Ryan Adams has developed quite the successful solo career since releasing his debut full-length, Heartbreaker, over 16 years ago, but there’s plenty some of the singer-songwriter’s fans don’t know about him. 2017 alone holds some big plans, but what other facts don’t you know about Adams?
Here, we take a deeper look into the alt-country star’s life and career to share five fast facts you need to know.
1. Ryan Adams’ First Taste of Success was with His Band, Whiskeytown
Ryan Adams’ musical roots are in punk rock, but an early taste of alt-country made him reconsider a career path. In 1994 and running to around 2001, Adams was the lead singer of Whiskeytown, a band that consisted of a new lineup on each record they made, except for Adams and violinist co-founder, Caitlin Cary. The revolving door of other members included Mike Daly, Phil Wandscher, Brad Rice, Skillet Gilmore, Steve Terry, and James Iha.
The band recorded three albums before their demise. Whiskeytown’s debut record, Faithless Street, was widely praised and labeled the band as leaders of the alt-country movement. This release led to a major label contract with Geffen Records, and the release of Whiskeytown’s most celebrated records, Strangers Almanac.
Whiskeytown’s third studio album, Pneumonia, would become the band’s last. A change in the band’s sound and Ryan Adams recording and releasing his first solo record eventually led to the imminent demise of Whiskeytown.
You can read more about the true demise of Whiskeytown right here.
2. Adams Runs His Own Record Label & Recording Studio Called Pax-AM
He’s been in the industry since 1994, so it came as no surprise when Ryan Adams founded his own record label, Pax-AM, in 2004. It was set up as a label that would facilitate releasing demos and more that Adams’ record label at the time, Lost Highway, wouldn’t release. Around four years later, his Lost Highway contract was up and Pax-AM became the destination for Ryan Adams’ music.
His studio, which shares the same name as his label, is based in Los Angeles. There, he works with his own band of studio musicians on solo work as well as other projects. For instance, he produced and recorded Jenny Lewis’ 2014 album, The Voyager at his studio.
Pax-AM Records has two exciting projects coming up in 2017 – both of which we talk about a little bit further down the page, so we hope the anticipation is building right now.
3. Ryan Adams and Mandy Moore were Married for 6 Years & Finalized their Divorce in 2016
Adams was married to actress and singer Mandy Moore for six years. They led a very private life, even though both of them were in the limelight for their respective careers. While the details of the separation and subsequent divorce aren’t exactly clear, there have been plenty of tabloids out there that swear they know the truth.
Whatever the reason, the divorce was finalized in 2016 and both members of the former couple have moved on both personally and professionally. While Adams has his busy music schedule for 2017, Moore is experiencing a new flurry of attention thanks to her new hit TV series, This is Us.
4. He’s Releasing His New Album ‘Prisoner’ on Feb. 17, 2017
Adam’s 16th studio album in 17 years, Prisoner, drops on February 17, 2017. The announcement came in early December 2016, accompanied by a release of the record’s first single, “Do You Still Love Me?” Soon after, he released the album’s second single, “To Be Without You” just ahead of the 2016 Holiday Season.
As we mentioned above, Adams recently finalized his divorce from Mandy Moore, after six years of marriage. In a recent interview with The Japan Times (via Pitchfork), the songwriter admitted that his “very public” divorce has had a very large influence on his upcoming record.
5. Ryan Adams is Recording Liz Phair’s New Double Album
As if releasing his own brand new album in 2017 wasn’t enough to get you excited, Adams recently revealed that he’s teaming up with alt-rocker Liz Phair for a double album. Though a release date has yet to be announced, fans are just happy to have some new songs from Phair, whose last record was her self-released 2010 album, Funstyle.
Thanks to his social media activity (such as the tweet above), Adams is allowing fans into the exciting recording process, which he is equally as thrilled about. He’s admittedly a big fan of Phair.
In fact, Ryan Adams teased his Twitter followers with a quick soundbite from one of Phair’s new songs. Click here to check it out!