The Voice Offers Spot to Low Cut Connie Singer Adam Weiner, He Says No

The Philly musician on why he didn't see the benefit of a show with more than ten million viewers.
Low Cut Connie singer Adam Weiner at the piano. (Photo by Marcus Junius Laws)

Low Cut Connie singer Adam Weiner at the piano. (Photo by Marcus Junius Laws)

Low Cut Connie is one of the most entertaining bands to come out of Philadelphia in the last several years, and their success is growing, thanks in part to the charismatic piano-playing frontman, cofounder Adam Weiner. So it’s no surprise to us that a TV show like The Voice would invite a guy like Weiner to be a part of their upcoming season — without an audition.

But what did surprise us — and many of Low Cut Connie’s fans, not to mention Weiner’s parents — was that he said no, blowing off the opportunity to increase his and his band’s name recognition exponentially overnight. Here, we ask him to explain himself.

How on earth did this Voice business even get started?

They emailed our booking agent, Stu Walker at the Agency Group in Nashville, and said they wanted me to audition. I thought it was a joke or some blanket kind of form thing. We didn’t immediately reply. They were talking about season ten.

But then they came back and said that someone had dropped out of season nine, and they wanted to fast track me onto that season. No audition. She said, We’ve seen what you do. We’ve seen what we need to see.

Where were you when you got this potentially life-changing offer?

In Detroit on tour with Low Cut Connie. I got the call while I was in Whole Foods in Detroit getting a hangover cure smoothy when I spoke to her. The only real catch was that I had to get to L.A. really soon, and I asked her to send me the dates.

What was your immediate reaction?

Well, the first thing I noticed was that it was ten or twelve days until I had to be there in L.A., and I was about to do a gig at Bonnaroo where I play piano for four days in a VIP tent sponsored by Perry Farrell’s tequila company. It’s not really a gig that matters that much to me to cancel, but it was the first of many things I would have to cancel. I was really hoping they would just change their mind and say, We don’t want you. I didn’t want to have to be the one to make the decision.

But you made one.

After a flurry of emails, I said no. I decided I’m not going to cancel shows and turn my life upside down.

Was there really any debate?

I’m not going to lie to you. I talked to my wife about it. I’m not going to pretend that I’m Keith Richards and was like Go fuck your mother. In the light of day, I just don’t belong on that thing, and the stuff they told me — the hoops I was going to have to jump through — made that clear.

How so?

I was going to have to do a lot of modern pop songs, songs that they were essentially promoting on the show. That’s not my thing. I’m not a modern pop guy. I felt really strongly that the benefits of it — the potential benefits — were very small and the potential to be very damaging was very great, and in the meantime, I’d have to sacrifice a lot of things and dates that I worked hard for. In the end, it was not a hard decision to make.

I get where you’re coming from, and I respect your decision, but the show has well over ten million viewers each week. How do you discount that as a benefit, in terms of exposure and name recognition. It’s like Bernie Sanders versus Hillary.

Maybe it’s beneficial to some Joe Schmo from Arkansas who’s got nothing going on, but for us who work our balls off… Ultimately, I feel that I would be adding value to their show. They want to give the show more legitimacy, get some people who already have somewhat of a career going on. That’s of benefit to them. There are a lot of people who would cut off their left testicle to be on that show, because it’s their shot, but not me.

And keep in mind that none of the people who have won that show have had any real career after, and they sign these horrible contracts in terms of what they can record, how they can bill themselves. That’s a mistake I may have made when I was 21, but not now that I’m 35. No sir.

I hear you. But those numbers.

I’ll never know. I’ll never fucking know. But I’ll say this. The possibility of me getting the wrong kind of exposure and having to sit with Adam Levine… that’s a real possibility. And funny enough, years ago, someone at a gig told me that I was the fucking ugly Adam Levine.

I think that me, the dude from Low Cut Connie with the voice that I have, the style of music I play, sitting there being forced to do a Selena Gomez song, I don’t know who the hell wants to see that. I weighed it up. I really did. My gut was telling me no, and I went with my gut.

Did you get a lot of flak from people around you for turning down the offer?

There are a lot of people in my life right now who are very confused. There were a bunch of fans that messaged me saying I could have done amazing. And then my parents, they’re used to me doing things they don’t understand. Ultimately, they’re proud of me for sticking to the thing I am. That said, had I called them and said, “I am going to be on the Voice,” they would have been fucking ecstatic.

POLL: Did Adam make the right choice?