Neal Casal’s Brotherhood: Ryan Adams, Chris Robinson and Onward
FLYING WITH THE CARDINALS
How did you get hooked up with Ryan?
Ryan‘s another guy that I knew from back in the day. We had a lot of mutual friends and connections. Producer Jim Scott had done my first solo record ( Fade Away Diamond Time ) and Whiskeytown’s Strangers Almanac and I got to know Ryan through Jim. We always talked about doing something and then it took some years before it came around and happened.
What was it like to work with Ryan?
It’s intense, but so inspiring to be around someone who’s talented as him. He’s very thrilling and also pretty hard at times, because there are so many songs, so much coming at you at one time. But overall, it was an incredible, amazing period of creativity.
How many tracks did you play on Ryan’s new album Ashes and Fire and was the magic still there?
I played on three tracks and it was great. He’s in fine form. I will always have a connection with him. It doesn’t go away just because you don’t play in the same band anymore.
During your time with the Cardinals you published your first photography collection, Ryan Adams and the Cardinals: A View of Other Windows. What type of formal training did you have?
Photography is a strange thing for me. I didn’t get into it until my 30s. No training, just figured it out on my own. I always had an interest in photography. I always was fascinated and intrigued by photography but never had enough confidence that I could do it.
Then in my 30s, I started taking pictures to make life on tour more bearable. It’s a great life but very lonely and photography turned into a way to pass the hours on tour and make art a larger part of my day. People started telling me that I had a good eye for it and I started taking it more seriously and started documenting the bands I was around.
From Day One when I joined the Cardinals, I started documenting everything and it turned into a book and it blew my mind. That book is the most rewarding part of my career because it was so unexpected, because it wasn’t something I was trying to do.