New York City’s Like a Graveyard’, it was released on September 11, 2001. That’s weird, right? Do I hold myself responsible? More or less, yes. It keeps me up at night.’
He can fit both feet in his mouth.
‘I had to go to an in-office performance once, broadcast to other offices of my label. There was a screen in the room divided into four quadrants. The left quadrant showed a bunch of people in North Carolina. And I said, ‘Hey, North Carolina!’ And the next one was Los Angeles, another office full of people, so I said, ‘Hey, LA!’ The next one they said was Texas, and I swear, looking at the screen it was just, like, some dark room with giant tribal masks. And I said, ‘That’s Texas? It looks like Africa in there!’ And played. Then I realised that almost no one was left in Texas. And I said, ‘Where did Texas go, you b******?’ Anyway, it turns out it was Beyoncé’s dad’s wing of the company, and that everyone there was a black woman. I just said the two worst things [cringes audibly]. Those giant tribal masks will always haunt me. It didn’t look like Texas.’
Adam’s latest album, Minor Love, is available now online.