How do you usually write the lyrics of your songs?
My lyrics are mostly about events that happen to me directly or happen around me.
I’ll have something that makes me happy, sad or angry…then mostly a sentence will trigger an idea. It can be something that someone says or I’ll think about how I can get my point across and still make it lyrically appealing.
Like the title track for the upcoming album is called “Stung”. I wasn’t literally stung of course but I was in a place and time where I was really down and meeting my girlfriend lit a fire under my ass and got me to dive in head first to make this album and release my music.
So with “stung” I want to tell you about a turnaround in my life. Being injected with a new way of looking at life.
What is the best verse you ever wrote?
Phew, that’s a hard one. I always am striving for lyrics to evoke some kind of relatable emotion. I love it how a song lyric can transport me to a part of my life.
Like the band “Strand Of Oaks” has a song called “Goshen ‘97”. That song transports me back to a time where I was a kid in my bedroom recording my first songs on an old Akai tape recorder. Those moments where I was alone creating songs are some of the most joyful moments in my life.
Creating something from nothing, so pure, so simple. And that song gets me every time. So back to the question, hehe. The lyric I wrote myself that does that best for now has to be the first verse of the song “You & Me” on the upcoming album. It goes like this:
Come and behold, my heart caught a cold
Cause It got stuck in a fever, that left me believin’
I had the right to act like a fool
Thank god for friends and how they zoom the lens
On the shit you’ve been pullin’,
And what you should have been doin’
So you remember the golden rule…
Don’t stop believing
You gotta get that feeling
Got me a hold of you and I’m done acting cool
You & me…
It celebrates meeting new people and accepting new challenges in life.
You want something, go and get it.
Surrounding yourself with positive people will only empower that feeling. It always brings me back to a certain summer and meeting new people. I even got them to sing on the song in the studio which means a lot to me.
And the one of your favorite song ?
There are so many artists and songs that mean so much to me so picking one is impossible. I love so many different types of music. It can go from Marvin Gaye to Led Zeppelin and from Willie Nelson to Pantera.
One that always comes to mind is the song “Thunder Road” by “Bruce Springsteen” on the “Hammersmith Odeon, London ’75” live album.
The way he tells the story and paints the pictures in his lyrics is cinematic.
I can close my eyes and follow the movie in my mind. I always get goose bumps and a lump in my throat when that one comes on.
Can you tell us more about the song “ I wanna be your moneys friend”?
I’m the worst possible person with money you will ever encounter.
I’ll probably never get rich, haha. It’s a song where I kinda make fun of myself and the fact how bad I am with cash. Hence the lyric, “I wanna be your moneys friend, but money ain’t got the time, I wanna be your moneys friend, but the money is yours and not mine”. It’s like I wanna tell everyone it’s not really my fault…it’s “Moneys” fault.
Hehe. It’s good sometimes not to take yourself too serious.
What inspired “little dress”?
Sometimes I can be a little impatient, wanting stuff and feeling bad I have to wait, Or if something doesn’t go as I planned it in my head.
One day I was nagging about something and my girlfriend told me to stop my “whining and crying”. That If I kept “whining and crying I should put on my little dress and go a cry like a little princess”.
Hehe, so after that I had the hook to the whole song. I knocked it out on one afternoon with a co-writer Tom Lodewyckx. We had a lot of fun writing that one!
When you will release a new album?
We’ll be releasing the album by the end of this year digitally. We want to put out on vinyl and support the album with a tour.
So far I’ve funded everything myself so I had complete control over the creative process. I want to keep having that freedom not having to make compromises so we’ll be putting up a crowd fund campaign on www.shtevil.com and all the social media so look out for that one.
By helping out you’ll make a chance to have some cool rewards in return. Like exclusive music, online jams and maybe even an acoustic living room concert. And you’ll be a part of making a cool tour and vinyl album happen!
Do you remember the day you wrote “On Fire”?
Yes I do. I co-wrote the song with Julie Sohier on one evening. I was in a place where I was in a romantic relationship that had no stable future at the time.
But it had a lot of passion going on, we’ve all been there..hehe. She related with the topic and came up with the melody for the verse. I always wanted to have a song where the big hook was a guitar riff instead of a vocal melody.
I love it when a simple riff hits you right between the eyes. Like “Whole Lotta Love”, “Iron Man”, “Smoke On The Water”… So I came up with the riff that kinda had the rhythmic structure the verse had but then WAY heavier.
The whole song was written in about 30 minutes. That was a good night!
What music means to you?
Everything…I wake up and go to sleep with it. It got me through rough times.
It literally picks you up when you’re down. It keeps you going, even when you don’t feel like it.
It made me connect with people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. It directs my choices in life.
It shaped me for big part into the person I am now. I truly believe that without it I would have been a completely different person.
What makes you happy in life?
So much. I love looking around me and just seeing how blessed I am having such an amazing girlfriend daughter, dog, family and friends that love me no matter what.
I love creating something. Making music, that goes without saying, but also cooking. I love food!
Getting great ingredients and making sure the flavours match is a lot like making a good song. That and I just have a passion for eating amazing food. Haha!
That’s probably one of the reasons I love coming to Italy. They are so proud and passionate about their food and heritage that it makes it easy for me to relate with them.
When they do something it’s all in, 100%. I love that. Last but not least, one of the best feelings is connecting with complete strangers at a live show.
Creating an atmosphere together. Cause me playing my songs isn’t enough.
Seeing the people in the crowd react makes me react up to a point where we’re feeding of each others energy.
That right there is true magic.