Adams talks Prince, AC/DC and unresolved love
Ryan Adams has opened up about what went into writing the ‘Prince and AC/DC’ inspired new single ‘Do You Still Love Me’. Watch the NME ‘Song Stories’ video above.
The song was the first taster and lead single from his upcoming 16th album ‘Prisoner’, and saw him adventurously experimenting with what was possible with the rock guitar format.
“I came up with the idea of these false starts on guitar, which is kinda AC/DC,” Adams told NME. “That juxtaposition is weird, but I imagine it in my mind as being like ‘this is Prince, but this is Prince with a couple of Les Pauls. From the first taste of it I was like, ‘this is rad’.”
Describing the meaning of the song and how the lyrics automatically came to him, Adams continued: “I think it’s direct, but I think there’s subtext in it. I think that there are two ways of looking at it: ‘if you have to ask’ [is one], but then there are all these indicators of stuff never being resolved. Resolution is a way of saying that you have decided to stop participating in act of feeling. I like the idea that I ask a question in the chorus but then I talk about an effect in the verse.”
He added: “I didn’t feel connected to it the way that I do now. It wasn’t until I tried to play it myself on acoustic guitar, because I wrote it myself on an electric guitar with my bros around. When I first played it by myself a little later I was like ‘this is a completely different thing than I thought.”
“I think the theme of this record is that we’re all prisoners of some desires, in that the very things we love are the things that hold us hostage and keep us trapped,” he told NME. “Either we are the cage or we’re in the cage and it’s trying to figure out in every situation which of those things is real.”
‘Prisoner’ will be released on 17 February.
Meanwhile, Ryan Adams has been confirmed to headline Green Man Festival this August alongside PJ Harvey and Future Islands. Other acts on the bill include Michael Kiwanuka, Lambchop, Conor Oberst, Angel Olsen, Field Music and a DJ set from Jon Hopkins. Green Man takes place at Brecon Beacons from August 17-20 on what will be the event’s 15th birthday. Tickets are on sale now. For more information head to Greenman.net.