So here’s how it works, sometimes.
If you’re VERY blessed, a song comes to you in one fell swoop.
I am hardly ever blessed in that department. Most of the time, my songs come in the form of musical riffs, verses, choruses, solo sections and outros.
And I have no clue what the song is actually about. So no words.
Wait – huh?
Yeah. It happens that way a lot for me. To be fair to myself… sometimes I’m blessed, and a song comes from words on a page – but for me, that’s the exception rather than the rule.
(I love music, and making it… but sometimes, the writing part is so incredibly frustrating – because I KNOW I’m good when it actually gets there – but actually GETTING there can be like riding a flaming Satan’s chariot of – wait and see.)
It just starts as music, waiting for a story. There are no WORDS. In the meantime, all I have is listening to a beautiful child, waiting to be born. And those children HAUNT you.
Need to be Around is a perfect example. By far, not my deepest writing, but from the start, it wasn’t meant to be.
It just came from a riff, that came to me randomly about 13 years ago. And as soon as I played that riff, I could hear 60’s AM radio coursing through it. I heard the drums, and heard the bass… and off in the distance, some vocals.
And HOOKS. Jeez… the hooks. Not only was it a giant hook to begin with, but it invited like 47 other hooks into the room. And I’m just a guest in the corner. A very grateful guest, for sure.
Well, I released it 2 years ago, as part of Let It Go…. but it always felt weak in comparison to the other tracks on the album. Because of the mix.
(Yeah – I have to mix them, too. Sigh.)
Well over the last four days, I revisited it – because I’ve started using some new tools that you apply to the final mix to give it a little sheen… and POOF! It became something that, when I sit alone and listen, it makes me cry…. not because it’s me, but because it IS. It’s hooks and harmonies and old-school radio, and fills me.
The old saying… We shall serve no wine before its’ time. Well… it’s totally worth waiting.
All in all – it only took about 13 years. (and a very cool part – some of those guitars and vocals I laid down back then made it into the final track.)
You can listen below, and see the videos from 12 years ago plus, when I was initially taken over by that goddamned riff.
Love to all.
(The title is a loving dig at Dave Lee from The Bugcast, who ribbed me for saying that I was “taping” an update for Patreon.)
I just posted a video update to Patreon, in which I discuss a guitar build, plans for an upcoming video and the songs I currently have brewing!
Plus an update on my toe.
Once upon a time, there was a boy who loved making music. He taught himself piano, with a little help, then guitar, then drums and bass, and eventually some awful saxophone.
As he grew older, he started recording music and writing his own songs.
And one day, this magical thing came into his life, that let him take the notes he was playing on a keyboard, and turn them into drums and orchestras and synthesizers and thousands of other instruments.
That magical thing was called MIDI… short for Musical Instrument Digital Interface.
And the man who created MIDI was Dave Smith. And MIDI changed the way millions upon millions of people now make music.
Dave passed away today, and there is no way this now grown boy can ever properly thank him for what he created. He changed my world, and I will forever be grateful.
Rest in peace, Dave. And thank you.
I wrote this sweet, sad thing once upon a time. I had to revisit it for possible submission for a festival performance, so I decided to marry it to an appropriate video. I found a lovely one by Matthias Groeneveld of the Netherlands. (You can find his work here at Pixabay.)
It’s from my New Eye album, which you can get at Bandcamp for nothing. Enjoy.