How do you usually write the lyrics of your songs?
I always start with one phrase or line that just pops in my head while playing the chord progression of a song. Then I just keep playing a part over and over and trying out any lyric that comes to mind. Once I land on a few lines that are feeling good together and convey a point I stop playing guitar and start writing things down. Then once I have a whole verse or more written I pick the guitar back up and sing it all. I see what works and what doesn’t and go back to the drawing board as needed. It’s a lot of editing and trial and error.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing in songwriting?
Honesty! Not that a song has to be a true story or even based in reality but that it has to be an honest expression of the writer. I’m not sure how to really pinpoint it, it’s just something you can feel. You don’t ever want a song to feel like a put-on or a costume.
Are you ever scared of revealing aspects of your personal life/experience to strangers through your music?
I used to be, when I was younger but by now I’ve embarrassed myself or made a fool of myself enough times in person to never worry about a song.
What is the best lyric that you ever wrote (the most meaningful for you)?
I’ve always loved “Step in the ring if you’re ready to fight, tape up your wrists so your blows they land right and you’ll know me. You will know who I am. My blood is yours it belongs on your hands.” from NO WIN’s song “After Your Legs”. Its always fun to sing.
What inspired “Vision”, part of your latest album “Downey”?
Vision was written about a toxic friendship with someone who never felt what they had was good enough. The kind of person who would throw anyone not in the room under a bus to make sure it seems like nothing is their fault. Someone who is never satisfied with what other people offer them.
And “After Your Legs”?
“After Your Legs” is about the underdog who everyone loves to champion. It’s about the young up and coming fighter just trying to make the cut by any means necessary and it’s about the old champ, long past his prime, refusing to be put out to pasture. 13th round stuff.
Do you remember the day you wrote “Endless Scan”?
I do. Home alone in my Highland Park apartment, going through a box of old things from old acquaintences.
Is there a link/a common theme between all the songs of the new album?
Not intentionally. If you find it let me know.
What are your plans for 2019? A new album in March and then?
Tour as much as possible and don’t die.
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 “Downey”: True.
- The best show you ever played: Yet to come. There’s always something better coming.
- The one thing that you must have in your backstage: Light Beer, domestic, cheap.
- The soundtrack of your childhood: UB40 – Labour of Love II (played loudly by my father on vacation).
- Your favorite song lyrically speaking, but not written by you: Way too many to name. Just thinking about answering this made my head spin.
- Last question is “unusual”, we want to know your best relationship advice: Don’t retreat.