How do you usually write the lyrics of your songs?
I always have the music finished first, before I dive into the lyrics. It starts with some general inspiration or story, but I also have pages of notes on my phone with lyric phrases that I pull from when I get stuck. Sometimes something in those notes can lead to a whole other song.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing in songwriting?
I think having the discipline to finish songs is the most important thing in writing. No matter how good a song is I usually have a point where I think “this song sucks, I should scratch it.” But if you can push through it, you will end up loving the finished product.
Are you ever scared of revealing aspects of your personal life/experience to strangers through your music?
Absolutely. Giles Corey was inspired by a very specific time in my life when I experienced a tragic loss. I’m not comfortable telling the story in detail because of how personal it is, but I hope that people are still able to take a positive message away from it. I hope people can pull what they need from the song.
What is the best lyric that you ever wrote (the most meaningful for you)?
I don’t have a specific lyric, but I was very proud of Giles Corey. I think there are a lot of phrases in that song that I was able to convey the right feeling/ message that I intended.
Let’s talk about your new album “Windows Down & Dying”, is there a link/common theme among all its songs?
Yes, the common theme is finding simple happiness or practical happiness. A lot of times your heart and your gut will tell you you’re feeling one way, but if you are able to connected with your rational feelings over the negative emotions, things can be alright.
What inspired “Water Damage”?
Water Damage doesn’t have one specific story attached to it. I went through a period of time where I was constantly sick. My allergies were so bad that all night I had tears running down my face and it left temporary red marks “water damage”. People would asked me if I had been crying, but it was really just because I was working too much and not taking care of myself.
The second half of the song is about a toxic old friend I kept welcoming back into my life, even though I knew the outcome would always be bad.
And “Running Downhill”?
This is a song about personal growth and the changing of a mindset. Someone close to me was extremely career driven and constantly prioritized themselves over relationships and I admired her for it. It touches on the concept of chasing practical happiness over what your gut is telling you.
Do you remember the day you wrote “Garden State Blue”?
Yes. I sat down at the piano, hit record on mobile garage band, played the riff for as long as I felt the song should be. Layered in the violins, then wrote out the vocals. This one was fun because it was less formatted, and I’ve always wanted to write to a song that is one riff from beginning to end.
What are your plans for the upcoming months?
I will be hitting the road for a North American tour that will be around March 15th- April 10th!
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 “Windows Down & Dying”: Minimalistic.
- The best show you ever played: Dryjacket played the Electric Factory in Philadelphia with Yellowcard.
- The one thing that you must have in your backstage: Water.
- The soundtrack of your childhood: Green Day- International Superhits.
- Your favorite song lyrically speaking, but not written by you: Motion City Soundtrack- Hold Me Down.
- Last question is “unusual”, we want to know your best relationship advice: One single person can’t meet all of your emotional needs. Welcome your partners friends into your life, don’t abandon your friends, or isolate yourself. The more people you both have in your life, the more you will continue to learn.