Ben Gibbard on songwriting and such

June 9, 2008 at 12:24 pm | Posted in aspirations, learning, listening to | Leave a comment

I’m not qute a fan (yet) of Ben Gibbard and DCFC, since I havent heard much yet. but I think I’ll like it once I get a chance to check his stuff out. he had a good quote about songwriting that brings out what I’ve felt about writing songs. it seems like there’s an unwritten rule that you shouldnt be able to understand a song for it to be good? like for some reason for something to poetic it needs to be obtuse? these days I prefer straightforward. so does Ben, it seems:

I decided a handful of years ago that I just want to write songs that you can understand as soon as you put the record on. There’s no need to veil what’s happening in the song the way I used to.

My goal as a songwriter now is to simply write some memorable turns of phrase. The reaction I’d like from every song I write is, “Wow, I listen to this song, and it’s about such-and-such, and there’s this lyric in there that’s just awesome.” At the end of the day, that’s what I want.

later in the article there’s this bit, which I’ll consider a cautionary word. I guess he’s OK with it like this, but I find it quite sad although I feel drawn to this at times. I pray I’ll never put music or anything else this high on the pedestal:

…music is the most important thing in my life. It’s more important than anyone else could ever be. I don’t want to be overly dramatic and say it’s the only thing that gets me up and keeps me going. But people in your life come and go. As you go through your life, you make friendships, you break friendships, you have relationships. Music is the one thing I’ve always been able to rely on. So why wouldn’t it be the most important thing in my life?

from this article in Paste Magazine.


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