Counting Crows singer Adam Duritz told Joe Rogan that after releasing “Mr. Jones” and rocketing to stardom, he began to feel self-conscious about his image for the first time. The musician sat down with Rogan for an episode of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast released on May 21, 2021.
Rogan said on the JRE podcast he remembered watching “Mr. Jones” on MTV and “I loved that f***** video man, and I loved that you dancing in that living room or something like that, I’m like, ‘I want to be that free.’ You seemed so loose. You were so in the moment.”
Duritz responded, “S***, I want to be that free. For me, life is often very awkward and uncomfortable. But not on stage. On stage, I felt like, well this is the one place where everything I did felt fine.” He said when he first started making videos for his music, “it was easy,” because he just did what he would on stage. “There’s nothing wrong I can do, I can be as free as I want,” Duritz said.
Duritz told Rogan, “That lasted about a year and half, maybe two years. Something about getting really famous out of nowhere and all the kind of backlash that comes with it, I noticed a couple years later I was a lot more self-conscious.”
Duritz, now 56, and Counting Crows released “Mr. Jones” in 1991. The band recently released its eighth album, “Butter Miracle, Suite One,” on May 21, 2021.
Follow the Heavy on Joe Rogan Facebook page for the latest on his podcast and more.
Duritz Told Rogan When He’s On Stage, He ‘Never Thinks of Anything’ & ‘Nothing Bothers Me’
Duritz told Rogan, “On stage, I never think about anything. When I’m playing, nothing bothers me. In front of cameras, I got really self-conscious in front of cameras, sometime in the middle of our second record. I just noticed I started to suck on video, maybe not suck on video, but definitely not like that ‘Mr. Jones’ video.”
Rogan said, “You became aware that so many people were watching or criticizing you, what was it?” Duritz replied, “I think it was that. At first I just didn’t care. I just thought there’s nowhere in the world more comfortable than I am here, so I’m fine. And then I think on our second album, when we got a lot of backlash and you get a little too big, you annoy the s*** out of people, especially in a band, because you get a really successful song they’re going to play it on the radio every five minutes. After awhile it’s like who wouldn’t get sick of it?”
Duritz added, “And then you get some backlash after that, people say some terrible things and then I started thinking, ‘Well, what do I look like on film?’ And then I got really self-conscious. Does this song make my ass look big? I noticed I got kind of crappy in front of cameras.”
He said he had never been like that before. “No one says anything bad about you when they don’t know you exist,” Duritz said.
Duritz Also Talked With Rogan About When He Was a Bartender at the Viper Room While He Was a Rock Star
Duritz also talked to Rogan about when he worked as a bartender at the Viper Room in West Hollywood on the Sunset Strip. He said he had been touring after the release of his first album and the success of “Mr. Jones” and then went back home to Berkeley, California.
“I was home, it was getting really miserable in Berkeley. I was home about a week from the end of touring. Everywhere I went it was an issue,” Duritz said. “Mostly positive. But you feel like everyone is looking at you. There were kids camped out on my lawn.”
He said there were people who would come up to him and tell him he’s “so lucky” because his band sucks, to his face. “It happened like four or five days in a row, it was dwarfed by the people just coming up that were loving the band,” Duritz told Rogan, “It felt like such a weird obsession to walk up to a total stranger in the line for a bank and just say something like that. It was so weird.”
Duritz said, “We got really famous really quickly.” He then decided to move to Los Angeles where he knew people at the Viper Room, the Johnny Depp-owned club known for being a place for up-and-coming rock bands. Duritz said he rented a home from actress Christina Applegate, who was friends with a bartender at the club.
“The Viper Room, for a couple years I bartender all the time because it was less crowded on that side of the bar,” Duritz said. “My friends all worked there, so I would just be there all the time hanging out with them.”
Rogan asked, “So you bartended while you were a rock star?” Duritz replied, “Oh yeah. Huge, at the height of it. I was back there, I’d be hanging out. … I just started bartending every night. It was like my home. It was like a Cheers thing. I felt OK there.”