From NY Times/Dave Itskoff “ITSKOFF: You’re known for being a prolific songwriter, yet your new album, “Ryan Adams,” is your first in three years. What took so long?
ADAMS: Some of that time was life, like yardwork, walking the dogs. I made a record with Glyn Johns, and we spent a bunch of money on it too. Then I had to go sit at a dinner table with my manager and the head of Capitol Records and say, “Hey, man, you can’t put this out.” It was about losing my grandmother. It was too sad.”
Nice interview with Ryan Adams in the NY Times (his new album comes out Sep 9), although it’s clearly sensationalist of them to highlight the weed comment. Ryan mentions that he lost his grandmother which even makes me sad because I read about her in his introduction to “Our Noise”, the book about Superchunk and Merge Records. His introduction to that book was so eloquent, heartfelt, and unexpected that it remains lodged in my memory like a shiny penny. Here is an excerpt, which I typed in by hand, (apologies copyright gods) but maybe a few of you will get interested in the book. It’s a must for 90’s indie rock fans. You know who you are.
Your Noise-My Noise
by Ryan Adams
All my favorite records and your records crackle like summertime crackles like fried eggs stove-side or accidental fireworks backyard heavy in North Carolina on the coast–mid-day it gets so hot even inside, in the cool, the blazing waves of electric orange light pant like a litter of starving dogs just outside the gate–yeah, sometimes you need comics or records to get you through until the dust settles and the damp evening can cool your brains down enough to see past your own stupid face. That was me. Me looking at my first 7-inch record. I was all “what” and “huh,” you know …
Merge 7-inch singles came packaged like candy. They also looked a little like comics, which was good because I liked both and I liked girls so much they scared me so it all seemed like the perfect distraction, at least to me, and surely to my grandmother, who would patiently listen with me on our portable record player in the wood-paneled kitchen while she baked this or that cake or whatever–she liked how much cymbal crashing was going on–somehow overlooking the melodic weirdness or angst, how forgiving and awesome those moments–in fact before I had money for records she would write the checks and mail them for each PO-boxed 7-inch I desired in exchange for however many times the lawn got mowed but I did that anyway so really she funded my habit, embarrassingly.
He goes on it great detail about what receiving these 7″ records in the mail meant to a young South Carolina misfit. Eventually he met Mac (of Superchunk) at a show and everafter pestered him with questions about his record label, making 7″s, the record business, etc. It’s really a sweet story. And that’s all just an introduction to the book that goes on to relate the story of Superchunk and Merge Records and many more stories of music in the 90’s. You really should Buy The Book!