Adams was born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada to English parents. From his grandmother, he also inherited a Maltese ancestry. As Adams\' father was a diplomat, he grew up traveling around the world with his parents. Subsequently, most of his youth was spent growing up in his parents\' native England, Israel where he attented Walworth Barbour American International School, Portugal, and Austria, and part of the time in Cascais, Portugal, situated close to Lisbon, where he attended St Julians School. In 1973, Adams\' family returned to Canada and settled in North Vancouver, British Columbia (district municipality). He washed dishes, sold pet food, and worked in record stores.