I wasn't expecting this, given that we hadn’t released any new music in a while. But there I was, on air for an hour on. Thanks again for your support, Andi!
I really love listening to podcasts. I’ve been listening to my favourite hosts for years now and in some cases from episode one. A few of these are NPR’s All Songs Considered, Freakonomics Radio, Song Exploder, HBR Ideacast, Tape Op, And the Writer Is…, and The Daily.
Naturally I’m always on the lookout for new ones. Here’s a brand new one called American Idiots Abroad. It’s by two Americans living in the U.K., Megan Sola-Guinto and AJ Marks. I them both on a recent writing trip in London. I even co-wrote a song with Megan. Both are fantastic musicians and songwriters and they’re both so much fun to be around with. So I might not be completely unbiased here, but I found their first available episode hilarious, entertaining, and insightful! A big shout out to AJ and Megan.
A creative life is fraught with risk. As a songwriter, or any other creative professional, you have to learn to be comfortable taking all manner of risks on a daily basis, not just the ones specific to your creative domain. Entering a secondhand bookshop during a writing break on an overcast winter afternoon is just one amongst many.
These days I usually start a new song in Ableton Live. With Fade Files we use Reason almost exclusively, with the exception of our early tracks, which were done in Pro Tools. On recent writing sessions in London we used either Logic or Pro Tools. There are other options still. I guess the main thing for writers is to know one software really well and know your way around Pro Tools and possibly Logic.
When I need to send files off to my co-writers I just need to make sure they will be able to open them in their preferred software. The easiest way to do this is to create (or “bounce”) an audio file for each track, or sometimes group of tracks. And vice versa. I get their files back, and so on.
Here’s another look behind the scenes. Bouncing a track gives you a moment to think and breathe.
Inspiration comes in waves. Sometimes there’s time to revisit one of my favourite artists of the past or learn more about an artist I’m not yet all that familiar with. There’s always something new to discover. It’s like falling in love over and over again. With art. With artists. With music. With life.
I don’t particularly enjoy looking back and spending time thinking about the past. I’d rather be looking forward. There are a few exceptions though. One is when it comes to time spent in the recording studio with fellow songwriters, producers and musicians. I just love being in the studio and will never get enough of it! Here’s a look behind the scenes at one of last summer’s writing sessions with Fade Files.
I’m in the early stages of writing new tracks for Marvin. It’s great fun but also a little bit of a challenge!
Over the last couple of years I’ve been writing a lot with artists and songwriters. This was quite different from writing for yourself.
In order to find out where I wanted to go with this I’ve created lots and lots of tracks. It felt a little bit like learning a new vocabulary of sounds and music. It took a while but I’m really happy with where I am now. Really looking forward to this year - part of which will also be spent looking back.
This morning I met with Peter to discuss plans for 2019-20. All very exciting!
We wish you all a Happy New Year! Have a wonderful 2019 and good luck to everyone ;-)!!