Photo: Corinne Cumming

NOAHFINNCE

Having spent nearly a decade baring his soul online, Noah Adams is finally doing the same within his music and giving today’s generation something to scream about.

For Noah, this all started back when he was a kid. It began when he found understanding in the music of My Chemical Romance, Green Day, and Fall Out Boy, before he took his obsession online, resulting in fan accounts for the former and posting covers on YouTube where he has now amassed over 859k subscribers. Since then, Adams has been pretty active in the public eye – under the play-on-words alias NOAHFINNCE – and cemented himself as one of the most refreshing artists the pop-punk genre has seen in recent years. It’s ironic, given the fact he’s spent so much of his life online, that he’s now realizing its negative effects and is found laying them bare on his debut album GROWING UP ON THE INTERNET, a record that he sat down with EUPHORIA. to discuss in full 24 hours ahead of its release. 

I wanted to start with some nice, kind of nostalgic questions to give the magazine’s audience a bit of a backstory on you so let’s kick that off! In terms of music, you started by doing covers on YouTube alongside other content – both of which make for a fitting album title by the way – but how did you first discover music, and when did you know that you wanted to pursue a career in it? Do you have any inspirations or fond memories of realizing you had a talent? 

Honestly, I don’t even know. For as long as I can remember, music has been my favorite thing ever. I feel like my first memory isn’t a memory. It’s just something that’s been told to me by my mum. A few years ago, she told me how I used to cry on the way to nursery if she didn’t put Green Day on. I’ve always been a bit punk. One memory I do have though is from when I was five. My favorite band was Busted and I ripped their posters off of my wall when they broke up. I also had to learn how to fall asleep at 4 am from a very young age because my dad would just be playing his vinyl all night. Music has always been something I enjoy because of all of that.

Back to the present, GROWING UP ON THE INTERNET is out tomorrow! How far back does this record go? When did you initially start coming up with ideas for it and what was your approach from writing it to the process of making it? 

I think “I KNOW BETTER” was the first single I went back to and started working on back in October. The majority of it was written last year in September but then we had to go back and do bulk recordings. I want to say every song was half written there and then we were like oh shit, we need to finish these songs. Usually, what happens is, that I’ll write a verse then the chorus, and leave it for a bit. I know that those parts work together and then we go back to writing and figure out what other options we like to add to it. 

How excited are you for it to finally be out? Your debut album will finally be in the hands of your loyal fans!

I’ve not released an album before so I’m very excited to see people’s reactions to this. I don’t know how to feel, having not done it before, so there’s just loads of nerves. That’s usual when I release stuff though! I also haven’t sat on this one for very long so I’m just like okay, people are going to hear it now.

Two people you worked with on this were McFly’s Danny Jones and Dougie Poynter! What was it like working with them and what did they bring to the table that you wouldn’t have considered otherwise?

Working with Danny and Dougie was so fun. Like, so much fun. I think one thing I love about them is that they’ve been in the game for 21 years now and they’re purely doing it out of enjoyment. That’s really inspiring to me because it reminds me that I don’t need to be stressing over anything. We were in the studio and they turned to me and said that if we don’t get something today, we can try again tomorrow. They said if management is giving me pressure about timings, no one can force me to write a song. A good song won’t come from being under too much pressure and I’m the one writing anyway so I don’t need to stress. Getting to work that way was really fun. It was just relaxed, almost like I was hanging out with friends, and I had no idea what to expect but we got a great song out of it. 

I read that they helped spark an emotional focus when it came to writing some lyrics for this record. Is that sit-down and chat type of approach something you’d use again?

They did! It was weird because I’ve only ever really worked with my friend ST£FAN, who produced the record as well, and I experienced the exact same thing with him. We would just talk about things and then go and write which was so cool because most of the time, people aren’t interested in what I have to say and I didn’t experience that with those guys. They all genuinely cared about what I had to say and helped me figure out what that was a bit more specifically.

I was going to ask if you think your music reflects your generation and the current times but having heard the album, that’s a given! This album is loud in its message. It’s confident and it’s got meaning. It’s pretty much everything someone could want in their debut! What do you hope people take away from it?

I don’t hope people take a specific message away from my music a lot of the time. I’ll be honest, I only write things because that’s how I feel and if people end up resonating with that, that’s great, but I never set out intentionally with ideas to be relatable to everyone. I feel like, since finishing this album and looking at it as a whole body of work, I just want people to think a little more about the internet. Our generation is kind of like a bunch of guinea pigs and we don’t even realize it! Everything we do on the internet, every little bit of feedback we receive, determines who we are as humans because it all has its effect. That’s something I only started processing in 2023 when I began working on this project because, for the longest time, I could not separate who I was in real life from who I was online because that online culture is so ingrained into our brains. It’s what we grew up on. That’s one thing people haven’t realised. As a society, we don’t realize the repercussions of things for a good amount of time and we’re all angry with the world. We know the times we’re living in suck and I want people to know that we can feel like that together. It’s okay to get angry and we have to get angry because who knows, maybe we can do something about it. We just need to get a little bit angry first.

And how important is it to you that you’re conveying such messages? 

It’s super important that I’m conveying those messages. I feel like the only way I can be myself is by showing my emotions. I have a hard time understanding them and I’ve been able to open up more by speaking to others in the past year, which I’m not very good at usually, but then, when I’m putting it into a song, it’s like a therapy session. A lot of the songs on this album came about like that. There are topics that I hadn’t even thought about speaking of and I’ve done it unintentionally because I was always talking about them. It makes sense though because the entire reason I started making music was because I was feeling really shit and needed an outlet. I’m not the type of person who can keep a diary even though I’d love to and this was my way of processing. It is cringe, and I’m sure every songwriter has said it, but it really is a form of therapy.

Is there a song on this record that you think identifies you and/or sums up the project the best? If so, which song and why?

I want to say the title track, “GROWING UP ON THE INTERNET”, sums up the album well. When I wrote this one, that’s when it clicked that this is what the album should be about. I feel like it comes in three themes. You have how the internet fucks you up, transphobia, and realising I had autism; I’d say “GROWING UP ON THE INTERNET” expresses all of that. I didn’t want to have a checklist of what each song needed to cover but somehow I’ve ended up tying them all back to the same themes. There’s a little bit of each topic in each song and that’s what’s so great about this album.

You’re heading off on your American tour soon as it starts next week! I bet that will be a blast. Do you have anything exciting up your sleeve? Is there anything fans can expect from those shows?

This tour I’m about to head off on is my third headline in the US so in terms of stress, I’m stress-free. I’m more stressed about people not knowing the album because the day the tour starts, it will only have been out for four days! I am so excited to be touring again though! The first time we toured, I had heatstroke the whole time and the second time just wasn’t that good. This time, I’m more confident and full of excitement. I’m taking fun political shit on tour in terms of visuals too. Like, we’ve got long intro tracks for some of the songs where I’ve included a few Donald Trump and Margaret Thatcher audio bites. It’s very British of me but it makes sense seeing as all of my songs tend to have a political message. I think this side of me is something the US hasn’t seen on any of my tours yet so it’ll be a bit different for them for sure.

Speaking of tours, you also recently opened for Enter Shikari and Fever 333 in the UK. How was that experience for you opening for such iconic bands and in Wembley Arena of all places?

When I got the phone call from my manager about supporting [Enter] Shikari, I fully questioned why they even wanted me. I was in absolute shock. I think it does make sense though alongside theirs and Fever 333’s messages because they’re both politically active bands the way I’m a politically active artist and I loved every second of it. I think [Enter] Shikari are good at choosing bands that way because they don’t typically have one genre. They’re all over the place in the best kind of way and I was so appreciative when I was asked. It kind of made me feel like an imposter.

Why did it make you feel like an imposter? It was more than well deserved!

I always feel like an imposter! I think everybody does. All the people I have worked with, even McFly, have said this and they’ve been doing it for ages. When I expressed my feelings they told me everybody feels like that because nobody thinks they deserve what they’re earning/given. With starting out on YouTube too, that didn’t help. I don’t really know any music theory, I just do what sounds good. I have no idea how anything works and I’m now a professional musician. It’s terrifying. 

Is there something that you learned while opening for Enter Shikari that you’re going to take onto future tours?

From that show, I learned that if I can play Wembley, I should shut the fuck up about any other thing I get anxious about. To think, my first ever show was less than three years ago and I was so anxious all day that I nearly canceled and my boyfriend had to talk me out of it. I was terrified of playing to a crowd and that was only 150 people. Now that I’ve played Wembley, I’m telling myself I don’t need to worry about every other thing I get anxious over. But also, I learned from them as they care so much about the messages they’re putting across. It was really cool to see how they were talking to arena-sized crowds about Palestine, racism, transphobia, etc, and that they firmly believed in what they were saying. It reminded me that what I’m doing, using my platform to speak about the same things, is for good.

Now, to wrap things up there are three questions left. The first one is in honor of the album’s name, and kind of due to starting out on YouTube — What’s one piece of advice that you have for the newer generations that are growing up on the internet and might be finding it hard to navigate?

Advice for newer generations growing up on the internet… it’s terrifying. My boyfriend has a ten-year-old sister and it scares me that she’s on TikTok. They should all be told that they don’t need to do everything that influencers do. I feel like a massive worry when it comes to social media is the amount of pressure put on younger people to look perfect and do all these insane things because people they follow are. I’ve seen videos of ten-year-olds asking for the most expensive makeup and skincare for Christmas and they just don’t need that. Half of it has ingredients that you need when you’re 50, not 10. My advice also applies to the way people talk about their lives. We all need a constant reminder that just because somebody looks like they’re living a perfect life online, it may not be in reality. 

With this album being your debut one, I feel like we need to timestamp it because releasing a debut album is going to take the highlight spot in anyone’s career. So, before all the madness starts, what’s been your favorite part/what you perceive to be your best accomplishment up until now?

Oh, I love this. I have three! The first one would be selling out my first-ever UK tour. That was actually crazy because I was terrified nobody would come and that I wouldn’t be able to get on the stage. I remember I cried all day I booked that tour and had to have my boyfriend console me for hours because I genuinely thought those things. The second would be being able to tour the US for a month in my first year as an artist. I went from hardly playing shows to being sent to America to do 20 and I thought that was cool. My third, it has to be Wembley, doesn’t it? I know I didn’t headline but I never dreamt about playing Wembley because I never thought I was good enough to do it. It’s so cool to be able to say I’ve done that at this point in my career because now I feel like I can do anything.

And finally, we know some of your plans for the rest of this year – the album dropping tomorrow, your American tour next week, Download Festival in the summer – what else are you hoping to get out of 2024? 

I enjoy letting everything come as it comes! I really want to see GROWING UP ON THE INTERNET do well and bring in new listeners because I feel like it’s a real big step up in terms of the stuff I’ve released before. And a goal I guess… the goal is to play bigger shows. Now that I’ve got a taste for them after [Enter] Shikari, I want that for myself. I want longevity on my side and I still want to have this job in five years.