Ryan Adams has been clean and sober for over three years, but most journalists are still obsessed with his inability to become the Gram Parsons-esque alt-country martyr they felt was promised to them by the singer/songwriter in his twenties. In an interview with 11th Hour’s Dave Fanning, Adams is confronted on the question of whether his past extroverted behavior and drug addictions overshadowed his music.
“I don’t know other people that made 16 records in 7 years during full functional alcoholism, drug addiction, while, you know, screwing a bunch of celebrities and fucking up their life,” Adams said as part of a long defense of the quality of his work during his twenties. “That’s not how it worked. How it worked was that I was working at such a furious pace, very mindful of the work that I was doing, creating what I think is very solid, very ridiculously well-constructed, well thought-out work that is probably more literate than most people know.”
It is unfortunate Adams is forced to note that all the negative aspects of his personality, which have offended fans and detractors alike, have been more of a side effect to his hard work in creating music than a contamination of his relentless muse. Fanning doesn’t quite see it that way, however, so he tries to make a compromise, stating, “So you partied hard, sure, but you worked hard as well.”
“No, I never partied hard,” Adams interrupts. “I really, really, really, worked, worked as hard as I could… For instance, you couldn’t find a picture of me if you tried, like, sitting at some pub or some bar partying in my twenties and the reason why is because I was in a recording studio, unless I was on stage.”
I want to be careful that this site doesn’t become a “Ryan Adams fanboy” deal, but we at TwentyFourBit, as musicians, think there’s an important distinction between party-fueled drug addiction and self-medicating for artistic exhaustion.
That doesn’t mean we can’t still say STFU, Marrieds.