Adam Gates was a really talented singer-songwriter who had been signed to Geffen. I can’t remember how I finally got to meet Adam. But I was in the rehearsal studio with Adam for a good year, at least. I think we played one or two gigs at the Bottom of the Hill, now that I think about it. We actually did finally get out and play some shows.
What kind of stuff was it?
Well, he was really into Radiohead, and this other band that had a record called Ursa Major Space Station They were a really great band, way underrated. British. [The Catherine Wheel. — ed.] They only made like three or four albums, and then they kind of disappeared. They had a major label deal. Adam was really obsessed with this band. And we would kind of cover some of this band’s stuff. Adam would lift riffs from some of their songs, and we would jam on them for hours.
I really liked the material a lot. But what we were doing, it just wasn’t really complete. It just never came together. Adam could not communicate his ideas very well at all, except he could communicate his dissatisfaction. And he was always wanting things to be a certain way, but then he would change his mind completely. And what it was was last week would be something different the following week….
And out of respect for him, I kind of went along—you know, I followed his lead for a good year in the rehearsal studio. We called the band Submarine. I turned him on to a lot of things, and he really got influenced by the Illuminatus Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson. In the book, it tells the story of Hagbard Celine, who was a submarine captain, and he had this submarine that went all around the world and then would pop up in the strangest of places.