Up Close & Personal – Shawn Jennings

Up Close & Personal – Shawn Jennings

You may have seen Shawn Jennings in downtown Scranton sporting his top hat at events. He is a 1930s, ’40s and ’50s enthusiast who found a way to combine his love for cars with his passion for art. Jennings attended the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art and earned a degree in graphic art from Somerset Technical Institute. He owns Jennings Turnpike Garage and Mechanical Concepts and lives in Dunmore.

Meet Shawn Jennings…

Q: Tell me a little about yourself.
A: I restore classic cars and build hot rods in Dunmore at Jennings Turnpike Garage. That’s also my art studio for my lamps and home decor. I tie the two together, and they cross paths because some of the parts I use are automotive parts. I’ve been into cars ever since I had my driver’s license. I’ve worked at shops fixing cars then branched off on my own and started my own business, Jennings Turnpike Garage. That’s like a form of metal art in itself. The car restoration, hot rods and customs turned into making these lamps and home decor for my friends as unique gifts.

Q: What made the “light bulb go off” for the concept of Mechanical Concepts?
A: One of the things I like with the lights is the artistic side of the shadows that they cast and the ambiance. A lot of the lights have old-style Edison bulbs, which give off a nice, soft tone with a warm glow. When you combine that with the mechanical objects, which are kind of cold and harsh, it blends together. I want people to be able to look at it and be able to tell it’s mine.

Q: Can you describe what gives your pieces that “signature touch”?
A: Automotive and steampunk-inspired industrial home decor. I like the steampunk aspect of it, which I kind of embellish on. I dress that way when I do shows. The Victorian-based era of steam-powered, mechanical things mixed with science-fiction. All of my work is original where I don’t duplicate anything. I’ll have the same concept, but everything is a little different about each piece. They’re signed, numbered and dated, and I keep a catalog record of them all, so it adds a little extra specialness to each person’s piece.

Q: Tell me about Mechanical Concepts.
A: A lot of the parts are from my shop of scrap metal. The parts may not be of value to a car, but it gives a new life and adds to it. As far as the local mechanics, my friends, I go through their piles of stuff, or they’ll put gears, pulleys and interesting mechanical items to the side for me. I guess I got my style to a point where people know what I would want and they save it for me. Also, the fun of hunting at flea markets and garage sales for unique items.

Q: What goes into the construction aspect?
A: A lot of it was self-taught as well as watching others who were trained in the fields. A lot was trial and error. A lot of it is basic wiring. I like to try and make my pieces unique as far as how to turn them on. Instead of an obvious switch, I’ll incorporate an item on the piece that doesn’t look like it’s the switch; for example, a small gear, but there’s actually a hidden switch underneath it. Visually, it looks like it’s part of the artwork, but it actually serves a function. I took the basics of wiring concepts and added my little artistic touch to it. I just start grabbing stuff that I think will work together and assemble it into a mock-up of what it can be. People say “go make me something,” but it doesn’t work like that. I have to be inspired by my surroundings and what I see and what I’m feeling at the moment.

Q: What is the most memorable backstory to a piece you’ve created?
A: One I am working on right now. It’s a camping lantern, and it belonged to her father. They’re not going to use a lantern in their house, and they don’t go camping anymore. It’s a remembrance to her father; she wants to have it to look at. I’m going to turn it into a lamp so she can have it in her house and look at it and remember those days of camping. That one is pretty special.

Q: What has been the most gratifying part of the business?
A: Seeing the people’s responses. I like going to the shows and interacting with people. Whether they buy something or not, it doesn’t matter, it’s interacting, conversing and seeing their response to my work. It’s very rewarding on that part, but then when they actually buy something and want to display something in their home, something that I created from components that weren’t looked at to have any artistic value, now they’re displaying it in their home. To see their enjoyment in having a unique piece is very satisfying.

Q: What are your interests and hobbies outside of the business?
A: A lot of my life is geared toward classic cars, the hot rod culture. I like the past, so the antiques, the era of 1930s, ’40s and ’50s, really appeals to me. I try to live somewhat in those times. I try to dress the part. That’s more of my art side, and to make a statement and my scene with my business and lights. I would dress like this more often if my job and society allowed it more. If I’m at the shop restoring a car and welding, I’m not as dressed up, but I like to go to events with ’40s or ’50s-based themes.

Q: Have you had a time or moment in your life that helped shape who you are today?
A: Probably when I decided to start my own business as far as the cars and having my own shop, 25 years ago. I was working for other people, and I was limited to what I could do. I realized that the only way I was going to continue evolving was to go out on my own, so that was the turning point for me. I started my own business, and it turned into my art. It’s finally come full-circle where I went to school to be an artist and, based on the timing and the age of computers, I was a little behind the times, so I took my other passion of cars and went with that. As time allowed, I combined the two, and I’m hoping that I can switch back to making art a majority of my business.

Photos taken by Emma Black at On&On, 1138 Capouse Ave., Scranton, where Jennings’ products are available

Concerts – November 15, 2018

Concerts – November 15, 2018

F.M. Kirby Center, Wilkes-Barre
Tickets: 570-826-1100
Todd Snider, Friday, Nov. 16
The Fast Lane — Eagles tribute, Saturday, Nov. 17
Ray LaMontagne, Sunday, Nov. 18
Kansas, Friday, Nov. 23
Johnny Rivers, Sunday, Dec. 2
Chris Tomlin Christmas, Friday, Dec. 7
Let It Show, Saturday, Dec. 8
Femmes of Rock, Wednesday, Dec. 12
NEPA Philharmonic PNC Holiday Performance, Sunday, Dec. 16
Lindsey Stirling, Monday, Dec. 17
Billy Strings, Tuesday, Dec. 18

Mount Airy Casino Resort, Mount Pocono
Tickets: 877-682-4791
The Clairvoyants Christmas, Friday, Nov. 23 (Gypsies Lounge)
Mike Epps, Saturday, Nov. 24 (Gypsies Lounge)
Best of the Eagles, Saturday, Dec. 8 (Gypsies Lounge)
The Amish Outlaws, Friday, Dec. 28 (Gypsies Lounge)
Carlos Mencia, Saturday, Dec. 29 (Gypsies Lounge)
Sinbad, Sunday, Dec. 30 (Gypsies Lounge)

River Street Jazz Cafe, Plains Twp.
The Lizard, Friday, Nov. 16
Dean Ford & the Beautiful Ones, Saturday, Nov. 17
MiZ and Mazer with Professor Louie and the Crowmatix and the Woodstock Horns, Wednesday, Nov. 21
Jordan Ramirez and the Tribe, Thursday, Nov. 22
Subnotics, Friday, Nov. 23
Mark Rose of Spitalfield, Friday, Nov. 30
Bumpin Uglies with Kluster Phunk, Saturday, Dec. 1
Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, Friday, Dec. 7

Penn’s Peak, Jim Thorpe
Tickets: 570-325-0371
Blue Oyster Cult, Friday, Nov. 16
Slightly Stoopif, Saturday, Nov. 17
Dark Star Orchestra, Wednesday, Nov. 21
An Olde English Christmas with Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone, Thursday, Nov. 29
Back to the Eighties Show with Jessie’s Girl, Friday, Nov. 30
Sara Evans at Christmas, Saturday, Dec. 1
Bill Engvall, Friday, Dec. 7
Ryan Pelton, Saturday, Dec. 8
O.A.R., Sunday, Dec. 9
Get the Led Out, Friday, Dec. 28

Sherman Theater, Stroudsburg
Tickets: 570-420-2808
Tech N9ne’s Independent Grind Tour 2018, Wednesday, Nov. 21
Kitchen Dwellers, Saturday, Nov. 24
The Definitive Tribute to the Original Allman Brothers Band, Saturday, Dec. 1
Ghost, Wednesday, Dec. 5
Alive! ’75: A Tribute to KISS, Saturday, Dec. 8
Echoes, Saturday, Dec. 15
Patent Pending, Friday, Dec. 28

SteelStacks, Bethlehem
Tickets: 610-332-1300
Tony Lucca, Thursday, Nov. 15
Billy Bauer Band Tribute to Dave Matthews Band, Friday, Nov. 16
The Aardvarks and the Sofa Kings, Saturday, Nov. 17
Philadelphia Funk Authority, Wednesday, Nov. 21
TUSK, Friday, Nov. 23
The Large Flowerheads, Friday, Nov. 30
Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes, Thursday, Dec. 6
Ronnie Spector and the Ronettes, Wednesday, Dec. 12
Twelve Twenty Four, Friday, Dec. 14
Slingshot Dakota with Petal, Friday, Dec. 14
This Wonderful Life, Sunday, Dec. 16

Franklin Music Hall, Philadelphia
Tickets: 215-627-1332
H.E.R., Friday, Nov. 16
The Story So Far, Saturday, Nov. 17
San Holo, Wednesday, Nov. 21
Thom Yorke, Friday, Nov. 23
Streetlight Manifesto, Friday, Nov. 30
Adam Conover, Saturday, Dec. 1
Joe Perry featuring Brad Whitford and Gary Cherone, Wednesday, Dec. 5
Get the Led Out, Friday, Dec. 7
Ministry, Saturday, Dec. 8
Underoath, Sunday, Dec. 9

Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia
Tickets: 800-298-4200
Kevin Hart, Saturday, Nov. 24
Travis Scott, Saturday, Dec. 1
Jingle Ball, Wednesday, Dec. 5
Mumford and Sons, Friday, Dec. 7
Lil Uzi Vert and Friends, Saturday, Dec. 8
Dave Matthews Band, Tuesday, Dec. 11
Justin Timberlake, Monday, Dec. 17
Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Friday, Dec. 21

Madison Square Garden, New York City
Tickets: 212-307-7171
Josh Groban, Sunday, Nov. 16
Bob Weir and Wolf Bros, Monday, Nov. 19
Travis Scott, Tuesday, Nov. 27, and Wednesday, Nov. 28
Dave Matthews Band, Thursday, Nov. 29, and Friday, Nov. 30
John Legend, Monday, Dec. 3
Jimmy V Classic, Tuesday, Dec. 4
Mega Bash 2018, Wednesday, Dec. 5

Up Close & Personal – Edward Chesek

Up Close & Personal – Edward Chesek

Edward Chesek’s eye for detail led him down a special path. While he works as a graphic artist at Kevin’s World Wide, his love for vintage and his background in design brought him to start a side business, Your Treasured Junk. He graduated from West Scranton High School and Marywood University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design. He recently got engaged to his partner, Kyle, whom he met one night when he was out and asked to try on his 1960s-style glasses. They bonded over their style and now live in Hanover Twp.

Meet Edward Chesek…

Q: Can you describe Your Treasured Junk?
A: My primary points of interest are estate sales, garage sales, word of mouth. When people know you’ve been doing something like this for such a while, they’ll come to you knowing what your specific needs and wants are. I’ll look at their items and evaluate them. I’m not a certified appraiser by any means, so I can’t put a true value on it for them, but I can offer them a price to take it. You have to hunt for the right items. I’ll only find items that have a high level of quality to them. Sometimes I will refurbish. I enjoy sharing the experience with other people.

Q: How did you start Your Treasured Junk?
A: Your Treasured Junk was developed because, through my artistic eye and my love for the display of items, I wanted to incorporate both detail and design from the vintage realm and showcase it in a way that entices people. My artistic nature, in general, is what brought me to enjoying a passion for quality vintage items. I find that a lot of them have more durability. The alluring effects of some of the items from a past day is phenomenal.

Q: Where does your fascination with vintage items come from?
A: I grew up in a home where my mother inherited furniture from the Depression Era from her aunt who had passed away. I fell in love with that furniture. I always had interest in the quality of it and the intricacy in the detail work. Back then, furniture was made a lot differently and wasn’t as mass-produced as it is now. She had such a passion for it and taught me a lot about it. She would explain to me about the chandelier in the room and how it tied in with the set itself. Later down the line, she purchased a parlor set that went with the dining set. I knew right then and there that I just loved things from the past. It was an aspect of life that I wanted to immerse myself in. I remember vividly just having that gravitational pull toward that furniture.

Q: Being that you buy items from other people, have you come across any that have a unique backstory?
A: Interestingly enough, the hats and purses that I have scattered around, Kyle’s coworker had come across them. Two wealthy sisters had many hats and clothes. (The coworker) brought them in and asked if he might like to keep them. There were probably 100 hats. It’s interesting to know that someone is wearing a part of the past, and they’re carrying a purse or a pocketbook or something from that era. The memory lives on. Another one is in the popcorn art. You see the Tweedys, they’re made with melted plastic using rippling effects and formed into shapes. I remember as a child going to Chapman Lake in the summer with my grandparents. Every summer, we would hang popcorn art on the fence outside the kitchen window. I fell in love with popcorn art, and any time I come across popcorn art, I remember my childhood and the time I spent at the lake. Every time I sell popcorn art, I wonder what the person will do with it; maybe they will hang it on a fence. It’s a happy memory of childhood.

Q: What hobbies and interests do you have outside of the business and work?
A: I like to garden. I like cars. I like automobiles and automobile-related items. Not just vintage, but I like to go to car shows and collect brochures and magazine ads. Vintage-wise, I love radios; that’s one of my big collections. I also collect watches. They don’t have to be vintage, but they have to be bizarre. Collecting is probably how Your Treasured Junk started.

Q: You alluded to a few of the things you collect. 
A: I started collecting watches when I was in high school. I developed a passion for the intricacy of watches. They were reasonably enough priced that I was able to go out and get one when I wanted one. I started wearing and displaying them. I also collected Matchbox cars when I was younger. After the Matchbox cars, I got into collecting real cars. I attached memories to certain items. I’d buy a new car, and rather than trade it, I’d hold onto it. I also got into collecting all sorts of car-related things. As I got into more of the ’50’s and ’60s, mid-century items, radios started clicking for me. It was the best combination of the design of cars from the ’50s and ’60s, which I couldn’t afford, and my love for intricacy of clocks and watches. Just looking at a vintage radio, the knobs, the way the face is laid out, the detailed aspects, such as if it’s chrome or what makes it catching to the eye, really drive me. Not only that, but the fact that it produces sound is great. It has a functionality and is aesthetically pleasing. I have probably 75 and have been really pursuing this collection for the last year and a half or so.

Q: Have you had a moment or time in your life that helped shape who you are today?
A: My mom is an extreme influence on me. She helped developed my creativity, being that she is an artist herself. She always wanted me to pursue my passions and do what I enjoyed. I remember her explaining to me about a chandelier from the Depression Era that we have in our dining room. She had broken one of the shades to it, and she was upset. I remember feeling that same great upsetness over it. It was like a part of history broke. I remember knowing at that point that I had the ability and passion for preservation.

Photos by Emma Black at On & On 1130 Capouse Ave., Scranton, where Your Treasured Junk is based. 

Up Close & Personal – Ed Cuozzo

Up Close & Personal – Ed Cuozzo

Ed Cuozzo is the guitarist and vocalist of University Drive. He has been a member of several bands over the years and also performs as a solo musician. He is self-employed as a construction worker and lives in Throop.

Meet Ed Cuozzo…

Q: What is your music background?
A: In the beginning, the first band I was ever in was called Melded. It wasn’t good; we sounded really, really awful, but that band was really fun and a good learning experience. I met my friend Dan Rosler and my now-fiancee, Chelsea Collins, and I joined a band called A Fire with Friends for a little while. I met some other people, and I started a band called the Social State, and I played with them for probably seven or eight years. We put out an EP and two full-length records. That band fell apart, and I took some time off to focus on home life and writing music on my own. Then I decided I was going to make a record on my own, so I started University Drive.

Q: What first got you interested in playing music? 
A: When I was really little, we had a next-door neighbor to my grandparents. He had an acoustic guitar, and I asked him for some lessons. A couple years later, I went to Gallucci Music, which is no longer there. Then I moved to Scott Twp., and a friend introduced me to Nirvana’s “Nevermind,” and it was world-shattering. That’s what really got me into music. I was around age 14 or 15.

Q: Describe University Drive’s sound.
A: The band has been working really hard recording a record at JL Studios. The vibe is definitely super aggressive, but at the same time it can be really slow and beautiful. The basis for everything is melodic. We’re all products of Nirvana’s “In Utero” and the first Foo Fighter’s record, but we like moody stuff, too. It’s like if you took Nirvana, Foo Fighters and Weezer and maybe Nada Surf and you pulled something from the middle, we’d exist.

Q: What can people expect on your upcoming album?
A: We’re all in the studio recording things together. I wanted to make it a point to track everything live. We’re not time-correcting everything, or turning every vocal or making sure everything is smooth and slick. There are some songs that have a bit more of a slick production but the bulk of them have more of a, I don’t want to say raw, but a bit more of an edge. It’s funny how you can hear the difference of us tracking it live in the room together as opposed to just layering things one by one.

Q: Does the album have a theme or message?
A: Back in January, my mother passed away unexpectedly. She was my biggest supporter in everything I did. Nobody else ever had that much belief in what I was doing. She wanted to see me do what I loved to do. It’s emotionally heavy and super dark at times. It’s my kind of way to pay tribute to somebody who had such a big impact in my life. There are a lot of sad moments on it. I don’t know how else to be expressive and honest. It was a horrible circumstance, but I’m happy something beautiful came of it.

Q: What is your favorite music venue to play at?
A: I have to say the Keys. I love playing at the Keys, and that’s not to put down any other venue. The Keys, and Jenn the owner, in specific, have been like family away from family. They actually threw a three-day festival in honor of my mother. It was called “A Weekend for Doreen.” All the bands played in honor of her.

Q: What is the most challenging thing about being a musician in NEPA?
A: There are questions like, “What if I play a song in front of people and they don’t like it?” or “Am I too old to be doing this?” I think that all that stuff is so intrusive. We have a tendency to get in our own way as people and as artists. I urge anybody, young or old, who feels like they want to be involved in the music scene to go to any open mic and start doing it. We have a great scene, and there are a lot of great people. Half of the battle is just shaking off the nerves.

Q: What is the most rewarding part of what you do?
A: I’ve been doing this for a really long time locally. A lot of younger musicians have said really nice things. I don’t expect it or necessarily agree with what they’re saying. There are super talented and super driven people. When someone says to me, “Hey, that song really spoke to me and helped me a lot,” that’s 100 percent of the reason I do this. I let my dream of rock and roll fame go a few years ago. I do it more because I feel connected to something bigger than me, and if it helps other people in other ways, I feel like that’s a good reason to do it.

Q: If you could perform with one musician, living or dead, who would it be and why?
A: My favorite would be Kurt Cobain. He changed the direction of my life. I would do so much to have a chance to bring him back and just be able to sing harmonies on a song with him. He is amazing.

Q: What hobbies and interests do you have outside of music? 
A: I don’t really have a lot of hobbies, but I love my dog, and I love my fiancee. (My fiance and I) do a lot of stuff together and write silly songs. When we get the chance to make music together, we write really funny things. I also like my dog Wilco; he’s named after the band Wilco. He’s a western Pomeranian mix, and we got him from Griffin Pond Animal Shelter a couple years ago. He is our best friend.

Q: What is something about you that would surprise most people?
A: Probably that I did martial arts. My friends know that, but I don’t think most people know. I did it for five or six years, and before music, that was music.

Q: Have you had a moment or time in your life that helped shape who you are today?
A: Recently, on Facebook, I just posted a song that my mom used to play for me. She’d force me to dance with her around the kitchen to the song “In My Life” by the Beatles. When I was a kid, I couldn’t stand it, and I hated the Beatles. When I started to get into music, I realized how complex and beautiful that song is. The moments I really think of as “defining moments” all involve her. She was a huge music fan, and she taught me a lot about compassion and trying to go in with good intent with people. Anything good that anyone has to say about me, I owe entirely to her.

Photos by Emma Black

Up Close & Personal – Marissa Gable

Up Close & Personal – Marissa Gable

Marissa Gable gives photography a new twist. The photographer has taken the art to another level by creating “kaleidoscopic images” using her photographs and prints. A graduate of Riverside Junior-Senior High School, Gable earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Keystone College, where she studied visual art. She lives in Taylor and works for Kentrel Corp.

Meet Marissa Gable…

Q: How did you first get interested in photography?
A: I’ve had a camera in my hands since I was 6. The first thing I was running around photographing was the Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Aerosmith Super Bowl. I was trying to take pictures of it, and I was using a no-flash camera that my mom had. It didn’t work out well. The next thing was my disposable camera. I started to get into digital photography in high school. I thought it was the one thing I was really good at. It was the one thing I wanted to make a career out of. I wanted to create instead of just working a 9-to-5 job, and that led me to Keystone.

Q: What do you like most about photography?
A: Capturing. I’ve always loved capturing moments in life, whether it’s historical, street photography or portraits, you’re really capturing something when you take a photo.

Q: Who are some of the photographers you look up to?
A: Annie Leibovitz is my main. She’s a celebrity portrait photographer. She does all of the Vanity Fair covers. She did the infamous Miley Cyrus one. I really, really look up to her. There are so many others. Sally Mann is another big one.

Still I Rise. Submitted photo by Marissa Gable

Q: Can you describe a kaleidoscopic image?
A: Most recently, I’ve been working with home interiors and portraits. I take a picture of someone’s house, process it and edit the single picture. On Photoshop, I create them into my own kaleidoscope designs using mirror-image effects. I flip them, rotate them and all that. It’s one image flipped, mirrored against itself and mirrored down. It’s almost like one of those old picture-find books with optical illusions.

Q: What led you to come up with this concept?
A: I was in my digital project class one day. The program I was using allowed me to bring images up side-by-side. I had taken photos of my grandmother’s room, and she had this awesome ’70s wallpaper. The wallpaper just went together so smoothly. My professor walked by, and she said, “Do that.” I was just doing home interiors at the time, and I didn’t think it would lead me to doing these kaleidoscopic images. It was right after my grandmother had passed away, so I was in her room taking pictures and just capturing the room.

Q: Why go beyond typical photography?
A: In college, my professor Sally Tosti really taught me to really appreciate the process of things. That’s what she was really big about, especially with print making. She wanted to see a lot of prints of everything. It’s kind of like seeing a photograph in a new light. I always like to look at everything, not just one aspect.

Q: What hobbies and interests do you have outside of photography?
A: I really like going outdoors and also hanging out with my friends. I also enjoy board games and card games and any type of games, other than video games. This is silly, but I really like WWE wrestling; I’m a total nerd about that. Listening to music is also something I love. I love people watching. To go along with the whole capturing thing, people watching.

Q: What do you hope to do with art in the future? 
A: I don’t know how realistic this sounds or is, but I would absolutely love to be a full-time artist with people buying my artwork and me living off that. Eventually I’d like to move away, and one day I hope to write on my taxes “full-time artist.” I would really like to get into designing textiles with my art on them. I want to do curtains, carpets and all that. It would be brand-new for me.

Q: Have you had a moment or time in your life that helped shape who you are today?
A: I was trying to figure out why I chose to do the interiors for my senior show, and it went back to the story about my grandmother and how I was trying to capture her room and all of her possessions. I think it was my grandmother dying that started it. She was the first person close to me who died, and that really affected me. The photo of her room was the first photograph I ever thought about flipping.

Q: Final word?
A: Don’t let anyone ever talk down to you or tell you that you don’t do something. I definitely used to listen to people too much. So over the years, I’ve just taught myself that peoples’ opinions don’t matter, and you really just need to walk your own path.

For more of Gable’s art and photography, follow her on Instagram @marissa_gable_images or visit her website marissagable.com/

Photos by Emma Black and submitted photos by Marissa Gable

Up Close & Personal – Adam Farley

Up Close & Personal – Adam Farley

Adam Farley is a Scranton-based musician who recently released his first EP, “All the Right Reasons.” A graduate of Scranton High School and University of Scranton, where he majored in communication, he works for ADP as a district manager. He lives in West Scranton with his wife, Mindy, and children, Hailey, 4, and Karson, 1.

Meet Adam Farley…

Q: What first got you interested in music?
A: I grew up a huge N*SYNC fan. From then on, I was really into singing and dancing. I was also a big New Kids on the Block fan. My chorus teacher at the time told me I should enter the talent show as a singer. I did a song called “Please Don’t Go Girl” by New Kids on the Block. After that, the rest was history. People started coming up to me and said they loved it. In ninth grade (some friends and I) formed a band called Evaloution.

Q: Describe your style as a musician.
A: It’s very pop rock. I say that because I have some Justin Timberlake-type of music. I also have upbeat, rock-type of songs that are a little bit more alternative. I wouldn’t use the alternative title; it’s more pop rock.

Q: Describe your new EP, “All the Right Reasons”
A: The songs that I wanted to put together are kind of like chapters, and they tell a story. Two tracks on the EP are an homage to my boy-band days. The other three tell a story of where I am today. I’m married and have two kids. The song “Never Let Go” pays homage to when I first started dating my now-wife to “Hold on Blue Eyes,” which is a cover of a song we did from an old ’80s film that we got license for to cover, to “Here to Stay,” which is a song I wrote for my wife for our wedding. It kind of tells a story of the me from then and the me now. I call it the chapters of the EP and say the first book is now done. After being in a band for so long, you wonder what you can do on your own.

Q: What can people expect on your new album?
A:People can expect a really fun, uplifting album with a little bit of everything. It’s got a little love, spunk, fun and dance. It’s just a good, creative mix of storytelling.

Q: Why is the title “All the Right Reasons” so meaningful?
A: For the longest time, I never wanted to put myself out there, but I felt this was the time. So I thought this was the “right reason” to do it. It’s a story that tells itself; it’s got chapters, and if there’s any time to do it, it’s now. “All the Right Reasons” was born.

Q: What message do you hope to share through music? 
A: You’re never too old to do something. A lot of people don’t realize that there are a ton of musicians in Scranton performing every day. Take the time to really sit and regroup and don’t give up hope that you can’t put out an EP or album. You can be successful in this area, regardless of what genre you do. Go out there and follow your dreams. You’re never too old to do something. I hope this EP gives light that if a 34-year-old dude from Scranton can drop an EP, you can do it, too.

Q: What is your favorite song on the EP, and why?
A: “Here to Stay.” I’m that fun, spontaneous type of guy. If I say I want to do something, I’m going to do it; that’s just how I am. Forty-eight hours before I got married, I got this idea to write a song. I’ve written plenty of songs for my wife in the past, but I really wanted to write a song that had meaning and would be fun to perform at the wedding. I had an idea for a track, put some things together and wrote the lyrics in 24 hours and performed it at the wedding. When I was working on the EP, I really wanted to record the track, because it had such meaning. I really wanted to pay homage to my wife, who has been an incredible wife and mother. I wanted to put the song together the way I envisioned it the first time. It’s catchy, and people can relate to it. It’s a really special song.

Q: What hobbies and interests do you have outside of music?
A: One of my hobbies is definitely break dancing, popping and locking, whatever you want to call it these days. It’s been something I’ve done since I was a kid. I also like to read, and I think it’s very important. Whether it’s a novel or a magazine, I’m always reading something. I’m into horror films and love horror. My other hobbies are spending time with my kids and wife; that’s always the thing I most look forward to.

Q: What is something most people don’t know about you?
A: I’m a really big Harry Potter fan. People know a lot about me, but they know me for singing or dancing. I’m a Harry Potter geek.

Q:Have you had a time or moment in your life that helped shape who you are today?
A: When I was in middle school, I had a friend who got into an accident and passed away. She was a huge fan of N*SYNC and Justin Timberlake. I had no idea who N*SYNC or Justin Timberlake was. My friend E.J. and I would make music videos when we were kids. We made videos for (N*SYNC songs) “Tearin’ Up My Heart” and “Drive Myself Crazy.” We did those videos, then I realized that was the Justin Timberlake she was always talking about. I told her I’d make a VHS copy of our Justin Timberlake video for her. I always felt like if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have a clue or be as passionate as I was about N*SYNC. I always felt like that was the breaking point for me to be a huge N*SYNC fan. I have no shame in my game. N*SYNC is the best band ever. That was a moment that I realized I was a boy-band guy and N*SYNC guy, and that’s the type of music I still do today.

To listen to Adam Farley’s EP, find him on Spotify here

Photos by Emma Black and submitted photo