Client John Papa Gros: I don't know where song ideas come from. I've read other people's descriptions of them as gifts from the universe, that we are just conduits for these ideas. And I've known other people, other songwriters, who say, no, you just get in there and you work your craft. For me, they are gifts. I make myself available to ideas by being ready to receive them. For me it can be as simple as singing a little melody in the shower, having a drum beat pop in my head while I'm driving. I rarely get them when I'm sitting at home at the piano or the organ. Usually the ideas pop in at the most inopportune times of the day, and completely disrupt everything that's going on. I have to stop and document them in some way, shape, or form, whether it's a scribble on a piece of paper or sing them into my phone. So when I actually sit down to write I have a catalog of ideas to review. I pick one, then I can start.
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Kryz Reid of Third Eye Blind: I think people respond to that (sense of) immediacy. Our shows are always different and they're always totally live. And Stephan's compelling to see live. He's very free on stage. There's just a sense like this motherf---er could potentially do anything up there. That's scary and it's awesome. I saw (another artist) play and it was just perfect. Everything about the show was perfect and I was totally bored. We're not perfect, but we are amazing.
Stanton Moore of Galactic: I think my first book came out in 2004, but my first articles started coming out maybe right around 2000. So I've been doing this for almost 20 years. At first it felt like you were just putting it out into the darkness. But now when I'm writing something and I'm sitting there at my computer typing, I'm like, "Aw, this is going to be good. Oh, they're going to like this one. This is going to set off some light bulbs." I enjoy that process so much. And then I don't mind that it's a delayed reaction, because I have so much stuff out there now that I'm getting reactions from things that I did several months ago or a couple of years ago. So I'm getting that feedback, but then I'm also like, "Oh, wait, 'till they get to this (new piece). They're going to love this."
Michael McDermott, drummer for Joan Jett and the Blackhearts: And you sort of see that also with the drum videos (people post). Where you're like, "How many times did you practice this song before you decided to record it? Sometimes you've got to practice it a couple more times. I'm just saying…"
But everybody's for the right now. And it's like, just slow down. It's not about how fast you can get that video out and uploaded and how many hits you get. Learn the song. Love it. Really get into the tune and feel it. And if you do that, you can see it. You can see when somebody is earnest about what they're doing.
But I mean with a lot of those kids (posting drumming videos)… it's slightly disheartening. You sort of want to shake them and go, "No! Just turn the cameras off. Turn the lights off. Just get in your room, put on your headphones, and shed. And then Friday night when your friends are like, 'Let's go party,' you go, 'No. I'm going to go up to my room and I'm going to shed.'" And just do that over and over. And not for the sake of anything other than you love the f****ing drums. That's it.
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Fur Dixon - "I just own my spot. Because who else is going to own it? It just took some years. I have some history and I accept that history now. For a while I wanted to sweep it under the rug or I didn't want to be associated with it. And (now) it's just like… I own it. I own it all. The good. The bad. Whatever. And that's a really comfortable place to be."
Mike Vanderhule of Y&T: It is fun to be in a band like this. Because I've been in a lot of THOSE bands. A lot of my friends are in those bands… where you hear the horror stories. They meet on stage and they go their own way every night. We all hang together. And after a good 10 or 12 hour drive, sometimes we pull up to the hotel and it's like, "Alright, where do you guys want to go for dinner now?" That's really cool.
Cris Cohen: You said with your live shows that you have the goal of moments of ecstatic release. What do you guys do as a band to get people to that spot?
Robbie Wulfsohn of Ripe: I'm going to start by saying it is the goal. We fail. We fail hard. We're willing to fail triumphantly. It's not like we have the pride to say this is definitely going to happen. It is just that ideally we'd love you to walk away from the show feeling something like that. I guess what I mean by ecstatic release can also come from a place of catharsis. Like you're already happy, but (the concert) makes you happier. Or you come into a space low and it brings you slightly higher. But because of the distance traveled, it feels like you climbed a mountain.
Matt Frenette of the band Loverboy: As a drummer in a band, listen to the song, and don't get in the way of the singer. That is key. There is always going to be a time for you to show off. But during the songs, just keep it cool. Embellish the lyrics and the guitar solos. When recording, just try to keep it straight up so that all that stuff stands out in the mix.
Cris Cohen: I've seen a lot of interesting titles for band members before. I've never seen “lawyer” listed as one of those titles. Why do you include that with guitarist, lead singer, etc?
Guitar Gabby of The TxLips: That's part of what I do. I am a music lawyer, and a lot of what I do is consulting. I work with a lot of different clients in the industry to teach them about their rights, intellectual property, contracts, and things of that nature. The whole objective is to teach people in the industry about the industry and the business side of it before they enter it. A lot of artists and musicians get snubbed because there were things that they didn't quite understand. Or they didn't realize that they needed to file for copyright for their work.
Cris Cohen: It was just so interesting to see that as part of a band profile. And it's interesting that you embrace all of that. Because in some ways, the term “lawyer” is one of the least rock and roll terms you can have for a title. And when you think of a lawyer, you don't think of someone shredding away on the guitar. I think it's interesting that you've embraced those dual sides of your personality. Were you always intent on, “I'm going to be both. I'm going to be the person who really gets into the emotion that is the art of it all, and then also have the business mind.”?
Guitar Gabby: Yeah, I always wanted to go into the industry having the business side under lock. A lot of it came from… my grandfather did some things in the music industry. He was a songwriter, outside of being a police officer. But his contribution in the industry was songwriting. And so from a young age, my dad was very keen on me figuring out ways to protect my artistry. I didn't know that that would include pursuing anything within the legal industry, but I did always want to get into the business side of it. Because I did realize early on that if I'm going to have any type of longevity, I'm going to have to understand the business and the industry.
Anyone can publish a post. We can tell your story.
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