Adam Granduciel is an American guitarist, singer, musician, and record producer, best known as the frontman of the indie rock band ‘The War on Drugs.’ Born and raised in Massachusetts, US, Adam developed an interest in making music as a teenager, when he played an electric guitar for the first time. Following this, he spent countless hours jamming with like-minded budding musicians but never took any professional music lessons. At the age of 22, he moved to California to forge a career in music, but when the move did not turn out well for him, he moved to Philadelphia. There, he met Kurt Vile, and the association between the two musicians resulted in the formation of a band called ‘The Violators.’ He then formed a band called ‘The War on Drugs,’ with Vile, and the band released its debut EP, ‘Barrel of Batteries,’ in 2007, to an overwhelming response. The following year, the band released their debut studio album, ‘Wagonwheel Blues,’ and then released three more successful albums in the years that followed. In 2013, Adam took over the music production duties for ‘Purling Hiss’s album ‘Water on Mars.’
Childhood & Early Life
Adam Granduciel was born Adam Granofsky on February 15, 1979, into a middle-class family in Dover, Massachusetts. He was the second-born child of his parents, Mark and Paula Granofsky. He had an elder brother, Burton. As a child, Adam listened to metal music all the time. His parents did not like this, but unaffected by this, Adam continued to follow his interests.
Adam had not thought of making a career in music until he was a teenager. He was gifted an electric guitar when he was 13 years old. He did not know how to play it, but despite that, he kept practicing on it and then eventually got addicted to it. Till the time he reached junior high, he played on his own and did not try joining a band or performing in front of an audience.
Everything changed when he began junior high at ‘Roxbury Latin School,’ where he found a few like-minded classmates who often participated in jam sessions. Adam joined them and started exhibiting his skills with the guitar. Although it was obvious that Adam had never taken any professional lessons in music, he improved drastically. By the time he finished high school, he had already become a skilled electric guitarist.
He completed his education from ‘Dickinson College.’ He graduated in painting and photography and decided to move to California for better career opportunities. At the age of 22, he was in California with his guitar and recorder. There, he spent his days working as a waiter in a restaurant. In the nights, he practiced on his guitar and learnt new things about the instrument every day.
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The biggest turning point in his career came in 2003, when he decided to move to Philadelphia, where he met Kurt Vile. Kurt and Adam met at a party and bonded over drinks and their common love for Bob Dylan. They were both talented and struggling musicians and discovered a mutual admiration for each other during their countless jam sessions. For the next two years, they prepared for their grand launch in the music industry, and in 2005, they laid the foundation of their indie band ‘The War on Drugs.’
The band started performing around Philadelphia, and although all the members of the band had day jobs, they found enough time to jam and play music in front of crowds. Eventually, the band started gaining a lot of admiration from music lovers in Philadelphia and New York, where they had occasional gigs every once in a while.
By 2007, the band had finished work on their debut EP, ‘Barrel of Batteries,’ containing five original tracks. They soon released the EP and made it available online for free downloads. They received an encouraging response from both critics and listeners. The low-key success of their debut EP and their live shows had them attracting the interest of a small-time record label named ‘Secretly Canadian.’ Thus, ‘The War on Drugs’ signed their first professional contract.
In 2008, the band released their debut studio album, ‘Wagonwheel Blues,’ under the new label. The album was both critically and commercially successful. However, this success made the members go their separate ways. Most of the members quit the group, and in the end, only Adam and Kurt remained. Sometime later, Kurt, too, moved on with his solo projects.
In 2010, the band came up with their sophomore EP, ‘Future Weather,’ and as the band starred working on their second studio album, the line-up changed a number of times. The album ‘Slave Ambient’ was released in 2011 to favorable reviews and earned a score of 82 out of 100 on ‘Metacritic.’ The album made a place among the top 50 albums of a number of music charts and lists. It was ranked 21st by the music magazine ‘Mojo’ and 37th by the magazine ‘Paste.’
The band then embarked on a tour, utilizing the success of the album. They subsequently announced the release of their next studio album in December 2013. The album, titled ‘Lost in the Dream,’ was released in April 2014 and was heavily influenced by the feelings of loneliness and depression that Adam had felt during several of his world and national tours.
The album debuted at the 26th spot on the ‘Billboard 200’ chart and was heavily acclaimed. It eventually made its place on many music charts by the end of the year. The album scored 86 out of 100 on ‘Metacritic’ and was declared a universally acclaimed album. The album also made its way to several European music charts and was certified “gold” in the UK.
In 2015, the band received a major break when they were offered a two-album deal by ‘Atlantic Records.’ In April 2017, the band released their new single, ‘Thinking of a Place.’ After the release of one more song from their next album in June, the album ‘A Deeper Understanding’ got its full-fledged release in August 2017. Like all his previous albums, this album, too, received immense critical acclaim.
‘A Deeper Understanding’ was nominated for the ‘International Album of the Year Award’ at the ‘UK Americana Awards’ in 2018. At the ‘Grammy Awards’ held in January 2018, the album won the ‘Best Rock Album’ award.
Apart from working with his band ‘The War on Drugs,’ Adam has also worked as a music producer for ‘Purling Hiss’s 2013 album ‘Water on Mars.’ He has also worked on all the four solo albums of his former bandmate Kurt Vile.
Adam Granduciel has often struggled with depression, anxiety, and paranoia, even throughout his career as a successful musician. His mental issues have often hampered his work, causing his albums to take longer to get recorded.
Adam has been in a relationship with actor Krysten Ritter since 2014.