Monday, February 05, 2007


Another song

This started out as a pattern on a drum machine, to which I added the basic piano chords. I then added guitar, organ, and bass. The last part was writing the lyrics, and to be honest, they were something of an after thought. This is the opposite of the way I normally write. Usually I have either some lyrics, a guitar riff, or harmonic progression to work with - I rarely just flick on the studio and see what happens. I added some more guitars, and a guitar solo, and then some aural candy. The reverse part at the start is the "real" beginning - cut, reversed, and digitally mangled.

Once I had a decent demo, I submitted it to the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. To my delight, it won an honorable mention. Basically this means that I didn't win anything, but of the thousands of songs submitted, they felt mine was worth singling out. After this, I left the song alone for about a year or so, and as my other songs neared completion, I picked it up again. We added real drums, sampled strings, and my friend Claire did the gospel-style vocals over the last chorus. I took it to my friend Paul's studio, Duff Studios, to be mixed. And here it is - Collide

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Blogger Dan said...

Great stuff!
Especially like the aural candy.
Mmmmm Caaaandy.

12:55 PM  
Blogger John Mc said...

Thanks Dan,

Your cartoons are friggin hillarious!

3:38 PM  
Blogger Kav said...

Another great job - particularly in light of how you put it together. I don't know anyone who's written sings like that!

3:57 PM  
Blogger Kav said...

Um...songs, not sings.

3:58 PM  
Blogger John Mc said...

Thanks Kav,

I usually have the lyrics or/and a few chords on the guitar, and then work on that before I hit the studio.

However I have been messing around sequencing some drum beats and midi tracks to generate ideas and its a great way to come up with stuff. I use a sequencer to put chord sequences together so i can practice guitar to, and this way of working is an extension of that.

3:15 PM  
Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

That's a great song, John. It's got all kinds of wee background things going on it but it still keeps the dreamy feel. The female harmony in the second half makes it even more so. You deserve your honourable mention, mate.

5:28 PM  
Blogger John Mc said...

Thanks Sam! More songs anon.

1:36 PM  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Well done John! Very Zero7 kind of crossed with Royksopp, but totally original, me likey!

4:25 AM  

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