Mark Wilson, Getty As most of North America and the world watched, Hurricane…
- Posted on Oct 13th 2010 12:30PM by Jenny Charlesworth
"The idea wasn't necessarily to get material for songs, but just to kind of get the synapses firing," Adkins tells Spinner. "I would look through the photography of Hannah Starky and Cindy Sherman. They have these very composed cinematic images -- there's definitely a narrative there that's unexplained -- and I think even if you're not a person [coming] from a writing perspective, you just start asking yourself questions. You can't help but be provoked."
"And what I would do is take 15 minutes and just fill in the blanks; write everything I could about the characters and what their situations was."
Projecting his own whims and trepidations upon the female subjects featured in Sherman's 'Completely Untitled Film Still' and Starkey's 'Photographs 1997-2007' -- the two photo books which fueled his brainstorming sessions -- Adkins was able to flesh out stories of heartache, big city disappointment and cruel twists of fate, stories that came to define the new album.
"Some of the more interesting ideas that I would come up with in those writing sessions would creep into those songs," says the Arizona-based singer-guitarist. "I think about 90 percent of 'Invented' is based on those writing sessions."
While the technique of object writing, as it is called, sounds altogether romantic -- just imagine Adkins, notebook by his side, holding a photo lightly between his fingertips as he tries to unlock the secret of the girl pictured before him -- the frontman doesn't care to frame it this way. He's much more nonchalant when it comes to discussing the approach.
"You're always inspired by art, and you're always drawing inspiration from what you're emerging yourself in," he says. "For me, it's been other music, it's been fiction -- and it's been photography."