SV: Adam Whittaker Snavely

Photo Credit: Gregory Knopp

Photo Credit: Gregory Knopp

You’ve recently decided to start going by your full name when performing. Is there a particular reason for that?

- Short answer? I like my full name. I like that it’s distinctive. Seemed like a good way to go if I wanted to be noticed for writing. The long answer has to do with my mother and her sisters all naming one of their male children with their maiden name, and how my name encapsulates both my mother and my father, and family tree stuff like that.

You have a pretty distinct writing style. If you had to describe your style as an album, what would it be?

I started writing poetry specifically for the page, so a lot of my concepts and images are still abstract even when I’m performing spoken word. I really love Aesop Rock and how he almost free-associates images into emotional feelings, but I could never be so wholly abstract, so I’ll go with his album “Skelethon”. Splits the difference nicely between abstract images and straightforward narrative.

What’s your favorite piece to piece to perform? Why?

- “It Has Been A Privilege” usually gets some good crowd reactions. Makes people feel a little uncomfortable. I get to pretend to be a rapper at parts.

What is the hardest thing about being a writer?

- For me, it’s editing and seeing a piece through til the end. I’m an origin guy. I love the moment of creation. The grinding parts, the parts where you go back and evaluate and see what can be made better, that’s hard for me. I don’t like the feeling of backtracking.

Defend Kanye West.

- Kanye is wonderful because he's so relentlessly driven by his own ambition and the sincerity of his vision. He's a loudmouth, a jerk, he's arrogant, et cetera. I just admire the way he wears his heart on his sleeve and refuses to be fake. I think he's released enough classic, genre-defining and/or -breaking albums at this point that I can generally look past the things that make me roll my eyes.

His fashion line ain't that good though.

If 13-year old Adam saw you perform, what would you hope he would get from the experience?

- All the nerdy stuff you’re into right now that gets you picked on will make people think you’re much cooler than you really are as an adult. Also: you lose 20 pounds and hit your growth spurt next year.

Spencer’s Vanguard is…

“…a pen dipped in fire.”