Adam Topol

Adam Topol

Prior to releasing records under his own name, Adam Topol built a considerable career for himself playing drums and percussion with Jack Johnson, as well as working with musicians like Joey Santiago, Ziggy Marley, David Gilmour and Jimmy Cliff. Cuando is his newest full length. A collection of moody folk pop that merges his California indie roots and his passion for Latin rhythms. 

Pairing up with musician/producer Matt Costa on Cuando allowed Topol the breathing room to explore these broad musical influences that were beyond the scope of some of his other peers. The two connected over a mutual taste for artists like The Cure, The Dirty Three, PJ Harvey, Spacemen 3 and The Velvet Underground, and within that shared musical language they were able to explore the occasional lyrical and thematic darkness of Topol’s work while still keeping the songs on the record fully rooted in their natural sweetness and emotional depth.

From Lake Tahoe California, Adam Topol began his music career in the late 70’s/early 80’s touring the middle school talent show circuit with various artists as well as playing along to his favorite songs (Steve Martin’s hit single “King Tut” and Kiss’s “Cold Gin”) in his bedroom/drum studio.

Topol earned numerous noise complaints throughout the 80’s with at-home drum accompaniment to records by Black Flag (pre-Rollins), the Adolescents, and Cat Stevens. Abandoning technique for spontaneity, Topol resisted formal study in favor of occasional school dance performances, skateboarding, and detention.

His undergraduate years at University of Southern California marked significant artistic growth where Topol discovered that people actually PAY to hear bands play music. This accidental discovery occurred when he and a group of friends performed at a party for an enthusiastic group of college classmates. “We played a bunch of cover songs and at the end of the night, someone gave me $50 and I got this girl’s phone number. It was amazing.” His biggest Artistic growth spurt in college was marked by two events: One was his purchase of his first metronome (his then band The Wet Dogs were very happy with this purchase). The other was Latin Percussion teacher and Jazz legend Roberto Miranda who showed him Afro-Cuban drumming fundamentals and made him listen to Coltrane records.

Bitten by the Jazz bug, Topol then enrolled in Berklee College of music in Boston. There he studied with Art Blakey alum John Ramsay, Stan Getz alum Joe Hunt, and legendary teacher/drummer Alan Dawson.

After Berklee, Topol moved to Los Angeles. There he traveled back and forth to Havana and Matanzas, Cuba and studied Afro-Cuban percussion while teaching and playing. He also played and toured with Pixies guitarist Joey Santiago. His long time friend JP Plunier introduced him to singer songwriter Jack Johnson. He also jammed with an experimental latin-funk band led by DJ/conguero Miles Perlich and met bassist Merlo Podlewski. In between tours, Topol recorded two solo albums, Ritmo Y Canto (all Afro-Cuban folkloric rhythms) and Culver City Dub Collective (Dub reggae with Jazz and electronic influences) on Everloving records.

Presently, he lives in Venice beach and is preparing to again tour internationally with Jack Johnson to support Johnson’s latest release, “Sleep Through the Static,” as well as perform with his own band Culver City Dub Collective.

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