Somojo Magazine

 I thought I’d let you in a little on the secret creative rituals in a band when creating songs.

Life As A Rock Star with Clint Hell

I thought I’d let you in a little on the secret creative rituals in a band when creating songs. How does one exactly go about it?

Well, there are a few different ways of doing it. And, really, anything goes.

We usually work slightly backwards. I usually write the lyrics and mail them to either Nick or John L. Sometimes they get inspired by the words they read, and get to work on composing. Other times, they have a few chords ‘waiting in the wings’, as it were. And then they come down to our rehearsal room and present the song, saying something like "I thought the melody line for the words would be something like this… But you go ahead and do what you always do – shred it to bits and sing it the way you want to.". And I do.

Then there are times, like last night, when we gather in the rehearsal room and Nick and John L. have some new ideas and present them to me. Usually, I start by flipping through the stashed lyrics to see if any of them fit the vibe of the music. Sometimes we want it to align – actually most of the time – and sometimes to contradict. Most of the time there’s something to find in that pile. Maybe that specific piece needs some smaller adjustments to fit in, but we’re really talking small adjustments – no rewriting. Sometimes there is a need for new words, so I get to it right then and there. I never really put more time into writing a piece of lyrics than 15 minutes. If it doesn’t work out properly, I simply write an all-new piece. (Yeah, well… What can I say? Patience is obviously not one of my virtues. ;-)

There are rare occasions when we create both words and music more or less simultaneously, but one or the other is usually more ‘finished’ than the other. You have to remember we all work full time and have kids, so there’s really not much time to hang out and create. We’ve had to find efficient and
timesaving ways of creating our songs.

Now, this is not the ‘completed’ song, but more a rough. Then everybody puts in their bits and pieces. And then the rehearsing starts. As we rehearse, the song develops and we find the little fills and pronunciations that will eventually be the finished tune. This fine-tuning and development can be an ongoing process that may take years… We still have songs from pretty early on in the band’s history that we notice evolve. But they have been performed live and perhaps also recorded.

This is how the creative process works for us. No real secrets I’m afraid. And as I said in the
beginning – anything really works. But we usually work slightly backwards compared to many of our mates’ bands. I don’t know what works for you and your band, but this works really well for us.

Now. Keep churning them tunes out!
We will. ;-)

Clint Hell


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