Heading into the studio next week which basically means, I've been spending my nights and any free weekends, finally putting all my songs together. I have a tendency to write in parts - a guitar riff here, a chorus there, a keyboard melody...and I record them onto my phone, to tape, etc. Before I head into the studio, I lay out all of my essential writing tools guitar, pedals, keyboard, mic, in a small space on the floor and dive into the process. Now that I think about it, I have never written a song not sitting on the floor. (I'm not entirely sure what that means), but I've got my methods locked and it's what has worked for me.
I literally obsess over each part until I can't handle it anymore and have to walk away . I write up until the very second I record. I change lyrics and melodies all the time until I feel like it's "right" or that I can let it go. It must drive those around me crazy, but in the end, it always makes for something I am pretty happy with.
Of course, I know there are less stressful and more efficient ways to go about this process, but this is what has always seemed to work for me. And, in a weird way, I think I enjoy it. Yes, I've tried different things. I remember watching the movie "Once" and seeing Glen Hansard's character sit at a table with his laptop - typing lyrics and watching videos of lost loves. Yeah, not for me.
I've read interview after interview, and conducted interview after interview during my music blogging days, investigating this process for others. I often run into artists who say "I read a lot of (enter intellectual author name here) and was really interested in his/her theory of (enter intellectual theory name here), which is what really drove the writing of this album." Nope, didn't work for me. It was too forced for me, and I ended-up writing the worst songs.
It's got to just come to you. Out of every 5 songs I write, one may be something I will play again. Mostly, they are songs that my inner 16-year-old would even be afraid to perform at a school talent show.
I write parts of songs all the time, but when I'm going to record it's a chance to sit back and finally get those few gems I've been stewing over for months, years, days, hours, what have you...out and ready for recorded immortality. I know it may sound like a chaotic time and process, but these are the times in my musical life that make me the most happy. Creating and making something to share. It's often the only thing that drives me - that challenges me to be better at something.
I'm curious as to other writers out there. How do you all do this? What works for you?
Anyway, I'll keep you all posted as we head into the studio next week. This week was crazy, and next week is just going to be crazier.