Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Songwriting Solitude: Week 3

For the sake of consistency I'm keeping the title but this week it's completely erroneous. I've been back in Brisbane this week. Not by choice, but because we've had gigs which require rehearsal. I suppose the cool thing about that is we're rehearsing songs that I've only just written in the previous two weeks which is sweet. But I wasn't going to commute everyday. Seriously, I don't know how people do it. I had to come up one day to be in brisbane at 9. I left the coast before 7 and I didn't get into town until after 930. That's two and a half hours!! Can you imagine doing that everyday? I can't. Anyway, beside the point.

We're premiering a couple of the new tracks at our shows this weekend ("Comets" and "Between The Rafters" to be precise) and so after having written music for a while it was down to lyric writing this week.

Sometimes people seem to underrate lyric writing. I'm not exactly sure why. I guess it's because people assume that the "hook" in a song is what makes it successful. I would say that's not 100% correct. Lyrics are 50% of a song. If you were to delve into the copyright records of songs you'd see that the ownership is taken up by an "Author" and a "Composer" and sometimes an "Arranger" but that third one's not important right now. Just imagine your favourite song. Now imagine swapping out the lyrics for prose from the book you're reading right now. See how much you like the song after you do that. My point is, whether you might see it or not, lyrics are really important. And if you're reading this going "duh" then cool, but you'd be surprised how many people say something like, "I mean, how hard can it be to write lyrics".

So that's what I've been doing, writing lyrics. Sometimes I wish that songs could have a whole bunch of lyrics, because it might take the pressure off getting every word right. When you've only got 12 lines to work with in an entire song you really have to make every one count. There can't be any throwaways.

A question to finish this one. If for some reason you were only able to write one song in your whole life, what would you write it about? Let me know.

Friday, February 20, 2009


I'm not absolutely certain whether this warrants a blog. I mean at what point do you stop counting. But anyway, sometime early this morning we hit 100,000 plays on myspace. Thank you to everyone for listening!! Hopefully you're not too sick of the songs by now. We can promise that sometime this year we will have a new record out and you can listen to new songs to your heart's content.

But back to the 100,000 thing. I was up kind of late last night sending emails when I noticed that we were on something like 99,942 plays or something. I immediately realised this as one of those moments exactly like when your car's odometer is about to tick over to a cool number of kilometres - you know it's about to happen but you have almost no chance of witnessing it. Late last year my car hit 200,000 and despite the fact that I was in heavy heavy traffic crawling along the M1 I somehow managed to look down at 200,002. I was somewhat devastated. The same thing happened last night. So close to the 100,000 mark but unless I was prepared to stay up all night refreshing our myspace page I was going to miss it. Read, it was not something I was prepared to stay up all night for.

Thank you again. I'll blog again at some other milestone. I'm not sure when that should or will be. Maybe everytime a zero gets added. So that would be 1,000,000.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Songwriting Solitude: Week 2

Ironically I am actually writing this while in Brisbane. I'm back in town for a gig and we have a couple of rehearsals scheduled as well.

Anyway, I've hit week two of my songwriting sojourn and, to be honest, not all that much has changed. But in saying that, considering I'm doing nothing other than writing songs that surely isn't much of a surprise.

In order to post the previous blog as well as receive emails etc, instead of trekking outside into the world and going to an internet cafe, I decided to buy some "hotspot" wireless. A couple of things about it: (1) it's ridiculously expensive; (2) incredibly unreliable - it just decides sometimes it wants to drop out; (3) really really slow - and considering that it's really expensive and pay by the hour its slowness is even more frustrating; (4) refuses to upload anything - one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to get internet was so that I could send some demo mp3s to my bandmates to have a listen to, so by not being able to upload attachments that essentially ruins that plan. In short, my whole internet experience while being away has been quite traumatic (I've found that everything seems takes on a heightened sense of drama when you're by yourself for any extended period of time).

The other frustrating (but not entirely surprising) thing that occurred this week was that John literally would not answer his phone nor return any phonecalls for the entire week. Now I'll qualify this by explaining that when calling John you probably have a 1 in 28 chance of him answering (that being arrived at by the estimation that if you were to call him everyday for a month he would answer once). This probability is significantly increased if (a) he just sent you a text message; or (b) you're calling him back, but even then your odds aren't looking good. He would probably argue that the odds are significantly decreased if (a) "you're Butler" (in other words you're me); or (b) he left his phone somewhere (which is a frequent occurrence). The only problem with this is that usually I can email but considering my lack of internet this week my only way of obtaining information was via the phone.

Okay enough about that.

I've been slightly less productive this week but by the time I posted the blog last week it'd been slightly more than a week so one of those songs should probably be filed under "week 2" but that's splitting hairs. Anyway, I've written one more and the name of it is:


And, while it's almost impossible to tell, particularly considering I just wrote it, it might be my favourite new song so far.

As promised, now that I can upload, here's the video and photos I was going to post last time.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Songwriting Solitude: Week 1

Okay so I've finished my first week and so far so good. I'm located at Main Beach, Gold Coast, on the fifth floor of a building and it's a very conducive environment to creating music. And despite somehow managing to make the sliding door fall out onto the front balcony on the first day (which required me to search for a tradesman downstairs to help me put it back in), I've settled in well. I also went to drive to the shops the other day and found my car had a flat tyre. I'm not sure how that happened considering I pretty much don't use the car. I haven't put the spare on yet, I'm pretty lazy. The only problem with not going to the shops that night was that I ended up cooking a stir fry without any sauce. Healthy yeah, but it didn't taste extraordinarily awesome. Apart from that I haven't broken anything else so far so I guess I'm not doing too badly.

These are the names of the songs so far:

Between The Rafters
Dirty Glass
Off The Ground

Having a whole block of time dedicated to doing nothing else other than writing songs really changes the approach to writing. It allows a whole lot more freedom in writing because I've got so much more time than I have ever had previously. That means I can make more mistakes, and I don't have to worry about a song being good enough or not because I can just write another one the next day. So I'm experimenting a lot more and really working on evolving our sound. I hope to have over 20 songs written by the time I have to go back. But that's being ambitious and it might just not happen.

The plan is to have enough songs for a new record later this year so if I leave with just enough for that I'll be happy enough.

I've attached a video with a bit of a tour of the place and a couple of photos of my recording setup. And that's pretty much it for now. I'll update again in about a week.

Okay so I had a brilliant video and some unreal photos to upload but my internet connection is too crap so it'll have to be another time.

Monday, February 2, 2009


It seems some people have heard of Twitter and others haven't. Anyway we're on Twitter and you can find us at

For the uninitiated Twitter is essentially a way to tell everyone what you're doing at any point in time. For example, I just "tweeted" that I'm Getting ready to go into songwriting hibernation for two and a half months. That's what Twitter's about. Initially when I heard about it first I wasn't convinced that it was anything worthwhile. But I've just started really getting into the whole thing and it's really quite cool.

If it sounds like you jump on and say hey.