Two decades ago, Counting Crows and its dreadlocked frontman-song writer Adam Duritz blasted onto the scene with the hit debut, “August and Everything After,” featuring catchy singles including “Mr. Jones” and “Round Here.”
The band went on to sell more the 20 million albums while also experiencing the backlash that inevitably comes with success, particularly when a songwriter is crafting morose, moody songs about former girlfriends and very sad things.
Through all the highs — Duritz was nominated for an Oscar in 2004 for “Accidentally in Love” from “Shrek 2” — and lows — Duritz was diagnosed with a form of dissociative disorder; he wrote about his recovery for Men’s Health in 2008 — the Crows kept doing their thing, unlike some of the bands from that era (Hootie and the Blowfish? Hello?). Last year, the band released its sixth studio album, “Underwater Sunshine,” featuring cover versions of songs from Bob Dylan to Madonna.
Duritz, 48, also has been working on a project called the Outlaw Roadshow, a showcase for up-and-coming indie bands. Now the Crows are on the road with fellow ‘90s denizens The Wallflowers, with a summer tour that kicks off this week and brings them to Hampton Beach on Wednesday. Duritz spoke to Newsday from his home in Greenwich Village, New York, about the vagaries of fame and everything after.
Q. It’s been 20 years since the band’s debut. Did you imagine back then that you’d still be around?
A. Yeah, but not in a realistic fashion. Nobody ever says, “I want to be a rock star for three weeks.” You always think it’s what you’re going to do with your life, or at least you hope it is. We certainly did everything with in mind. We tried to make all our decisions with the long term in mind instead of the short term, which may have short-circuited some things for us occasionally.