Many people aske me about how I write music. Do the words come first? Does the music? Do both come together? The simple answer is “YES”. All of the above.
I am going to use songs from our new album, “Oceans” (scheduled for late September 2022 release), to illustrate how those 9 songs I was involved in writing came about. We wanted a harder rock edge to this album, so with that in mind…
“You Know You Had It Coming”. I wanted to write a song with a repeating guitar riff along the lines of “Day Tripper”. It came to me quickly, and I built the music and some lyrics around that riff. Then I sent the demo and chart over to original Silver, Tom Kelley, who helped fill in the blanks. Dain and I also sang unison to give us that “third voice”.
”Whatever It Takes” was inspired by Bachman Turner Overdrive’s “Taking Care Of Business”. The song was about leaving my band mates behind in California when I moved to Tucson. Tom and I were stumped and could not come up with a chorus, so I sent the demo and chart to Dain who came up with a nice bit. Since he wrote the chorus(s), we had him sing it.
“Song In My Heart” originally was a single male vocal song Tom and I wrote, but it needed to be stronger. So Dain took the low harmony to make it a duet which really punched up the song.
“Reaching Out” was one I did a lot of the work on before I sent it to Tom to help with lyrics and asked Dain to sing it. I love the guitar work on this one!
“Someday” originally was written with a topic much like the Beatles’ “Run For Your Life”. But Dain wasn’t keen on it, so, being a democracy (sort of), Tom and I went back and revised the lyrics. It’s one song Carl participated vocally!
“Lost In A Daydream” was a tune I woke up with. Everything was there, the music for the verse and chorus, two separate parts, but no lyrics. After humming it into my little handheld recorder (so I wouldn’t forget it!), I laid down a demo just singing “la, la, la” and sent it to Tom to write the lyrics. Together we polished it into the song Dain is now singing.
“All For Nothing” was a syncopated song originally entitled “A Song About Nothing”. But after Tom and I had one go around with lyrics, we put it on the shelf for a couple of weeks until one of us (not sure if it was Tom or me) decided to make it more of a looking back on life song. It needed a middle 8 which came to me after the song was written. So we used it for the intro and outro as well.
“Rush Hour” was one of those times where Tom sent me the entire lyrics and asked me to put some music to it. We wanted another “guitar riff song”, so it took about a week for me to develop something that seemed appropriate. Dain and I sang in unison to give us that “third voice”. In the studio we had our engineer, David Kessner, speed it up from 130 to 142 beats per minute to give it that rushed feeling.
“Until then” had been sitting in my archive since our album “Back To Basics” was recorded. Tom and I worked hard on the lyrics. I think I had the music for the choruses and he wrote the lyrics for them.
Keep in mind, we all live in different places, Tom Kelley is in Wisconsin, Dain Bedford-Pugh and Carl Upthegrove are in California and I am in Arizona. The Internet is essential for us to work together from such long distances.
Well, that’s it. I hope that answers some questions about our songwriting. For our next album, Dain and I have decided to collaborate a little more so we’ll see how that goes!
Go to www.RevlisRecords.com and watch for the new release of “Oceans” which is due out in late September!