Sunday, 12 January 2014

Remember to Recycle

Taken from the Resonance Project facebook page:

Back in the mid-eighties, I was playing in a band called Flash Harry. Our repertoire was mainly covers, but we wrote some songs that we played in the live set and we even tried recording a few. One of the songs I wrote for the band was a little number called "In The City", and it featured a catchy guitar riff that stuck in my memory long after the original song was dropped and lost to the winds of time. I was still finding my way as a composer/songwriter, and there were many songs that were discarded or rehashed as I developed. Every now and then, the riff would pop into my head and I'd play it a few times, thinking, "Should do something with that one day..."

Around 2008, Resonance Project was formed for our tour to Viet Nam and I was going through a burst of creativity. The vocal tracks from my solo albums had formed the basis of the Resonance Project set, and it was time for new blood. Three songs came out of this period in relatively short order, and it was during one of these writing sessions that I remembered that riff from that Flash Harry song. I started noodling around with it, and before long had added a couple of extra phrases and tweaked some existing ones, and voila- new riffage, new song. The new chords and arrangement were nothing like the old song, and I had fun discovering where my new riff would lead. Some tasty keyboard parts were added to punctuate the guitar-driven backing, and I thought I was on to something. It felt pretty good and - as usually happens with the 'good ones' - it came together quickly, like it knew where it was going and just needed me to get out of the way. Boom. Time for the singing.

With a lot of our songs, Donna will flesh out most of a lyric and melody and then we will fine tune it together, making sure the words are just right and the melody and phrasing are where we want them. Donna has a natural feel for what is right, so quite often I'll just suggest alternatives for a word or line until Donna says "that's it". Sometimes we will both contribute lyrics and melodic ideas, and sometimes (as was the case with The Dreamed) Donna's part will spring forth fully formed, and all we have to do is hit the record button. With this song, things worked a little differently. We sat with the backing track and came up with melodies and phrases but no words, so there was a lot of "la la laaa - da de daa dum" going on. It was actually quite fun, because it was like we were writing an additional solo instrument that sat in all the important parts of the song and carried the hooks. Words and lines began to form from the phrases, and once the roll started, we were minutes away from completion, with a cool story in the verses and a killer chorus with clever supporting harmonies. I still groove when I hear this song, and it's one of my personal favourites to play and listen to. There's no real guitar solo to speak of - the song didn't need one - but the guitar parts are a lot of fun to play, and there's quite enough to get right as there is, thank you.

From a mid-eighties pub rock song to millennium melodic metal - that's how "In The City" became "Kings & Queens".



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