February 3, 2010

Stick it to the Mailman

I had band practice last night so I didn't have too much time to work on solo riffinating. I did come up with a few parts to play around with, but I worry that one may be too close to a Deftones song. I'm not going to bother uploading it until I flesh it out more tonight.

No major progress to speak of from Day 2, so what else will we talk about? How about what I think will shape and inspire my RPM process. I've always loved the first Foo Fighters record because Dave Grohl wrote and played all the parts on the album himself. If I had the time and resources to recreate that situation, I would love to attempt something like that. I'm not such an amazing drummer or bass player, but there's something about DI-Completely-Y that appeals to me. Maybe it shows my narcissism and a difficulty in giving up creative control, but I enjoy working independently on material, and knowing that the album was one person's vision and execution enhances the experience for me. I love the riffs and the songs, and despite the variety in the tracks, there is a still a unifying sound and consistency.

I've also been influenced heavily by Dave Grohl's lyrical style on this album (to be honest, I can't say the same for the Foo's subsequent albums). The sounds and rhythms of the words are more important than the story it doesn't tell. Take these lines from "Watershed..."
I stick it to the mailman
I'm pinned against a pot plant
I'm sick of all the sun-tan
Oily with the ray-ban

I'm skinny as a spit pan
Dealing with the shit plan
Playing with my bad hand
Just another rock band
I don't know what the song means, and I don't think I ever really cared, but I enjoy that each line recalls the previous in terms of rhythm and rhyme. I've never been much of a vocal person so I tend to mimic that kind of playful abstraction. I come up with a line and then sort of reinterpret it in order to write other lines. I end up with a lot of internal rhymes and alliteration, even if the phrases don't necessarily make sense. For instance, the other day I had the phrase "stick it in the mac n' cheese" in my head (for reasons I won't divulge here). Repeating that over and over again, it morphed into a bunch of other lines. With a little bit of coaxing, research, and immaturity, I ended up with this mess:

Stick it in the mac n' cheese
Fuckerfaster Appleseed
Johnny keep it quiet please
Jackin' off to van der Steen  
Jessica inspired the
Splattered Hewlett Packard screen
Watch out for the hackers' scheme
Back it up with McAfee
Yeah, it's impersonal nonsense, but I'm not trying to rewrite "Imagine" (though now that I really analyze it, I sound like I'm trying to rewrite "Watershed"). To me, lyrics are riffs too. You fuck around with them and make them noisy and sloppy where they need to be. Maybe as an experiment, I'll try to write a pretty one this month. We'll see.

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