Earlier this week, I interviewed Adam Granduciel of The War On Drugs, whose superb new Slave Ambient came out yesterday on the Secretly Canadian label. On Thursday, TWOD - or the Drugs, if you prefer - play Johnny Brenda's before heading out on a national and a international tour.
Granduciel takes some exception to claims that his music owes a great deal to Tom Petty, who he admires for his pop sense (and his guitarist, Mike Campbell). But Petty "is a huge hook guy," Granduciel says, "And I don't write choruses, let alone a good one."
The Drugs leader is unabashed about his admiration for his other oft-cited influence, however. That would be Bob Dylan, who is playing the Mann Center with Leon Russell opening tonight. Here's what he had to say on the subject of Bob, after "One Of Must Know (Sooner or Later)" started to play on the Honey's Sit n' Eat stereo.
"It's like some people are with Godfather II. You don't watch it every day, but you know it's tops. When I was younger, from 17 to 21, that was the peak of that kind of obsession.But now it's mostly Time Out of Mind... That stuff just does something totally amazing. Time Out Of Mind, Love & Theft. From about '96 until now. I don't know Together Through Life that well.
Just his mood, and his approach. I read a lot of books with enginers who've worked with him. Just his approach to recording his music now. For being 70 years old, it's just still like such an intense process. Always searching for the right feel of the song.
For him, that might be more genre-hopping. If you go to Tell Tale Signs, there are gems he left off those records. Like "Red River Shore." "Black Water Falls" [on Slave Ambient] - that's my attempt at referencing "Red River Shore." He left that off of Time Out Of Mind. [Shakes head.] All the different permutations of the songs. I just find that commitment so impressive and so inspiring."