New music for the next two weeks; Arturo Got The Shaft’s acoustic b-side “Blame It On The Beer” on Furious Instance next week, and the re-release of The Golden Age’s “Calla Lily” EP following! -h
Cory and I had an email conversation about our writing processes this week, excerpts below. It started when I told him I’d written a couple new tunes in past weeks.
… I was pretty on edge a couple months ago. I’m a lot better now; only looking back can I see how edgy I probably was. Starting to write new music again is the final sign of being healthy. I’ve never been able to write out of suffering/angst/etc. I write out of an abundance of energy… sometimes writing about painful/angsty things, but only after the fact, you know? In real time, I’m too tired to write anything worthwhile.
When do you write your breakup songs and stuff? Right then, or later?
I put our old coffeehouse show on the ipod. I had forgotten the hilarious cover, with the literal coffee-house and our balloon heads with our initials for noses and tucci winking.
… I never pick up the guitar unless I’m feeling pretty content. If I were stressed/pissed/etc., playing guitar wouldn’t be fun for me. Usually I’m doing pretty well when I go through a chord/melody-writing burst.
Lyrics, on the other hand, are usually written when someone or something in my life is just bugging the shit out of me; it’s a really good way for me to complain without complaining to any one person, because it wears people down, but it’s necessary sometimes. And when I write a song regarding something or someone that’s bothering me, I can take my time and write in such a way that it’s kind of hard to tell, so it’s never like, “Oh, Howie: you came and you pissed in my gravy, then you kicked it away!” or whatever. I can make it a vague, poetic thing, so it’s not straight-up explicit bitching : )
Once in a while, I’ll write a song about something totally awesome, but it’s hard for me to make that interesting. Darker/sadder stuff is just easier for me. Not that I’m a dark/sad guy, but it’s the stuff that’s obvious to write about. And it does make me feel a lot better when I write lyrics to a song like “Nature vs. Nurture,” because I’m saying it exactly how it needs to be said, and I feel better for being honest.
You need to get me a jpeg of that coffee-house album cover! -Uncle Corky
… thanks for sharing about your process! can i blog parts of this conversation?
i need to scan the Golden Age covers, so i’ll do coffeehouse while i’m at it! (snap, if i can find the original disc! all my CDs are in milk crates now!)