Ryan Adams & The Cardinals - AOL Sessions 2008 - Coughing Up Blood and Whiskey: A Ryan Adams Blog

Ryan Adams & The Cardinals - AOL Sessions 2008

Here is the audio and video all zipped up for all. Cobwebs is great, especially near the end.

Crossed Out Name
Fix It
Q and A


If Ryan Adams had his way, he would have preferred to have his own name off of his recent album 'Cardinology,' and just have it say 'The Cardinals,' the moniker of his current group. He even suggested taking a Sharpie and crossing off 'Ryan Adams' on the spine of the album. "[Lost Highway, our record label] could not get it through their heads," Adams says at the band's Sessions taping, "that we were just the Cardinals, and that it was probably a bad idea to keep my name in front of it. But this has been going on for four albums."

His adamant feeling about is are indicative of the strong band vibe within the Cardinals, which includes pedal steel guitarist Jon Graboff, guitarist Neal Casal, bassist Chris Feinstein and drummer Brad Pemberton. The whole Cardinal clan flocked to our Sessions studio to perform some cuts from 'Cardinology' and to talk about the album, their working relationship and making homemade monster movies while on the road.

The reviews for 'Cardinology' have been very positive.

Ryan: I myself don't look at them. I don't read rock journalism because it's usually rock journalists are like the bottom of the bottom-of-the barrel writers. They're almost scumbags. When we walk away from the records I think all of us, at least for me, I know what we do in the room and that day is more important to me than the perception after.

Do you have any theme in mind when making a record?

Ryan: Well, no. This record is a Cardinals album. What people imagine my job is and what it really is in the band are actually two very different things. My job is to just be creative and that's it. I sit at home [and] I don't do anything different than what I've ever done. In fact, I actually have more time just sort of make these half-assed demos. Then I pass them on to these guys and these guys find things that they like. We'll sort of work on these ideas and the music will come around. And then when it's time for [them] to really be written. Then from a list of 30 or 40 comes a list of 20 and then I sit down and I really finish those words if I can.

And then I leave the studio as much as I can ... so I come up with some jam ideas because I like to spaz out on some bad guitars and I hand it to you guys and we have fun. Plus, I'm like really highly volatile right now because I'm 33 and I'm going to die alone. The woman I love decided to be with someone else, so f--- me.

The last song on the album, 'Stop,' is very moving. Talk about that track.

Ryan: I just kind of squeezed it out at the last minute. It just fell out. It was actually a completely different song. Then this woman I loved is never going to love me back because I screwed it up. One minute I had it and we could have fixed it but I didn't fix it. Anyway, [the song] seems like it could be about addiction issues, but to me it's actually about something entirely different.

Jon: The way it was made was different than any other song on the record. That was really the only song on the record, which Ryan sang, played on the piano and then basically left and said, "See what you guys can do with it." We just kind of thought about it and said, "Let's take this part out, lets add this part here," and it was really interesting. I think we did a really good job on that one.

Even though Ryan's name is front and center on the album cover, there definitely seems to be a band vibe throughout the record.

Ryan: We've been a band since [2005's] 'Cold Roses' but for some reason we just couldn't get anyone to understand that. I really don't want to make a record under "Ryan Adams." Hearing my own name makes me want to take a dagger and like literally shove it so f---ing hard into my stomach until I'm dead that I just can't f---ing stand it. I just want to be in the band that I'm in and I just want to go home and be alone for the rest of my f---ng life and die under a big stack of comics and let roaches eat my f---ing eyes out of my skull because that's how it is. But it's cool.

Jon: That being said ...

Ryan: I've had this [Cardinals] dream for a long time ... and it's shared by four of my best friends. That's really intense and we carry it everyday, we carry it all over the place and it works. It's just going to be good to get past this area where it has to have something to do with me because I'm just f---ing tired of my s--- and I just want to make some tunes.

What do the Cardinals do on the road?

Jon: Panty raids. [laughs] I'm only kidding, of course ... chess.

Ryan: Brad and Jon play chess a lot, Neal sits in his bunk and stares at the top [laughs], and chills out and watches surf movies.

Neal: We're all friends, we hang out and do stuff together. It's not just something where we just work.

You guys also make homemade monster movies? Tell us about them.

Ryan: We just hit up a Super K in the middle of the night [and] get the bus driver to stop. We get a couple of masks and then we're off in the middle of nowhere. We just go out in the parking lot and like come up with a dumb thing. I'll have my camera out and there will be almost no dialogue but there will be a lot of plastic swordplay, and maybe some gunplay if we can find guns.

Chris: Its fun to watch the locals watch it happen.

Ryan, you've been in the media spotlight for the last couple of years. What is your opinion about how the media covers you?

Ryan: Do you have a phone number or an address for the Media? I don't believe in things like the media or the corporation because that doesn't exist. If you broke apart that idea what you would find is thousands of individuals who have broken hearts, who have something wonderful to say, who have stories, and that's what I'm interested in.

Are you thinking about the next album?

Neal: Yeah we're thinking about it alright, there's already new songs for it. We already have a song, like song 1, of the next journey.

Ryan: I always get so excited about making the next ... I'm like an over excited ... you know like people who bake, they make baked goods -- I get so excited just to get up and get in the kitchen. Just the kitchen smells and what we're going to put in it this time. That's my favorite thing. By the time we get to the lyrics, I'm usually pretty worn out because it's usually going to be the same thing: "She's going to stay with him, it's never going to f---ing happen and I'm going to die alone." That's the way it's going to be.

Jon: Under a mountain of comics.

---David Chiu

Download - Ryan Adams & The Cardinals - AOL Sessions 2008 - MP3

Download - Ryan Adams & The Cardinals - AOL Sessions 2008 - MP4 (video)


Deanokat said...

Why does the Q&A part of this--both audio and video--only contain the answer to one question? Just curious.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, was hoping you'd post the audio to these.

Jason said...

Deanokat - that was all that was posted on the AOL site. If more becomes of available I will gladly grab that too!

Anonymous - I did post the audio, it is the first link.

Anonymous said...

Oh, sorry... that's what I meant. Thanks for posting the audio links.

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