Every Song Tells a Story
Art lends itself to interpretation. Thus, when it comes to most art forms, the artists tend to shy away from explaining themselves or the motivation behind their finished product. This way, each person can look or listen and take away something different. It’s a good concept that I have trouble disagreeing with.
I do, however, think it’s just a matter of opinion. There are some artists who go the other way and feel comfortable explaining themselves. I appreciate this a little more because I’ve always been a “behind-the-scenes” kind of guy. I like knowing what makes people tick. I enjoy documentaries and (informative) commentary from the artistic minds that conceive the pieces I like.
There’s nothing wrong with leaving things open to interpretation. There’s nothing wrong with artistic explanation. End of story.
Musicians are also artists; creating something from nothing. Because of my inquisitive nature, I love reading about songs that I love and what inspired them. There are some songs that I like but have no idea what they mean, and in some cases, neither do the artists! I remember seeing an interview with Bernie Taupin once where he practically begged the interviewer to tell him what “Take Me To The Pilot” was all about. Bernie admitted that he had no idea. Elton John was similarly perplexed. Great song, however. Art doesn’t always have to have a specific meaning. There’s something to be said for eye/ear candy.
As for me, I find it not only fun but in a weird sort of way cathartic to share the stories behind every song I write. I’m reminded of Rod Stewart’s song, “Every Picture Tells A Story”. In this case, I guess you’d say, “Every Song Tells A Story,” but it’s the same concept. I don’t know the exact statistic but I’d guess that upwards of 90-95% of the songs out there tell some kind of a story. Maybe more, maybe less if you factor in things like instrumentals, jingles, and so on. Who knows? I was never a fan of statistics anyhow.
What I can do is relate all this to my own songs and say that yes, every one has some kind of story. Not a purpose or a deep theme, or anything like that. But there’s always a story even if it’s just about the actual process and not about the song itself, if you catch my meaning.
What I’d like to do on the site is randomly pick songs and talk about the concepts and recording processes behind them. Where did the idea come from? What changed from start to finish? What problems occurred? What choices were made to overcome these issues? Did I enjoy myself?
I want to do this as much for myself as for anyone who’s remotely interested in reading this type of stuff. It’s good to remind myself of what I was doing and thinking at the time because all those details tend to get lost as the years go by. Why not keep a log of sorts? Isn’t that what these websites are sometimes for? Sure. It’s a bit self-indulgent but I actually enjoy writing about the songwriting process. It may sound crazy, but it helps me become a better songwriter. So indulge me.
Starting soon, look for some behind-the-scenes ramblings about my songs and where they came from. Will this interest you? Maybe, but probably not. I’m not sure anyone really likes my songs at all and that doesn’t concern me, really. Sure, it would be nice but I’m the first to admit that they’re not anything great or important. This is something I do for fun and for personal release. I do it because I can. They’re only important to me because I created them.
For those people out there like myself, however, who enjoy reading about songwriting and music recording, these stories will be for you.