Is there a link, lyrically speaking, between all the songs?
The songs weren’t written with any intentional link, but I think there are two common themes I deal with throughout: feeling stultified by all the apps and shows and screens that vie for my attention, and a big relationship that came to a somewhat unceremonious end.
How do you usually write your lyrics?
Most of the time I find that melody drives my lyrics.
I’ll often be noodling around with some sort of riff and start blurting out some lines which often become the basis of the lyrics–it’s funny how saying the first thing that comes to mind can be better at getting at something that you’ve wanted to say than your own introspection.
I’ll start working out the lyrics from some anchoring line that sticks with me.
From there it’s really trying to flesh out the sentiment. I treat the pure cadence and phonemes in my lyrics like I would any other instrument – going by sound and feel, I guess – which often helps with finding the right way to phrase things.
When it was last time you wrote some verses?
It must be at least a month since I’ve penned a verse that is currently being used in new demo material.
Getting all the music business things in order for this record can really dampen the mood. I also have a tendency to critique myself a bit to harshly out of the gate…
What does music mean to you?
Disclaimer: I realize that no matter what I say here I’ll sound a bit corny.
To me, music is an outlet that allows me to express certain feelings way more effectively than words.
Music has always been my brain’s default “catharsis mode”; whenever I’m overwhelmed be some emotion, I’ll hear a melody or rhythm work its way into my head.
Maybe it’s a coping mechanism.
What inspired “No One Really Wants Me”?
No One Really Wants Me is my attempt at sarcastic self-awareness.
I always harken back to Woody Allen in “Annie Hall”: “I would never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member.”
I was trying to remember how to be single and I think there was a lot of self-sabotage going on both in my dating and friendships.
Fortunately, I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by some amazing people and this song was me biting back at my inclination to beat myself up.
Do you remember the day you wrote “I Followed”?
I can’t really attribute one day to that song. I did come up with the melody a couple years back and sent it to Sundeep, but we sat on it for a while.
Funny thing is, the ending (“Even I followed you to the sun”) was ad-libbed when I was recording dry run verses. I let the demo rattle around in my head until one day the 2nd verse just popped in exactly as it appears on the record.
I ended up going through the verses with a fine-toothed comb the night before we tracked vocals. It’s a pretty short song, but I spent an disproportionate amount of time on so few words.
Are you planning to be on tour soon?
We’re discussing the possibility of a summer northeast/east coast tour and popping into California sometime in the fall. Details to come!
What is your biggest dream?
I want to be a big, rich rockstar just like the next guy.
What that really means for me though is being heard by a larger audience and being able to live comfortably through my music so that I can make my own creative decisions without being hamstrung by the industry.
I’d also love to inspire and influence musicians I admire.
One thing at a time.
Your favorite Saturday night record?
I have recently fallen in love with Carole King’s Tapestry all over again. Every song is so damn good.
I’d say that or The National’s High Violet/Trouble Will Find Me.
Don’t ask me to choose!