How do you usually write the lyrics of your songs?
Every song is a new adventure for me. For the last few years I’ve been keeping a giant list of things in my life that I’d like to write about. I add to it pretty much every day. Sometimes it’s just a little line, maybe it’s a song title, sometimes it’s just a feeling I’m having. Whenever I’m starting a new song or I have ideas for melodies sometimes I consult the list to get a good sense of my raw emotion the past week or so. As I start to cement the motif I’m going for, words start to fall into place to complement that idea. I like puns and funny rhymes so I have a fun time trying to work those in if they make sense too.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing in songwriting?
My favorite songs are ones that do this beautiful dance with melody in lyrics. When I write, I love trying to find the catchiest melodies I can and and then try to marry those to words that add to the feeling. Melody has always come a little more natural to me, but I’m learning a lot about expressing my real heart in those melodies lately.
Are you ever scared of revealing aspects of your personal life/experience to strangers through your music?
Ultimately I just love making music that I want to hear. Sometimes it gets really personal, but that’s just my way of journaling and soundtracking my life. It can be scary to be honest when things hit close to home, but I think listeners appreciate the sincerity and usually connect more when I say what I really feel.
What is the best lyric that you ever wrote (the most meaningful for you)?
I’m not sure if it’s the best, but this one from “Honeymoon” really sums up how I feel. I wrote “if I’m never a star, but I’ve got my guitar, I’ll be singing songs to you.” I was just about to get married when I wrote that song and all the words just fell right into place. This line is always a good reminder to me that I write love songs because I love to express that feeling. Even if I’m never this massive artist, I will be a little old man singing songs to my wife on the guitar. I like that one.
Let’s talk about some of your songs. What inspired “Flower”, your latest single?
‘Flower‘ happened on tour at the end of last year. I just like the image of those beautiful flowers that only bloom for a little while and then they’re gone. I was on tour for a month and got to surprise my wife at home for one weekend. It was an awesome time together, but it came and went in the blink of an eye. It reminded me of those flowers and the song just flowed out. It’s just about longing for those sweet little moments that come and go too fast.
‘Sprinkle’ is a fun song! It’s all about when you’re attracted to someone and they sprinkle in just a little hint or a touch that makes your heart go crazy. It’s just about navigating that early stage when you’re not quite sure if someone’s into you, but you’re ready to jump all in!
Do you remember the day you wrote “Honeymoon”?
I do! My wife wanted to dance to my song “End of Time” for our wedding, but I felt a little weird about dancing to my own song. We picked a Beatles song instead. But a month or so before our wedding I had this little melody in my head, “baby everyday’s a honeymoon…” I couldn’t shake it and so I sat down and the whole thing flowed out in an afternoon. I knew I had to surprise her with it, so I went to New York for a couple days to work on it in the studio with my producer buddies. It turned out to be an awesome surprise for Bethany and that’s exactly what I hoped for 🙂
When you will release a new album?
Working on it now!
What is the best suggestion your producer gave you?
Probably just that the whole art of production is as subjective as the art of songwriting. There are a million ways to do things and find sounds and ultimately, you just have to choose what feels good to you.
What are your plans for 2019?
Lots of new music coming over the next few months. Hopefully some international shows this summer and a tour in the fall!!
To conclude the interview a short Q/A session, please answer the first thing that comes to your mind:
- Define in one word your song “Flower”: Fleeting.
- The best show you ever played: SkyAvenue in Jakarta Indonesia last September. I’ve never heard so many people singing along with me. It was magic!!
- The one thing that you must have in your backstage: Haha a peanut butter sandwich!!
- The soundtrack of your childhood: Beatles // Chicago // Elton // MJ // Earth, Wind and Fire.
- Your favorite song lyrically speaking, but not written by you: Probably “Vincent” by Don McLean.
- Last question is “unusual”, we want to know your best relationship advice: This is a simple one that a friend told me before we got married. This isn’t the catch-all magical advice, but it’s a pretty good tip that has served us well. If you’re ever feeling aggravated with each other, maybe have a little snack together before you talk it out. Sometimes you just need to eat and it’ll help you think a little more clearly 🙂