Conducted July 2018

I had the great opportunity to interview one of our duo artists in the Gnarles artist catalog, Adore Adore. Originally known as Droves, Adore Adore is a unique duo that specializes in creating experimental R&B music while residing in different countries. The duo produces through the internet between Berlin and New York City.

Forming only three years ago, Will Peterson and Erik Kennedy have created a variety of tracks in their own countries but have managed to perform a few times together in Berlin. The duo gave me the time to ask them a series of questions to which they poured time and thought into each response. To say the least, these two had a great sense of humor throughout the interview and kept their responses under a positive light. 


“We are basically writing love songs that are queer.” – Adore Adore


I noticed you changed the duo name from Droves to Adore Adore. What was the reason behind that?

Will: “To be honest, we just simply wanted to change our name. We had been releasing under the name ‘Droves’ for a while and didn’t really feel super connected under that name. I think we were looking for something that is harder on its sleeve than ‘Droves’ and ‘Adore Adore’ fit the bill for us. People just kind of connected to it and locked on to it. I’ve since found out that it is a big name of a fanbase for this amazing drag queen called Adore Delano. They would say we ‘adore Adore!’ [laughs] which we loved.”

Erik: “There was just a period where we felt like we were changing and we wanted to change our name in a way of changing our identity with it a little bit. So we just liked Adore Adore and that’s why we went with it.”


What genre do you consider Adore Adore to be? And who would you say your influences are?

Erik: “Adore Adore has a pretty wide ranging influence. To narrow it down, with the EP that we have coming out in a little bit, the two songs that just came out, and the one that track that is coming out, they are all mostly related to an FKA Twigs kind of style. I think in terms of genre, it is very difficult to pin us down just to one. But maybe we would be categorized as experimental R&B. We call ourselves left field pop when we are describing ourselves, but if you were to Spotify genre us, it would most likely go more towards some form of R&B.”

Will: “Yeah I mean, we definitely like to play with a ton of ideas that didn’t always accord to the genre and style that we are trying to be categorized in. That’s the most exciting thing to me. Also, the music that I like tends to be a huge mismatch of genres but there are things from various genres that we are super attached to. For me, I love R&B and pop vocals. I love the immediacy of them. I love the pleasure that I get from songs in those categories. They are really meant to tug on heartstrings. We also really like more dance-oriented electronic music mainly because of how it sounds in a club. How playing in clubs has made us like making electronic music even more. Of course, all of these amazing queer artists, who are definitely going in more experimental directions, excites and influences us as well. All of this sort of becomes this mismatch of where our influences are coming from.”


How long has Adore Adore been around and what brought you two to make music together being that you live in different countries?

Will: “Adore Adore, in its current name, has only existed for about a year or so but we’ve been making music together for maybe three years now. We are also now very much an internet-dependent band. We make music together but in different countries since I am in Berlin and Will is in New York. We have to do a lot of things over video and regular online chat. Even sometimes through email. But we also kind of started that way. Erik was a friend of a friend of a friend who put us in contact with each other and we started making music by just trading songs over the internet before we ever met in person. Then, once we ended up meeting for the first time, very quickly we were like ‘Oh! Let’s just drop everything that we are doing and move somewhere together and make music’ [laughs] which is exactly what we did.”

Erik: “It was very immediate, even when we met. The friend we met through was on vacation in Montreal, where I was living at the time, and he was like ‘Oh yeah I have a friend who sings’ and I was like ‘Oh cool well we’ll share some songs’ [laughs] and then we just immediately started collaborating. Then Will came over to Montreal with our mutual friend and we started making music right off the bat. Immediately after that, we decided to move off to eastern Canada and then to New York. It came together quickly, but at the time it felt very natural and it just made sense. It was in a time in our lives where we were both ready to make a commitment like that. We haven’t really stopped since and making music has been pretty constant which has been amazing.”

Will: “We really needed each other because I have also produced but Erik is definitely a much stronger producer than I am. I was just like ‘Wow, I would really like to work with producers’ and Erik kind of felt the exact opposite [laughs] So it was just perfect.” 


Have you performed together? Where do you two mainly perform? Is there a specific show you liked or disliked?

Will: “We’ve performed mainly in New York, Montreal, and Berlin. That’s where we played the most shows. My favorite shows have been here in Berlin. People here really like to go to concerts/shows and people are down to show up to a random night event to go see any artist. So you tend to get pretty decent-sized crowds. Erik, you wanna add to the best shows part?”

Erik: “I was actually going to talk about the worst shows [laughs] because I was thinking of this specific show where I felt like we had potential before we went into it. We went to Montreal this past winter and played at this scrapbooking party [laughs] everyone was doing scrapbooking stuff and it was just such an awkward experience. It was still fun but that was probably our worst that I can think of.” 

Will: “The party itself was fun and cool because it was people scrapbooking at tables and drinking and it was really nice but it wasn’t a great combination with the music we make [laughs] it was like we were over in the corner playing these hard beats that I’m like [laughs] crying while singing these emotional songs while all of these people are just …. moving their heads and cutting pieces of paper.”

What is the funniest thing that has happened on stage or with a fan?

Will: “There was this one night where this really drunk woman just kept coming up to us and being like ‘can you play xyz songs’”

Erik: “She kept saying ‘That Quebec song’ or something like that [laughs] some sort of thing for that birthday that kept on and we were like ‘We are not doing a DJ set lady this is a live set we don’t have any music on our laptops’ so that night was interesting. It was fun don’t get me wrong, but [laughs] interesting. That’s when we decided no more birthday parties. Especially with strangers. Nope.”


Who writes Adore Adore songs? What are the main themes and topics for most of your songs?

Erik: “Will writes the melodies and does all of the lyrics so the songwriting is mainly Will. I do more of the instrumental production.”

Will: “Yeah like Erik said, I’m definitely doing the more traditional songwriting stuff but our process at the moment is not so much that I am sending Erik a fully written song and then he produces it, which I think is kind of what most producer/singer/songwriter relationships do. A lot of the time, Erik is doing a ton of electronic composition and then sending me completed ideas that I then kind of write over to. When we are physically together, our process is super meshed in that we are talking about every single line and every single drum piece that gets put in so the songwriting is totally blended between the two. I think we both prefer it this way but doing stuff separately has also crystalized our roles as producer and songwriter. Just because it has to be that way. To me, the songs that we or I write definitely have elements of queerness which is super important to me. Usually, the songs I write are about twisted, great, or horrible queer relationships or self-love. We are basically writing love songs that are queer.”


Are you working on any new projects, albums, or songs? If so, when is the release?

Will: “So we are releasing a song and video called ‘Play You’. We don’t have a defined release date but we’re almost positive it’ll be coming out in about a month or two. The video is going to be accompanying that but the song will come out before the video and song do. It’s a love song about open relationships. That’s what I wanted to write about and that is the song that came out when I was dealing with an open relationship at the time. I don’t really know too many songs that have that as the core.”

Erik: “We also have an EP we have finished which has a TBD date. We’re working on a lot of new music as well.”

Will: “I guess we also have a lot of new up and coming songs. We changed our EP from being five songs to three songs and we have two songs that will be coming out before the EP as well.” 


Why did you guys change it from five songs to three?

Erik: “We thought that it was more consistent. I think when you’re writing something, or when you’re spending a lot of time working on it, it’s really hard to see the greater picture of the project. It took us about a month of not really listening to the EP. To go back and to just kind of go through it. The responses we’ve had to the three-track switch were much better as well as just the way we felt about the switch. It made more sense in terms of being a cohesive kind of statement. We felt like that would be stronger and just better to listen to than to have a couple of extra songs that didn’t make much sense.”

Will: “Also, formats are changing because of attention spans. For example, myself where I just listen to so few meaningful projects, even if I do like to listen to the full length project when I can, which takes a while to get to. I think that we have three songs that we love and are super cohesive with more. We also love the other two tracks but something about having a really short, compact EP feels in line with how I always have listened to music and how our audience listens to our music. They would listen to three songs and then stop which made us think ‘Ok maybe that’s the EP because that worked the best anyway’. [laughs] So we are going to be releasing the other ones at some point because we really do love those tracks.”

Erik: “I think in general we just wanted to be comfortable and confident with what we are releasing. We wanted to do something that just felt right and I think we feel pretty good with what we chose.”


What advice do you have for people who want to form their own bands and/or duos?

Erik: “I feel like collaborating is a really amazing experience. At least from my point of view. I feel like I’ve developed so much collaborating with Will. He has pushed me in directions that I probably wouldn’t have gone alone and I’ve hopefully pushed him in directions he probably wouldn’t have gone either. I feel like that is an invaluable process, even if the duo hadn’t/doesn’t work out in the end. It’s just great to collaborate with people and share ideas and, hopefully, grow from it.”

Will: “I was actually going to say the same thing but I’ll say it differently [laughs]. So first, definitely just collaborate with as many people as possible even if the collaborations are really bad. You’ll learn something from it and be like ‘Wow I hate making music this way’ or ‘I love making music this way’. But hopefully, it’ll be the opposite where somebody fills the skills that you don’t have. In terms of songwriting, do not be afraid of corniness or cheesiness. I think a lot of times when either Erik or I are writing, we tend to be like ‘Wow this sounds a little bit cheesy’ but a lot of times I think cheesiness is when you are finding and tapping into the main area that provides you a lot of pleasure. So I think that sometimes running in the direction of the thing that feels most cheesy to you is the most powerful.” 


The most recent release of Adore Adore is the track ‘New Shape’. It is a song about falling apart and putting back the pieces as well as existing in that messy middle-space where you’ve unraveled but haven’t built yourself up yet. New Shape is about finding beauty in the in-between. The song can be found here.

Adore Adore Soundcloud:


Adore Adore Social Media:


*This interview has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to give the artist a proper voice from audio to writing. For the original version, please contact the author.