Adam Goldberg is painfully aware of the disadvantage facing actors who try their hand at music. For every success like Jared Leto’s 30 Seconds to Mars or Zooey Deschanel’s She & Him, there’s Russell Crowe’s 30 Odd Foot of Grunts and Joaquin Phoenix’s rap career. But Goldberg is dead serious about LANDy, whose debut disc Eros and Omissions is a collection of tracks amassed over the past six years that features guests like the Flaming Lips’ Steven Drozd and Earlimart’s Aaron Espinoza. (Watch our video with Goldberg above.)
“It’s a funny thing, ’cause there’s definitely this built-in backlash or suspicion of those who do things other than what they’re paid to do. It’s funny, I think it should be the other way around — people should be suspicious of those things that people get paid inordinate amounts of money to do,” the Saving Private Ryan actor tells Rolling Stone. “But, on some level, I’m part of the problem, and I can kind of relate. I’m always wary when I hear ‘Oh, Ryan Gosling’s got a bandâ€¦ and it’s actually pretty good.’ I mean, there are certainly people whose music you don’t really like who maybe coincidentally happened to be in, I dunno, Footloose.” That’s what we call six degrees to celebrity bashing.
Goldberg first began working on music in 1993, and this project began during the soundtrack phase of the 2005 film I Love Your Work, which he wrote and directed. “I’d met up with a band in Los Angeles called the Black Pine. They’d have a live show and I’d play a couple of my songs with them, and they would record with me,” he says, “so the origins of some of they recordings on the record actually kind of concurred with the making of the film and doing music for the film.” Goldberg recruited the Lips’ Drozd when he laid down tracks in the band’s native Oklahoma. (Goldberg features in both the Lips’ documentary Fearless Freaks and their Christmas On Mars.) “I did most of the soundtrack for Dazed and Confused, that’s a little known fact,” Goldberg deadpans. “They couldn’t get the original versions of the songs so I was doing a lot of Foghat and that kind of stuff.”
Goldberg calls Eros and Omissions a gigantic diary of sorts. “You know, ‘Dear diary, that bitch broke my heart. Dear diary I had a sandwich today,’ ” he jokes. “It covers relationships, dog dying, friends dying… definitely heavy times.” That dark underbelly is sonically evident on Eros and Omissions, as Goldberg’s LANDy balances pop melodies over sparse, nearly ambient electronic beds. Still, LANDy makes room to rock out on tracks like “BFF!” and “To No One In Particular.” As for whether Goldberg took his band name from Dr. Eugene Landy — Brian Wilson’s doctor and later-collaborator — the actor isn’t saying, nor is he divulging the strange capitalization of the name. “It means something to me,” Goldberg hints.
Oddly enough, Goldberg’s side job is bleeding into his main gig: In Goldberg’s next role on the silver screen, he’s playing a post-minimalist classical music prodigy in a film called Untitled. Eros and Omissions is out this week.