Ryan Adams’ first book of poetry, Infinity Blues, has just been published, marking the singer/songwriter’s first creative output since marrying singer/actress Mandy Moore last month and announcing his “step back” from music. The Guardian recently spoke to Adams, Steve Earle, Billy Bragg and Nick Cave about their foray into non-musical writing.
“My grandparents raised me reading tons of stuff: Hemingway, Edith Wharton, southern Gothic literature,” Ryan Adams said. “My grandfather passed away a while ago now, around Christmas time, and every Christmas I just burned up thinking about it. I miss him a lot and think about the stuff they taught me and I just thought that out of respect – because my grandmother is still alive – I needed to go away and do the work.”
Adams said he wrote for eight hours a day, making sure not to slow down or look back until he was completely spent. “A man doesn’t get driven to write a book unless there’s a sense of loss, unless there’s something missing,” he said. “I used everything I had to lessen that gap, to jump across from who I was to who I wanted to be. I wanted to get it on paper because I knew I’d never feel that way again.”