After a two-year break, indie-rock hero Ryan Adams is back at what he does best.
In the 15 years since he debuted with his cult band Whiskeytown, Ryan Adams has made so much music it’s safe to say he’s the hardest-working man in music. Now, after a two-year break, the former rock’n’roll wild man is back with the stripped-down, country-tinged Ashes & Fire.
Back in the Groove
The singer had a big year in 2009: He married Mandy Moore, moved from New York to L.A.…and announced his retirement from music. Then, on a trip to France, the songwriting bug came back. “The floodgates did not open up this time,” he says. “I had to remember how to write tunes again.”
Out of the Ashes
“I’m in a different place now,” says Adams, who spent his decade in New York as a rabble-rouser whose taste for drugs and booze nearly left him dead. “I don’t smoke, I take supplements…I have a different diet. I don’t suffer the way I used to suffer.”
On the Road
“I just toured for a month in Europe, and it was the most fun I’ve ever had,” says Adams. He had gained a reputation for reckless live performances; he’s fought with fans and injured himself onstage. Those days seem to be gone. “Everything’s going good now,” he says, “and better stuff is coming.”