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Adam Duritz is still hangin around

One of Adam Duritz's most memorable on-the-road moments happened in 2009 in Bayfront Park in Miami.

The Counting Crows frontman was on tour with Michael Franti and Spearhead and Augustana, on the suitably named Traveling Circus and Medicine Show. The shows didn't follow standard industry rules, and members from the three groups would come onstage at once to jam.

"It's the coolest tour we've ever done. It was such a diaster in some ways, but it was the best time I've ever had playing. And the audiences absolutely loved it," Duritz recalls during a phone interview. "Our agents and our managers wanted no part of us doing it. They wanted us to follow the traditional thing. You know, what everybody does. But that was so boring to me. That tour was so cool, and so incredibly original."

The Counting Crows, who will release their sixth studio album, "Somewhere Under Wonderland," this fall, will perform Thursday, June 12, at Hard Rock Live. They'll perform songs from the new release as well as old hits such as "A Long December," "Mr. Jones" and "Hanginaround." Toad the Wet Sprocket, longtime friends of Duritz, will open the show. Following are excerpts from the interview.

Do you ever get tired of playing the same songs live?

Not really, because we don't. What happens every day is that after sound check at some point, I send a text out to the band and to the crew that says, "Anything you want to play tonight?" Then, sometime after dinnertime, Jimmy Bogios, our guitar player, and I sit down together and make a set list. I don't play anything I don't want to play. "Mr. Jones" doesn't get played every night. Neither does "Round Here." My kind of feeling is that when you're playing a song, you should feel it happening right then and there. The same level of emotion that went into when you're writing it should go into when you're singing it. It should feel fresh.

The band formed in the early 1990s. What's the secret to staying together?

There's a lot of things that come up to you every day when you're in a band. And there are justifiable concerns like, "I did all this work, so I should be paid proportionally," or "I earned this amount of something, so I should get this amount of something." A lot of bands break up because someone is pissed off in the band. For me, I like to be in a band. I like the jive of it. I never wanted to be a solo artist, so from the very beginning, it was very clear to me that I had to think of everything in terms of that. Some of us have been playing together for 30 years, and that's really impossible. Yeah, we're difficult, crazy people and we fight about sh--, but we don't fight about that stuff. No one feels they deserve more. We split everything.

You have talked about suffering from anxiety and depression. Do you have advice for those who suffer from anxiety?

What really scared me when I was younger was the thought that I wouldn't be able to live my life, and I wouldn't be able to function because I have these difficulties. And that it would stop me from ever doing anything. But anxiety is a form of fear, and it's not really based on anything except the anxiety itself. But the fear can stop you from doing things, and it did stop me from doing things. But never the important stuff. What I realized is that it seems like it's going to kill you, but it's not. It's as simple as deep breathing. A lot of anxiety snowballs on you, and your heart starts racing. I've taught myself to take long, deep breaths and make myself count them in and count them out. The other thing I had to learn was to do things when I was scared. And I'm not always good at everything, things that have to do with love or relationships. It's hard to grit your teeth and deal with those things, because they are often failures for me. But my work and my responsibilities to the other guys in the band, and to my friends, they can always depend on me, because I'm so used to being scared that I will do the right thing whether I'm scared or not. It just doesn't work for the close stuff, because you're not supposed to be gritting your teeth when you love somebody. But you can do things when you're scared. The fear is distracting, but it's not going to kill you.

Counting Crows will perform 7:30 pm. Thursday, June 12, at Hard Rock Live, at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 1 Seminole Way, in Hollywood. Tickets are sold out, but still available on secondhand ticketing sites.

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