Ryan Adams is sworn to the black

Who would’ve guessed that one of alt-country’s most beloved singer-songwriters held underground black metal in such high esteem? While Ryan Adams isn’t an artist that many metal fans would break out on regular occassion (unless you’re trying too hard to impress a girl), a recent New York Times interview has shown that he has much higher kvlt cred than your average country boy. A favorite excerpt of mine…

..on one-man California black metal band Xasthur

“My listening tastes are absolutely not in tune with the kind of music I make. The music that interests me is a bit weirder. “Defective Epitaph” has really far-out guitars; it’s not really lyrical. When I close my eyes and listen, I think of a heartbroken demon sitting beside these ashes in hell and really missing his girlfriend. It’s like romantic death metal. The aggressiveness of [Malefic’s] guitar riffs can be quite brutal. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s really clever.”

I’m willing to bet that that quote would surprise the fuck out of the majority of Adams fanbase; but personally, it’s just great to see that an artist appreciates strong influences from something so different from their own art. In my opinion, being open to this kind of extreme variety can only be healthy for artistic progression, so I say kudos and horns up to Adams. You can continue this interesting read at New York Times website, where Adams justifies his love for everything from stoner, black, and thrash metal to pop and hip hop.

For now, everyone should check out the contrast between Adams performing live and the dark chaos and aura of Xasthur (and for the record, I personally love them both – so Adams must be doing something right)…

Ryan Adams – “Chin Up, Cheer Up” (live video)

Xasthur – “Cemetery of Shattered Masks” (unofficial fan video …because this band is sooo underground that he doesn’t have any interviews, live performances, or music videos) haha \m/ Very dense, heavy, atmospheric shit. This guy has work with other American black metal artists such as Nachtmystium and Leviathan in a project called Twilight with Aaron Turner of Isis. Check it out! It’s very creepy, trippy shit – perfect for Halloween..


2 Responses to “Ryan Adams is sworn to the black”

  1. Ok so this has more going for it than the typical Xasthur bullshit. it’s more musical. Thank you, Aaron, for that. I can’t take the being pursued by a demon through the corridors of the damned vocals, though. No, that won’t do. I can’t take it seriously. Now, Alan Dubin of Khanate, now that shit is choice. Compared to Dubin, Xasthur is like a kid being forced to go to bed for not eating his vegetables, wailing all the while.

  2. there’s no denying khanate’s greatness… but xasthur definitely hits the mark with me more often than not.. definitely more than most of the bands i hear on the radio – just saying. I think his greatest stuff is yet to come.

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