BY: STEPHANIE STEVENS
Bakersfield, Ca band ADEMA turned heads in 2001 when their debut album entitled ADEMA hit the music world. With hit singles THE WAY YOU LIKE IT and GIVING IN hit the radio airwaves and videos were all over MTV the guys dreams were all coming true. Through great times of the band and some not so splendid times founding member and guitarist Tim Fluckey stuck to his belief in the band and got the band through some rough spots. After years of success the band took a small hiatus until a rebirth was founded in 2019 and the guys got offered a tour with Powerman 5000. That is when the momentum and inspiration came back when Ryan Shuck of Orgy fame and Julien-k took the lead vocalist position. That tour in 2019 brought the guys back to life. Dave Deroo-bass, Mile Ransom-guitar, Kris Kohls-drums along with Fluckey and Ryan havent let 2020 break them, they are writing new music and just did a livestream concert for their fans!
I was able to chat with Tim recently about his time as a frontman for the band, what band he would love to collab with and his songwriting. Check it out
Q: Your known as one of the guitar players of ADEMA, but you also took the helm of vocalist for a bit. How did the atmosphere change when you did that as a entertainer for you?
A: I was definitely thrust into that position. Our singer quit the day a tour was supposed to start but we still felt obligated to do the tour. I have done backup vocals for years but I never was a frontman. The guys asked me if I could do it and I said I’d try. I sat in the van on the way to the first gig playing guitar and seeing if I could sing the songs at the same time. We didn’t have a chance to rehearse so it was a trial by fire on the road. It seemed to work out and our fans were great and supportive. It was a different world from just playing guitar, I was used to moving around the stage and not being anchored to a mic. I also had to talk to the crowd as a frontman and it’s harder than people think but I did get better and better at it. It made me a better vocalist but I definitely like being just a guitar player who sings backups because I can put on a better show. I also think it’s better for the fans to see a true frontman like Ryan up there with a full band and not just the guitar player shifting over to sing.
Q: For any vocalist/frontman out there what do you give them the biggest kudos for after standing in there shoes for a bit?
A: Like I was saying before being able to genuinely engage the crowd and keep them into it. It’s definitely a skill and takes time and experience to be good at. So many singers have that awkward silence or say things that sound fake or don’t make sense. I had my cringe worthy moments for sure. Anyone who puts themselves in that vulnerable of a spot, especially now when every show is put on social media, deserves kudos for that.
Q: As a guitarist what was your "moment" when you wanted to make this a career?
A: I wanted to do this even before I learned how to play guitar. I can remember being in the 3rd grade watching MTV and holding my mom’s tennis racket like a guitar and acting like I was in Ratt thinking this is what I want to do with my life.
Q: What brings you the biggest satisfaction singing, guitar playing or songwriting? And does each inspire you differently as a artist and if so in what ways?
A: I think of myself as a guitar player who writes songs it’s how I express myself. And when you get it right and are able to move someone emotionally or have a shared experience through music there’s nothing better to me. Singing has always been something outside of my comfort zone but I feel a sense of accomplishment by taking on that challenge and getting better over the years.
Q: ADEMA formed in 2000 and you were a part of this from the beginning. Looking back on this journey with the band do you have a "humbling moment" that you realized I made my dream a reality and do you still step back and are taken back by it?
A: We had so many moments like that in the beginning but one that stands out was early on we were in New York to play a show for K-ROCK. On that day we heard our song on the radio for the first time and played a show with Disturbed, Papa Roach, Linkin Park, Stone Temple Pilots and Jane’s Addiction. Howard Stern was on the side stage watching and it was like “is this really happening?”. It was an amazing moment and after all those years of doing it, it WAS happening.
Q: For someone struggling with fear of failure or not being good enough as a musician or any creative talent, what would you advice them with to help them take a leap of faith?
A: Fear of failure is the most important thing to overcome. You won’t learn anything unless you fail multiple times. But you have to learn from those failures and realize what you’ve done wrong. I made a list of all my failures and what I should fix and I had a record deal 10 weeks later. And always be honest with yourself and your music, you know in your heart if you’re going down the right path, trust yourself.
Q: What is in store for ADEMA going deeper into 2020 and 2021?
A: We have been writing new music throughout the pandemic and can’t wait to finish that soon and get it out there. Ryan has us all inspired and excited. He came in as a fan of the band and it reminded us that we need to be true to them and write songs that live up to what our fans deserve. We hope to tour as soon as this pandemic is over and we can do it safely for our fans. We had a lot of momentum going into this year and we hope to pick that up again.
Q: How has Ryan changed the dynamics of the band and what are you learning from him?
A: As I mentioned before he’s come in and made us more focused on what we need to do as a band. We finally have a great frontman again which has been exciting for us. We’ve learned a lot from him when it comes to how to move a band into the future and give our fans a better experience overall. Our fans have always been loyal so it feels great to be able to deliver to them what they deserve.
Q: If you could collab with anyone in another genre of music who would it be and why?
A: I always thought it would be cool to do something with Depeche Mode. I think their use of electronic music and dark chord progressions and melody would be cool with a heavy band behind it.
Q: One song that blows me away and is rarely played or talked about in your discography is the song PLANETS. As a writer for that song how do you define the atmosphere when writing that track and what does the song mean to you?
A: Planets was a song that when I wrote it I was reevaluating my life and where the band was going. So many things changed in a short period of time and I was letting that all effect me too much and not moving forward. It’s about coming to terms with those things and realizing you only have control of what you’re going to do not the past. And ultimately get over yourself from holding yourself back with self pity and excuses. That is one of those songs where I think I got it right.
Q: What is the most important thing about music/art that can help people in your opinion?
A: Music is something you can turn to that’s always there for you and doesn’t judge you. It’s helped me through so many tough times and made the good times even better. It’s why I wanted to do this, I wanted to be part of something that means so much to me. To be there for people like my favorite artists where there for me.
Q: What do you hope people will remember most about ur art/music?
A: Just that it was honest music coming from five regular guys that chased their dreams. Hopefully it helps them and reminds them of some of the best times of their life.
Q: If for some reason this never became you career path what do you think you would be doing these days?
A: That’s hard because this is all I’ve ever wanted. Being 6’9” I do have a background in basketball and I played college basketball so I would probably be a coach. I’ve done it for my son and it’s rewarding help kids improve and meet their goals.
Q:Empower another artist by telling us someone u admire and why you admire them?
A: Speaking of my son I named him Abbott after “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott. He taught me you can be yourself and carve your own path and achieve your dreams. You don’t have to compromise who you are or be something you’re not to be successful at anything. You are good enough by just being yourself.
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