Filed Under:

Ryan Adams: Up From The 'Ashes'

Play associated audio

Ryan Adams first started making a name for himself in the 1990s with the alternative country group Whiskeytown. Then, in 2000, he released his debut solo album, Heartbreaker — and his career exploded.

Critics loved his honest lyrics and aching voice, and Adams soon became one of alt-country's biggest stars. Over the years, his success continued: He was nominated for several Grammys and became a music-making machine, releasing more than 20 albums.

In 2009, Adams took a break from music. That hiatus is over, and he's back with a new album, Ashes & Fire.

"I wanted it to musically and sonically feel like the feeling you get when you're overheated in a car," Adams says of the album. "You're driving someplace in the summer, and the windows are down — but it's still very warm."

Adams is perhaps as well-known for his prolific songwriting habits as for his songs themselves. He says he has a few routines for getting into the creative mood — banging out lyrics on a typewriter, or pulling lines from the stacks of books in his office in Los Angeles — but no longer sticks to any hard-and-fast methods.

"There definitely isn't a structure anymore to how I get ideas," he says. "A lot of times I'll just write down a phrase, or I'll have an idea that's attached to just a few chords. Other times, it's work."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

'The Terror Years' Traces The Rise Of Al-Qaida And ISIS

Lawrence Wright's new book collects his essays for The New Yorker on the growth of terrorism in the Middle East, from the Sept. 11 attacks to the recent beheadings of journalists and aid workers.
NPR

Berkeley's Soda Tax Appears To Cut Consumption Of Sugary Drinks

According to a new study, the nation's first soda tax succeeded in cutting consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. But there's uncertainty about whether the effect will be permanent.
WAMU 88.5

Questions About Hillary Clinton’s Newly Uncovered Emails

A federal judge orders a review of nearly fifteen thousand recently discovered Hillary Clinton emails from her time as Secretary of State. A new batch related to the Clinton Foundation was also released. Join us to discuss ongoing questions.

WAMU 88.5

Questions About Hillary Clinton’s Newly Uncovered Emails

A federal judge orders a review of nearly fifteen thousand recently discovered Hillary Clinton emails from her time as Secretary of State. A new batch related to the Clinton Foundation was also released. Join us to discuss ongoing questions.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.