Ryan Adams Talks Whiskeytown, Recording New Jenny Lewis & Liz Phair Albums On Beats 1
Ryan Adams’ new album Prisoner is coming out next month, and he’s also been working on albums by Jenny Lewis and Liz Phair. Adams recently sat down with Zane Lowe to discuss all of his current projects, and although the full interview won’t air until tomorrow, Apple Music has shared a few excerpts to whet your appetite. In one, Adams discusses the possibility of reuniting Whiskeytown, the alt-country band that he fronted in the ’90s:
Well I mean maybe. It’s so funny that you mention that because there is something going on with that, but it’s still kind of on the down low. Some of the folks that were in the band and myself feel like we have such funny stories to tell about how and in what way all of that happened, and it was so funny it happened to US, and I think we were all acutely aware, going wow, not only are we unprepared, but we suck on some level that we’re also aware of, and we were just having fun, so how do you temper that? Also being so young and so green to the thing that is the music business. It’s very strange to think that was sort of a side thing we were just trying out and that would’ve been the first sort of trip. I’m funny in the way where I have a dry sense of humor and I think I’m probably a little bit more sarcastic than people can realize, especially in print, and once in a humorous sort of way but I sort of meant it I said ‘Oh I hate country music,’ and there were a lot of purists that said, oh Ryan Adams has forgotten where he came from. Ironic baseball hats across America were probably chiming in on some message board somewhere and I thought, ‘Yeah but that’s a funny statement to make cause it’s still pretty rooted in what I do — that sort of Grateful Dead, Gram, the Byrds, finding those influences, I love the storytelling in it, I love what it is, but I think it’s been so long now if Whiskeytown were to ever try to make a record and me carrying on with making the music I made from the beginning before those sort of side things it would be weird. It could be weird good but I don’t know.
He is open to the possibility of a reunion “if it was the original lineup,” he says. “We talk every year, a couple times a year. Everybody’s cool. It’s the same as it ever was.” And this is what he says about his work with Lewis and Phair:
I just finished doing some demos which sound really full on, but some early recordings with Jenny Lewis. She has amassed an incredible arsenal of songs for her new record and I think she’s still on the search, but she’s close. It’s unbelievable, it’s really next level. I think it sounds like, if you’re a Jenny Lewis fan, imagine if she wrote Blonde On Blonde or something. It’s super detailed, it’s next level, which is crazy. And then I’m currently working on Liz Phair’s new album, which is a double album. It’s kind of like stepping back through a portal into the Exile In Guyville area, it took me two minutes to figure it out but I was like, ‘I think this pedal and that pedal will sound like that record,’ and I just hit them and they were on and I went ‘No way!’ so we haven’t touched it. She gets up there and plays, Don Was has been on on bass, the stuff that’s coming off of it is just like, wow.
The interview airs at 9:30AM PT on Beats 1.