How do you usually write the lyrics of your songs?
It happens all different ways… but my usual routine is I have some anchor lyrics that I get right off the bat and I mumble around between those as I work out the melody… really just singing gibberish at first. Once the arrangement and melody are finished I buckle down and finish the lyrics. It can happen super-fast like “Got Off Easy” or “Hacienda” or it can take awhile like “Are We Still Here.” More often than not lyrics are what take me the longest to write.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing in songwriting?
Persistence and repetition. You have to write and write. Your writing will get better the more you do it, and once you get to the point where you’re writing good songs, be prepared to have someone tell you that your songs are no good. That’s when your persistence comes into play. Don’t quit. It’s a business of no’s.
Are you ever scared of revealing aspects of your personal life/experience to strangers through your music?
I’ve always thought I wasn’t writing about my personal life and was only making up narratives. It was later I realized I’d always been writing about myself. That said, I’m a pretty open person… no hesitations.
What is the best lyric that you ever wrote (the most meaningful for you)?
“Wah, ah…it was good.”
What inspired “Hacienda,” part of your latest album “Anywhere You Go”?
I was at the beach in Tulum Mexico at a funky little hotel. Joe Walsh “Life’s Been Good” came on the stereo and I thought ‘No one is making music and writing lyrics like this anymore.’ I borrowed a guitar from the hotel and wrote hacienda in about 30 minutes.
And “Bleed For It”?
I wanted to write something that felt like “Let It Bleed” era stones. I was writing with Jeff Trott who wrote all the old Sheryl Crow hits. He’s an amazing guitarist, and I knew he’d be perfect to work with on that kind of song. It’s just about attitude and swagger.
Do you remember the day you wrote “The Bad Old Days”?
Wrote this with Jason Reeves on an amazing Fall day. I was in a really good place and wanted to write something about being positive and looking forward.
Is there a link/a common theme among the songs of the new album?
The goal was to do everything the opposite of how I’d done it in the past. Writing, production, everything. To really mix it up.
What is the best suggestion your producer gave you?
Don’t sing so hard.
What are your plans for the upcoming months?
I’m going out and supporting this blockbuster album! ha… yeah I’ll be hitting clubs and theatres in the US. I have an amazing band I’ve put together, and I can’t wait to play these songs live!
To conclude the interview a short Q/A session, please answer the first thing that comes to your mind:
- Define in one word your album “Anywhere You Go” (pre-order it HERE): supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
- The best show you ever played: So many, but one was playing the Filmore in San Francisco…the day Jerry Garcia died. So mourners were all around outside for a sold out show Better than Ezra had. We played a couple dead songs that night and then Ian McCollough and Will Sargent from Echo & the Bunnymen got up on stage with us and we played a bunch of Echo songs.
- The one thing that you must have in your backstage: An acoustic guitar.
- The soundtrack of your childhood: Elton John – ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.’
- Your favourite song lyrically speaking, but not written by you: ‘Famous Blue Raincoat’ by Leonard Cohen.
- Last question is “unusual,” we want to know your best relationship advice: BE committed and faithful, otherwise you’re both wasting your time.