Ryan Adams splits with the Cardinals and announces hiatus

Health issues and hearing problems have forced the singer-songwriter to take time out from music and pursue more gentle goals. Like writing the Great American Novel

Ryan Adams has announced a musical hiatus, dissolving his band and looking forward to "quieter times". In a voluminous blogpost, the singer-songwriter also announced an end to: smoking, blogging, insomnia, "narcissistic over-indulgent behaviour" and his relationship with "someone I loved".

He explains in his blogpost: "Me – 34, a non-smoker and happy for the first time in my life," he began, before explaining that Ryan Adams and the Cardinals will play their final gig on 20 March in Atlanta, Georgia. The Cardinals have been Adams's backing band on five albums, starting in 2005.

"Atlanta will be my last venture with the band and I am grateful for the time we have had and maybe someday we will have more stories to tell together," he wrote. "I am, however, ready for quieter times as I think it is very evident I am struggling with some balance and hearing issues."

Adams said he is suffering from "inner-ear issues", tinnitus and other problems that affect not just his hearing but his balance. Responding to recent accusations of drunkenness at gigs, Adams said his behaviour was caused by the "tremendous pain and nausea" from these health issues.

Although he is taking a break from music, Adams vowed to continue with creative work. "I LOVE writing," he said, promising two books in addition to Infinity Blues, an anthology of poetry and short stories due this year. But this affection for writing does not extend to blogging.

"I won't be blogging here anymore – but not for effect – it just is not being kind to myself – I need a life that is mine – I need to grow up and grow into who I have subtly been working back towards ... Love is the great teacher and I am happy to be learning now. Happy to be listening to that over this never ending painful ringing."

Adams complained that the celebrity life is not as "glamourous" as it looks, nor as "monetarily ... rewarding as people would like you to believe". "Yes," he wrote, "it is soul destroying."

"Maybe I will work my way back into some kind of music situation but this is the time for me to step back now ... My dream was to try and tap into [the] energy I saw watching Minutemen VCR tapes ... of Mike Watt's crazy shaking leg and his electric fingers – or how Sonic Youth droned into beautiful clouds those guitars shaking, Kim and Steve rattling the pulsing lines into feverish thudding imaginary subway cars racing through my heart."

With or without an editor, those books can't come soon enough.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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