The war on drugs never stops looking for answers in music


Baby Bruce (named Springsteen) had a profound impact on “I Don’t Live Here Anymore”, both logistically and thematically. While working on previous records, Granduciel sometimes languished in the studio until the early hours of the morning. During the sessions after his son was born, he made a point of being home by 5 p.m. bath time, and tried to finish work at 9 or 10 to be fresh for the parent’s shift. morning. He smiles as he describes his daily routine with Bruce: they sit together on the porch, he drinks coffee and Bruce has breakfast.

If that sounds like the antithesis of a rock star lifestyle, Granduciel doesn’t care. He feels “zero connection” with celebrity and has emphasized the normality and anonymity of his everyday life. Still, Granduciel’s closeness to stardom was evident when, in the week between our conversations, he briefly became a tabloid article amid reports that he and Bruce’s mother, actress Krysten Ritter, had each other. separated. (He denied them and refused to expand.)

The reduction in studio time made Granduciel fear not to “deepen” enough the record. It helped him to be able to compare his grades with Everett, also a new dad, and a workmate he first sought out after reading about “Extreme Recording Techniques” (Everett’s Description) which he used when creating “Sound & Color”, Alabama Shakes’ album from 2015.

Throughout our conversations, Granduciel – seemingly aware of his reputation as a sovereign conductor, and perhaps eager to shift his focus – pointedly called out for contributions from his various collaborators. Robbie Bennett, who has been playing piano with the band since 2010, hooked “I Don’t Live Here Anymore”; Anthony LaMarca, who plays guitar in the touring band, was responsible for the “iconic drum fills” that gave shape to the record’s first demos. Remote recording, made necessary by the pandemic, allowed Granduciel’s group mates to work and think on their own schedules, producing what he called “enthusiastic” results.

Although increasingly comfortable with his leadership skills, Granduciel does not seem interested in moving beyond middle management. He has his own label – Super High Quality Records, on which he released a live album last year – but has no plans to use it for anything other than one-off side projects. “I Don’t Live Here Anymore” fulfills his two-record deal with Atlantic, and while he hasn’t signed with the label yet, he would if asked. “I’ve always been a good employee,” he says. “I don’t really have any interest in being the record producer and the company at the same time. “

And despite Granduciel’s thoughts about putting down his guitar and walking away, he said he felt called to the music: “I think I need this life to be truly satisfied.”

About Ethel Nester

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