Adam Gnade & the Hot Earth All-Stars
SPB: Do you approach writing lyrics differently than you approach fiction?
Gnade: With fiction I have this big well of a story I draw from. A lot of it is planned out already--how my characters interact, where their lives go, their deaths, births, marriages, their struggles, their ambitions and their failures. I've got it all there in my head (and partially on paper) and when it's time to write a book I just pick up a section of it and tell that part of the story. It's planned out, yeah, but the story itself is always expanding--new characters come in, other fade away or are set aside for later. I write one book at a time but I have about eight outlined and ready to be filled in.
The "talking songs" are taken from the same universe but with them I just pick up one small idea and expand upon it--a single scene in a character's life or maybe a question I'm worrying myself over. Hopefully when put together one day they'll comprise a large and substantial body of work. I want it to be something vast and alive and hungry and immersive. Something like Proust meets Springsteen--one long connected saga of American life that will be a history of the time we lived and who we were and what we did here.