Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Process of Creation

KC Bowman

Know what I love about working with Ned and KC is that anything goes. For instance, KC was asking me how I happened to write "Cool By Default." I told him the lyric came from a conversation I had with someone who accused me of being "cool." I responded that I have never been cool in my entire life, but that the rest of the world has gotten so damn lame, I'm suddenly cool by default. (SONG IDEA!)

Then he asked me how I wrote the music. So I told him it was totally a crass thing. I had been on a plane talking to a club DJ who spins discs at these exclusive "six months ahead of the curve" high class European tweaker discos. I asked him, "How many bpm?" He said, "130." So, when I was ready to write the song, I set my bpm for 130, hit the kick drum on every beat, wrote in a snakey bassline and constructed the song from the bottom up.

KC immediately yells, "NED! GO RECORD A DRUM TRACK!"

So, Ned goes into the studio, records a drum track and the next thing you know, Ned, KC, Kag and I are walking down the street in the middle of the night writing lyrics based on a melody Ned thought up. The title came from something Ned yelled at the end of his drum track about "Rock star..." something.

And that's how songs get written. You just think of an idea or a rhythm or whatever comes into your head and you start writing, and you don't stop until you're done. The thing about writing, for me, is that I work in a lot of different areas of music. Whether I'm writing a big theatrical ballad for someone like Petrina Johnson, or a soulful, gut-wrenching piece for Alexandra Billings, a revelatory or comedic number for Jim & me, an inspirational piece for choir or edgy rock and roll numbers for Preoccupied Pipers, all of these things are real to me. They all represent parts of what I've done as a musician -- and reflect that life I've lived. They're all real.



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