Adam Cain – Drums

Growing up in a musical household, I was drawn to music at a very young age.

Adam Cain and family

My father, Gerry Cain has been a full-time guitar player since the 60’s, now semi-retired at this point, enjoying life with my mom. He made his living playing music and teaching fretted instruments. I’d occasionally sit in with his bands, and I started playing with him on weekends when I was in high school. I started drumming on paint cans when I was about two years old, got my first drum set from Santa Claus when I was 4, and I really haven’t looked back since. Some of my earliest memories are hearing the Beatles and Jerry Reed’s “The Claw.” LOL. Apparently when I was a baby, I figured out a way to climb out of my crib and crawl into the living room every time The Jefferson’s theme song would come on. I’ve no recollection of this but it’s what I’ve been told.

Again, because of my parents, my first influences were the Beatles and the music they grew up with.

Instrumental guitar players were also popular in our household. Lenny Break, Chet Atkins, Ted Greene, Roy Buchanan, etc. Jeff Beck’s Guitar Shop really hit me at a very young age. My sister, Gerianne, who’s 10 years older than me, exposed me to all of her music as well. The Police, Huey Lewis, Duran Duran, Traveling Wilbury’s, Tom Petty, etc.. It was in 1992 when I discovered Nirvana and that really changed everything. Looking back on it now, I was so young but hearing them opened up the rabbit hole of alternative and Indie rock. The thing that was so great about that band was how many doors they opened for me to experience other bands that weren’t on MTV, or if they were, their videos were played at 2am like Failure, Jawbox, Sunny Day Real Estate. As of late I’ve been really digging Brian Blade and the Fellowship Band along with other jazz artists like The Bad Plus. I try to keep my pallet open and I’m always looking for new music. Do you have any recommendations?

I’m primarily self taught.

I did take a few lessons in elementary school from Dan Randall who’s big strength was showing me rudiments in the 1st grade. A good family friend and great drummer, Barney Menard, would always gave me his cracked cymbals. Through Barney and my Dad, I also took lessons from Tom Steber. He didn’t read music but he taught me cool grooves like Spin Doctors and introduced me to drummers like Billy Cobham. My music teachers in school, Fran Smith, Jann Thelin, Jon Nutter, and David Giebler helped me immensely along the way. Other than that, I just always keep my ears and eyes open.

There will always be obstacles maintaining a living being a self employed musician and/or artist, especially in this day in age. You have to be hungry and I think the main way to make a living is by playing shows and selling merch at those shows. Everyday is a learning experience and I try to live it to the fullest.

I lived in Minneapolis briefly from 2006-’08. In that time I had the opportunity to meet and play with so many great musicians and friends while I was there. One of those bands was called Friends Like These. We played some iconic clubs in that area. On the way to one of those gigs at the Trip Rock Social Club, I happened to have a great station on in the car on the way to the show. 89.3 The Current was playing one of their songs and promoting the show that night. I was so green but I’ll never for get that feeling of excitement.

I’ve never really written any songs myself per se.

I do, however, write a lot but it’s more like journaling my thoughts but I know some things could definitely turn into songs! I also play fretted instruments and a really good thunder tube. As a percussionist, my ears and eyes are always open and I try to find the right song for whatever the song or artist calls for. Serve the song and sometimes less is more. Do simple better. Try not to suck. Accompany. I get my inspiration from life and nature and whatever I ate that day or what I didn’t eat. Playing with Dorothy is so rewarding because most of our live shows can be spontaneous. We just get on and enjoy the ride.

I wanna think that I have my own sound as a drummer. I do most certainly have main influences like all other musicians do. The great rock drummers, Ringo, Charlie, Bonzo, Buddy Miles, the great jazz drummers, Elvin, Tony, Jack, Steve Gadd, Stewart Copeland, Steve Jordan, John Stanier, William Goldsmith, Brian Blade, friend and from my hometown of Menominee, Ian Prince, Zach Barocas, Dave Grohl, waves, wind, rain, a Louisville slugger hitting a baseball, mourning doves, thunder, I could go on…

The most rewarding aspect of being a musician is the collaboration process.

Through the years, I’ve been able to play and work with so many incredible people and you always learn something along the way. The creative process can be a challenge sometimes as it can be hard to be inspired. If you choose to be a full time artist that can also be financially, mentally stressful and challenging. I also have a full-time day job in Sturgeon Bay. If I could share the stage with anyone it’d be with Kurt Cobain, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix and Jaco Pastorius. C’mon man! That’d be a great band! 

I’ve met so many amazing artists, musicians and people since moving to Door County in the fall of 2020. My goals are to continuing to make music with Dorothy Scott & the Peacekeepers along with other projects. I’d love to play some shows across the U.S., Europe and Japan. I’m also going to continue recording in my home studio along with giving lessons via zoom.