January 8, 2008

Unhappy Tuesdays...

by Chris Randall

We're having a bit of an issue on the home front; I find it tedious when people bring their personal lives in to ostensibly "professional" media, so I won't fall in to the same trap, but suffice to say any post I make runs the risk of being incredibly maudlin. So I won't.

To a certain extent, anyways.

I find that when Bad Things happen, I'm able to write lyrics easier. Even if the lyrical content isn't necessarily based directly on the Bad Thing, it just gets your head in a certain space where emoting becomes simpler. I suppose this is because you're already emotional, and need to express that. So this is an open thread: what kicks your inspiration in to gear when writing music? Do you need to use personal experiences, or can you just poop something out on any old subject?



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Jan.08.2008 @ 12:30 PM
Dave McAnally
Well when I was writing lyrics...I wrote the most when the "bad things happened".

Otherwise, physical activity seems to get the music juices moving. Especially racing


Jan.08.2008 @ 1:20 PM
I'll mix a little of what really happened with a nice thick dose of artistic license. The song's not necessarily about the Bad Thing?, but it's cathartic as hell. And maybe some of the lyrics describe just. exactly. how you feel.

Travel makes songs happen. Drive long enough and a song will happen to you. Having an adventure worth singing about works too.


Jan.08.2008 @ 1:27 PM
I agree with Dave : physical activity helps get things going. There's something about the repetitive nature of the movements themselves that lends itself well to the foundation of a rhythm. I've found myself many times back at home after a jog, rushing to turn on the computer to record some ridiculous poly-rhythm that's evolved in my head over the last half hour.

As for lyrics, I stopped trying to write them... they were all so horribly derivative and cliche. The few that did work came under the spell of Hypomania, so I would agree : sad times are good for the songbook. It may have something to do with the need to suss out a solution to your own pain : you're open and searching and more in tune with things around you, even though you feel singular, tiny, and sad.


Jan.08.2008 @ 1:28 PM
Video games.

Particularly Wii Boxing, Radiant Silvergun, Gunstar Heroes, and Ikaruga at this point in my life.


Jan.08.2008 @ 1:34 PM
It's mostly my former life as a (mediocre) fiction writer comes into play when writing lyrics. Well, that and my general cynicism and misanthropy. While I certainly draw on the emotions engendered by Bad Things, usually when I'm in the moment I'm either too fraught or too distracted to think about expressing myself without sounding like an 9th-grade emo kid.

Jan.08.2008 @ 2:15 PM
Chris Randall
I actually find that video games work really well for me as well, but only certain types. I find that platformers and RTS do the best (particularly the latter.) Or "Unit ready... building..." games, as my wife calls them, after having to listen to me play Command & Conquer for a year straight.

Interestingly, games like WoW, which require more conscious thought, don't work at all. If anything, they actually dampen down my ability to create on a regular basis. I had to kill my WoW account because it was having too large an affect on my creative output.



Jan.08.2008 @ 2:40 PM
I get drunk. Makes me lose focus on the details and makes everything more direct. Sounds kind of weird, but I get a bigger picture when I'm pished, no need for cool references anymore, just telling a story. Writing-creativity from the pure need of going out and chase birds.

Jan.08.2008 @ 4:36 PM
I keep a running list of misunderstood lyrics by other writers.

Jan.08.2008 @ 4:55 PM
"I keep a running list of misunderstood lyrics by other writers."

Ha! In my first band, that's how we wrote all the lyrics; the singer would hum the melody and I would write what I thought he was trying to say -- just like I had been doing with my favourite songs for years.


Jan.08.2008 @ 5:12 PM
When I'm down the shit, realizing where I am, the apetite for writing about it is like just rubbing it in. Horrifying. But yeah... it can set you off in new directions. But I think that has more to do with Changes Pushing Your Life In a New Direction, rather than you suddenly want to express yourself more.

Last four months I've been in lyric writing mode, and last months have been more intense, and more rewarding than any time previous. I mean... good stuff. Weirdly enough, my mental state is seriously normal. All is good - but really nothing special is going on.


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