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Questions With: Cozy Hawks’ Adam Bertholdi on Bryan Adams Karaoke

Cozy Hawks is taking the stage at Rubber Gloves this weekend after a brief hiatus. We spoke with lead singer Adam Bertholdi and had him answer our oddball questions.

To read all the interviews in our “questions with” series, go here.

This summer will mark the two-year anniversary of Denton’s power-pop trio, Cozy Hawks, and they’re steadily working on a new record to commemorate the occasion. Lead singer and guitarist Adam Bertholdi describes the latest project as “a bit tighter” and “more fine-tuned” then their first effort, No Blues. Even so, it’s been a while since Cozy Hawks has hit the stage, a feat their scheduled to correct this Saturday at Rubber Gloves.

“Well we’ve kind of been in hiding,” says Bertholdi. “We’ve been writing a new record, so we actually haven’t played a show since November. This is a ‘hey, we’re alive’ kind of show, I guess.” I got a quick preview of what to expect from Bertholdi yesterday and he mentioned debuting new songs and getting support from their good friends The Cleanup. If all goes well, the Cozy Hawks seem to be geared up for a successful mini-comeback this weekend.

FrontRow: What is the best concert and the worst concert you have ever been to?

Adam Bertholdi: Best concert was probably Sigur Rós or when My Bloody Valentine came through. Those were really good shows. The worst? I don’t know, I’ve seen some bad stuff before. I saw a band one time that was just two people with a guy sitting in a chair banging a snare drum and a vocalist screaming through a microphone plugged into a mini-guitar amp. I don’t remember what they were called, but it was pretty avant-garde. It was one of those nights. I walked into the bar and I was like, “Yeah, just going into the bar,” and then I was like “What the heck is going on?” I guess there are no limits to art.

FR: What was the first movie you saw in the theaters?

AB: This is probably going to make me sound really old, but it was probably The Fox and the Hound. I think I vaguely remember seeing that as a very young child.

FR: If you were auditioning for a voice competition show, which song would you choose to sing?

AB: I don’t have a very wide vocal range, so probably something — I have this thing, some of our friends, we always do karaoke, and I don’t know why, but I always do Bryan Adams songs. Not Ryan Adams, Bryan Adams. I would probably do one of his songs. I don’t know how it started. I’ve always kind of been a fan of his when I was younger, and we were on this karaoke kick a while back for like a year. I think I’ve exhausted every Bryan Adams karaoke song.

FR: What’s the closest you have ever come to dying?

AB: There was one time when I was in a band, and we were fortunate enough to go on tour. And we purchased a 1982 lunchbox-on-wheels Winnebago and took that across the country. I thought the thing was going to fall over like everyday.

There was one time actually when I was on an airplane with my family and we were flying back from Las Vegas. We flew through a thunderstorm, and we free-falled for what seemed like forever — but it was only like three seconds. Which technically, a three-second free fall in an airplane? That’s pretty crazy. I remember we got off the plane, and there was a pilot flying on and my mom was freaked out. Luckily, I had a few drinks in me, so it wasn’t a huge deal to me. And my mom was freaking out, and we get off the plane and she asks the pilot, “Hey, you’re obviously a pilot, what was that?” He was like, “I’ve been flying for 13 years, and that’s the most intense thing I’ve ever experienced on the airplane.”

FR: If you could choose any decade to live in, which would it be?

AB: I’ve always said that I kind of feel like I’m living in the wrong era or something. I want to say the late sixties, early seventies because music was so amazing at that point. It was so, I’m not sure what the word is, wholesome? I don’t know. It was more natural, organic music. Beach Boys were a huge hit back then, and that was always an inspiration of mine.

FR: What was your favorite toy as a kid?

AB: One of the coolest things I had when I was a really young kid – Ghostbusters was kind of a thing. I remember for Christmas one year my parents and my family got me so much Ghostbusters gear. I had like a Proton pack and everything, like a little jumpsuit. It was pretty cool.

FR: Should the United States adopt a national healthcare system similar to the United Kingdom or Canada?

AB: Wow, um…sure, why not? I try not to deal with politics very much. I have my concerns and stuff, but I usually just try to keep my mouth shut.

FR: If global warming melted the ice caps covering 90 percent of the known world with water, what city would you hope was spared so you could live there?

AB: I know this is going to sound very trite or whatever, but probably New York City. The “greatest city in the world,” so they say. I’ve spent time there; I’ve never lived there. I’ve had good friends that lived there. I like it. It’s a happening place.

Actually, can I say an area of the world? Erase everything I just said (laughs). I would probably save the Redwood in the Pacific Northwest. Prettiest place on Earth. Or, not on Earth ’cause I haven’t been all over, but at least the prettiest place I’ve seen in America.

FR: If you could change one law — make something that is illegal legal, or something legal illegal — what would it be?

AB: That’s an interesting one. In the words of the late, great Mitch Hedberg, I would make it illegal for you to honk more than three times.

FR: If you weren’t playing music and had the talent and circumstances to do anything else, what would it be?

AB: A baseball player. I’ve always been a closet, wannabe jock. I love sports but I’ve never been got at them. That’s why I play music.

FR: What’s on your playlist right now?

AB: I listen to a lot of the John K. Samson record from The Weakerthans quite a bit. Oh, and this band called Lightships, which I don’t know if a lot of people know. I’m also a really huge fan of this band Teenage Fanclub. I listen to The Dream a lot, the R&B artist. That’s always on regular rotation, I guess.