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Interview:
Butch Walker was happy to cede control to Ryan Adams for new album
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Butch Walker always figured that some sort of collaboration with Ryan Adams was inevitable.

The former Marvelous 3 and SouthGang member -- as well as a producer and songwriter himself for Weezer, Avril Lavigne, Sevendust, All-American Rejects and many more -- says that he and Adams, who produced Walker's upcoming seventh solo album "Afraid of Ghosts," "were mutual fans of each other's work for several years. I'd been kind of admiring him from afar since his Whiskeytown days. I think we always kind of felt like we had a weird, separated brotherhood thing with our (heavy) metal backgrounds our kind of eclectic tastes in all things music."

Georgia native Walker, 44, and Adams wound up meeting via Twitter, exchanging compliments and "just getting to know each other." That led to Adams asking Walker to open some shows for him, and Walker says "we just hit it off and thought it would be fun to get in the studio and work on stuff together at some point, and do music." And when Walker played Adams some of the songs he was working on for "Afraid of Ghosts," the opportunity presented itself quite clearly.

"Immediately he jumped in with all these opinions and ideas and stuff," Walker recalls, "which can be overbearing, but I loved it. He was like, 'If I was making your record, I'd make it like this and that,' and something about that appealed to me.

"I've been making my own records for so damn long, I was burned out with having to produce myself and argue with myself. It became work, and it wasn't fun for me to do both jobs. So it was nice to hear somebody inject educated opinions into what I was doing, and with (Adams) I felt like he's just crazy enough to be able to have the (guts) to produce a producer, 'cause not many people will do that. So I asked, and we went for it."

"Afraid of Ghosts" doesn't come out until Feb. 3, but Walker has already released the title track and "Chrissie Hynde." He's opening for Adams solo on the road right now, but Walker says that sometimes Adam will "come up and surprise me. Everyone once in awhile, he and his whole band back me up on several of the songs during my set, and Ryan will play drums, which is pretty great 'cause it was all him and his band on the new record, so it's great to sometimes play the songs like they sound on the record."

Ryan Adams and Butch Walker

Sunday, Nov. 9. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit.

Tickets are $35-$60.

Call 313-961-5451 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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