The musical project known as Owl City was created by Adam Young in 2007. His electronic music made him a Platinum performer with the hit single "Fireflies" on the album Ocean Eyes. His new record, All Things Bright and Beautiful, continues that trend and brings him back to Chicago this month.
Nightspots Magazine: Hi, Adam. Do people call you Adam or Owl?
Adam Young: My parents call me "Bugs," my friends call me Adam and my fans call me "Hey dude" or "Excuse me, Mr. Owl Man."
NM: Where did the name Owl City get its start?
AY: A great question. My sister once had a pet owl when she was in 5th grade and it got loose in her Sunday school room at church. Somehow the poor bird found its way into the air ducts and ultimately wound up flapping around the ceiling of the sanctuary during old Pastor Anderson's epic sermon. People cheered and clapped until the owl got tired and landed on a pew back where my Dad took a flying football leap over four rows of pews and made an amazing tackle. It was just one of those priceless memories that has never left me.
NM: Your music grew out of Myspace.com?
AY: I happened to be in the right place at the right time when Myspace.com was booming and labels suddenly started calling and everything just kind of happened. It was pretty surreal for someone who never expected or necessarily wanted musical success.
NM: Were you musically inclined growing up?
AY: I was more of a skateboard guy. That was my dream. Out of boredom, I mowed lawns all summer and bought my first synth and that's what ultimately kindled my passionate love for creativity.
NM: Do you like doing movie projects such as Alice in Wonderland or Legends of the Guardians?
AY: I absolutely adore them and it's always been my dream to have a hand in the composition/recording/editing of film scores. Working in film is where I want to end up someday whenever the electronic pop thing ceases to amuse me.
NM: What inspired the new album?
AY: My imagination played the biggest role. I grew up an only child so I had to invent my own entertainment and ways to keep busy. That carried over into music writing and so I merely just let my imagination run wild. There are some quirky things in the new record that even I don't know where they came from. I like that though. I like ambiguity.
NM: Is that a Back to the Future car that I spotted in "Deer in the Headlights" song?
AY: Indeed. It was a blast driving that thing, the actual car from the films. I couldn't believe it. Thank goodness I didn't get a speeding ticket.
Owl City flies into town July 29 at the Aragon Ballroom. For tickets and information try jamusa.com . More on Owl: visit www.owlcitymusic.com