5 Questions: Joe Adamik & Jim Becker of Lanzón

Jim Becker (left), and Joe Adamik of Lanzón | Photo credit Chris Strong

Lanzón is the collaboration between longtime Califone bandmates Joe Adamik & Jim Becker.   Aside from working together for over 10 years in Califone, Adamik and Becker perform and collaborate with Iron & Wine, which has yielded two Grammy nominations: Beast Epic (2017) and Weed Garden (2018).  Lanzón evolved from moments on the road such as at a soundcheck in Lucerne or Hamburg, phone recordings of experimentations after a rehearsal, or random outtakes during recording sessions after everyone else had gone home.  The music is a common language and shorthand that has developed over the course of 15 plus years. 

Lanzón will be playing a record release show at Constellation in Chicago this Saturday, March 7. Check out their record here.

1. What’s been keeping you up at night?

Jim:  I have been sleeping well lately.

Joe:  It’s mixed, but there is some crazy shit going on in the world and the increasing inequality kind of freaks me out, but I think both Jim and I treat the people around us with respect and that enables us to sleep at night.  To be honest, with parenting and work, I’m usually in bed sound asleep at 10:00.

Jim Becker (left), and Joe Adamik of Lanzón | Photo credit Chris Strong

2. What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen or heard lately?

Jim:  I went to a Tibetan Fire Puja yesterday.

Joe:  I liked seeing Melina Ausikaitis at the Hideout a while back.  She was playing something like a stick (not Tony Levin type stick, but just a stick stick) with a contact mic on it.  She sang and told stories.  It was great.  I play a bunch of instruments and am always trying to make sure I’m playing and writing stuff at some sort of high level, but seeing her reminded me that its the feeling that is most important.  

3. What’s the most exciting thing you’re working on right now?

Jim: working up material for Lanzón show and putting the finishing touches on a record I made with a Tibetan Lama.

Joe:  The Lanzón record has really built some excitement in me about making another record.  For me it’s what’s to come that is most exciting.  I am also working on a series of musical vignettes based on eight paintings of artist Diana Guerrero-Maciá which will be performed at Carrie Secrest Gallery on May 2nd, 2020.  

Artwork by Diana Guerrero-Maciá | Photo credit: Lara Kastner

We have a very organic writing process.  It comes from our years of obsessively listening to different kinds of music and an interest in playing multiple instruments.  You know when it is right and it’s hard to put a finger on why you know. 

4. If you could add anyone, alive or dead to your team, who would it be?

For the record release show for Lanzón, Glenn Kotche and Matt Lux are our rhythm section which is a great team already.  We could always resurrect Peter Grant to manage us! 

5. When the movie of your life is made, what will it be called?

Joe:  The Art of Falling Down a Flight of Stairs

Jim:  Slower Than Sloth