Tension & Release: A Conversation with Low Cut Connie’s Adam Weiner

By Brent Thompson

Photo Credit: Kayhl Cooper

It’s good to be Low Cut Connie these days. Counting Elton John, Bruce Springsteen and Barack Obama among its fans, the Philadelphia-based band has gained notoriety thanks to its explosive live shows. Led by vocalist/pianist Adam Weiner – who possesses a playing style and stage presence rivaling Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard – Low Cut Connie plays a timeless brand of rock & roll. In 2018, the band released Dirty Pictures (Part 2) [Contender Records], the follow-up to the first edition released a year earlier. On Friday, March 29, Low Cut Connie will perform at Saturn. Recently, Weiner spoke with us by phone from his Philadelphia home.

Birmingham Stages: Adam, thanks for your time. We are looking forward to your upcoming show at Saturn.

Adam Weiner: This is our first show in Alabama so we’re excited about it.

Birmingham Stages: How did the material for the two Dirty Pictures albums come together?

Weiner: It’s all over the map. We did the two Dirty Pictures albums at the same time. Some of them were new, some were old and some we did in the moment.

Birmingham Stages: How did you determine which specific tracks would be placed on each volume?

Weiner: It was about what felt right. A live show is all about tension and release – you build-up the tension and then give the release. I tried to do that with these records. The first was more tension-building and the second was more cathartic.

Birmingham Stages: Is there a way to to describe the whirlwind your life has been in the last couple of years?

Weiner: I’ve been doing this a long time – it’s definitely started to pick up in the last couple of years. I just keep my head down and do my work. I’ve been doing 100-plus shows a year for a long time and I’m very happy with the crowds we get. But I do the same show whether it’s for 10 people or 10,000 people. I just do my work.

Birmingham Stages: Low Cut Connie is lauded for its live shows. In your opinion, what do you and your bandmates do to separate yourselves from the pack in the live setting?

Weiner: I guess we have a really beautiful connection with our fans – it’s really a two-way street. I like to figure out what those people need and I want them to feel better than they felt when they walked into the room. The show is not about me – it’s about the crowd. The show is not about popularity or ego or what’s cool. It’s about how we make people feel. I try to be extremely focused on that – making people feel good. That’s a little bit out of fashion these days, the lack of irony. But I’m committed to that and I guess people have taken notice of it.

Birmingham Stages: How does your writing process work? Is it challenging to find time to write given your touring and promotion demands?

Weiner: You know what, Brent? It’s a 365-day a year job. If I’m not performing, I’m recording, making videos, writing articles or doing a radio show. That is my work and I do it every day and I love what I do. I don’t think too much about plans and when I can write. I just go with the flow.

Birmingham Stages: How do songs stay fresh to you after you’ve performed them hundreds of times?

Weiner: If I wrote a good one, it’s something I can believe in and sing every day. Some of the songs don’t pass that test. There are songs that I do onstage hundreds of times and I still feel connected to them. If it feels fresh to the crowd, then it feels fresh to me.

Birmingham Stages: If you will, talk about the music scene in your hometown of Philadelphia.

Weiner: It’s pretty vibrant. I grew up here and it was not like it is now. A lot of people skipped town as quick as they could and now people move here and set up shop here. The city has been very supportive of us.

Low Cut Connie will perform at Saturn on Friday, March 29. Shaheed and DJ Supreme will open the 9 p.m. show. Advance tickets to the 18+ show are $13 and can be purchased at www.saturnbirmingham.com.