RECORDING UNDER THE INFLUENCE: Adam Green On … French Lit, ‘Metal Machine’ Jackets, L.A. Coffee and His Cheating Girlfriend

[Photo by Guy Eppel]

Recording Under the Influence is a recurring self-titled feature where we ask artists to ignore their musical inspirations for a minute and share what really went into the making of a particular record. Today’s installment is about Adam Green‘s surprisingly sincere Minor Love LP; surprising because this guy used to sing songs like “Crackhouse Blues,” “Chock On a Cock,” “Bunnyranch” and “Mozzarella Swastikas.” Okay, those were his early solo efforts, but you know what we mean. This time around, the former Moldy Peach is channeling Transformer-era Lou Reed and his cheating girlfriend.

“I didn’t realize when I was recording my record that my girlfriend was cheating on me,” explains Green. “I called her almost every night, and after a while, I could tell that something was wrong. I think that her cheating on me caused my mood to be extra-gloomy while I was recording. That must affect how the record sounds. Thank god that she cheated on me.”

Thank god indeed. We also endorse all of the following outside influences. And if you’re in New York, be sure to check out Green’s Teen Tech art show, which is open to the public this Friday and Saturday at the Morrison Hotel Gallery Bowery. Green’s also headlining Bowery Ballroom shows both nights.

Buddy Bradley is a character from Peter Bagge‘s comic book Hate. One time my friend said that I looked like Buddy Bradley. I was surprised when he said this because I had never heard anybody reference Buddy Bradley before. I wrote a song for my album called “Buddy Bradley” because I wanted to bring him to a wider attention so that everybody can enjoy Buddy Bradley as I have.

Against Nature is a French novel by Joris-Karl Huysmans. I read this book while we were recording. I kept on fantasizing about turning my apartment into a decadent playground where I could wait around to die. The house where I was recording was also very lonely when [producer] Noah [Georgeson] wasn’t around. I didn’t have a car and I would just sit in my room and smoke cigarettes. I started to become enamored with Huysman’s anti-hero Des Esseintes because he seemed so content to be alone.

The coffee from Intelligentsia is really wonderful and it became something that I needed to have everyday. I hate the name of this place and I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it. I never felt like a bigger asshole then when I asked a guy on the street if he knew where “Intelligentsia” was. He obviously thought that I was a total schmuck. I like how it tastes though, so I will continue to buy it all the time.

I had a studded leather jacket made in NY that I brought to El Lay when I was recording. It was made to be a replica of Lou Reed’s jacket from the cover of Metal Machine Music. I wore it a lot when I was tracking vocals and I got way into that vibe when I was recording. Metal Machine Music is the worst album ever, but the cover is so great!

I want to make a black-metal record and a Christian record.