Neal Casal’s Brotherhood: Ryan Adams, Chris Robinson and Onward
This is your tenth solo-album, how have you grown as a songwriter?
I think I’ve gotten better and that my best songs aren’t behind me. I’ve learned more about the craft of songwriting as the years have gone by, and luckily, I’m not short on inspiration. From being around great songwriters, I’ve learned more about the turns, phrases and chord progressions and the more I study, the better I get. I have a strong desire to grow.
I recorded my first solo record in 1995 and my new record is stronger. Some people might disagree with me but I think I can prove it.
What’s the significance behind the name of the album Sweeten The Distance ] ?
The thought there is distance is a big part of my life. Like it or not, I’ve created a life of travelling and moving around a lot. There’s a great distance between my friends and the people important to me. Also, I’m living a lot of life and have distance behind me: years and time and history behind where I am now and where I’ve been.
The goal for me as I move on is to be more open and flexible. It’s an offering to sweeten the distance between anything that means something to me.
Will you perform solo or will you put together a band to promote the album?
I’ll perform solo and I’ll put a band together – whatever I can do to get it out there. It’s hard because I’m really busy with CRB, but it’s a good problem to have, but I’ll get out there and play.
Is there a track you’re most proud of?
“White Fence Round House.”
It’s the most important song that I’ve ever written where I got something across. I’m arriving in a certain place in my life and I was able to tap into something deep. And musically, it’s a cool song, very atmospheric, very cool and unique.
The song means so much to me; I don’t even know how to talk about it. I get tongue-tied.
I wrote it in 10-minutes. It flowed right out of me.
How has working with Chris and Ryan helped you as a musician/songwriter?
It’s great to be around as much high quality musicians as you can be around. Chris is such an inspiring person to be around – he’s a non-stop stream of ideas. His passion for music raises the bar for me. Ryan too – is highly talented and I’m very lucky to be around them.