I went home this week to see my family and take a little break from work. While we were hanging out, my dad and I came up with an instrumental arrangement of Your Embrace. Check it out.
I love hearing about the song writing processes of other bands. It’s fascinating how so many different methods of song writing and collaboration can lead to some of my favourite music.
Compared to the last two and a half years that The Ruffled Feathers have been a band, there has been a song writing explosion. I’m not surprised, since every band member is now writing material in preparation for our upcoming album.
First, I’ll explain what our song writing process used to be.
Our first EP, Lost Cities, has songs written by Gina and Charley. For most of the songs on that album, here’s how they were created.
1. Gina or Charley come up with a simple song
2. They introduce the song to the band
3. The band contributes countermelodies, ideas, and interpretations.
4. The song is developed and performed
For our upcoming album, here’s what’s new with our song writing process.
What I’ve noticed lately is that a band member comes up with an idea, and instead of bringing the song to the band and having the band learn it, there is collaborative development. For example, for one of our newest unperformed songs, "Mandolina", Charley and Matty collaborated to create it.
For me, a noobie song writer, there are many more opportunities to bring an idea to one of my bandmates, who have been writing songs for years. One of my newest songs, now called “Rosin and Horse Hair” was almost abandoned and deleted from my computer. Instead, I showed it to Matty and it is now in the running for inclusion in our next album.
What I’m most excited about for our next album is the diversity of song styles and origins that are being adapted to our sound. It’s the collaboration between different combinations of our members that is creating beautiful new songs.
Recording of our new single, Blueprints (For Our Failed Revolution), has begun! Those of you that have seen any of our recent shows are probably already familiar with this song – we often close with it. Our goal is to release the song and an accompanying music video in early May, so we’re all working hard to make it happen. Charley has taken the reins of the video production, and I’m handling the recording of the song, a process that started a couple weeks ago with the renting of a bunch of recording gear.
The day I picked everything up was typical Vancouver – pouring rain. Public transiting across Vancouver, in the rain, awkwardly carrying an eight-channel audio interface, a backpack full of gear, and 3 mic stands (haphazardly taped together in a “She-ain’t-gotta-be-pretty!” kind of way), all caused me to seriously consider the fact that I should probably get a license :P ESPECIALLY because I’m a drummer. Some days I wish I picked a more practical instrument… like a jaw harp…. or a bag filled with cats….
In any case, the important thing is that I did eventually get all the gear back to my basement, and then set about the task of “audio engineering” it to not sound like a basement. This consisted mostly of me taking my bed apart, balancing the mattresses against a wall, stepping back, and being like “Yeah.” (soft things = mellower room sound = good for recording). All said and done, I’m happy with how the drums worked out, and it’s a relief to have them finished. Come to think of it, my roommates upstairs are probably relieved too…
Tomorrow morning Gina and I will tackle some guitar and vocal action Stay tuned for more news!