Backstage episode 3: Song writing


A topic that seems to be popular with people I talk to about my band is, "How do you actually write your songs?"



Well, first, I have to say to that, I don't write songs. That's what all of us do. As a band. The process for that varies from band to band and even from song to song. There are bands that follow an exact process. Once something is successful, you stick to a certain concept and work it out. I've heard of lyricists who must get into a certain mood, be in a certain place, or even be under the influence of certain substances (I'm not accusing anyone of anything here).


In the exact I can say however only for us.


Usually, a song is created from a single part, be it a guitar riff, a baseline, a rhythm, or a certain melody, all that doesn't matter. Then you can work with that part. In the rehearsal room, we continue to work on it and usually a certain basic structure is formed from a single piece. That means a verse, a chorus, a bridge, or an intermediate part.


In most cases, the vocals are added as soon as the complete basic framework is in place. But only the melody. So, the song is worked out more and more, until the exact sequence as well as the individual transitions stand. For this the unfinished song is repeated several times and it develops thus always further.


The lyrics are something of the last to be added. We listen to the song instrumentally and get an idea of what the song sounds like. Because then it still needs a theme that fits the feeling of the music. Sometimes this is easy, but more often it is difficult to find a suitable theme.


Once a theme has been found, we start working on the story. I want to fulfil various goals with the story:


1) I always want to tell a story with which I can identify, and which is personally close to me, otherwise it is difficult to perform the song properly later. I always need to be able to put myself into the song and the situation on stage, which is difficult if the lyrics don't tell me anything.


2) I want the listener to be able to identify with the story. This is not the top priority for me, because I am not a hit writer looking for short-term chart success. But that's also why the second point is just as important, because if the listener can't identify with the song, it won't stick, which would be a shame.


3) I try to stay true to our style as much as possible. This point is a bit difficult to explain. Our songs all have a certain style. They are, dark, oppressive, dangerous, or unpleasant. But you are always able to see that certain glimmer of hope pushing through. There is always, that little light that you see shimmering through the fog. So now imagine if I suddenly wrote a dripping declaration of love next to all these songs. That would be possible, and I've stood in the room with that idea several times, but it would be a little strange in relation to the rest. So, when I want to write a declaration of love, I wrap it up in a story and add my special touch. But you can't cling too tightly to familiar territory, otherwise you run the risk of not developing.



When I have finished a text, the story still must be fitted into the already existing melody accordingly. I also have to think about a lasting chorus that has a certain earworm effect and burns itself into people's skulls. To be able to fit lyrics, I play with many different words and with the rhythm.


The song is then played again several times and the lyrics as well as the melody develop even further depending on that. If problems arise, such as individual notes that sound inharmonious to the rest, or individual words are hardly singable because the melodic line does not allow it, it may well be that the song is changed again in a relatively late stage.


Finally, we think about guitar solos and samples that can add an efficient spice to the song. However, it is really finished only as soon as it has been recorded in the studio, because from t


his point on nothing can be changed in it. But it's not uncommon for changes to be made even in the studio.


This was just a short insight into how a song is created. Even if it looks like a lot, a song is not created with a checklist, where we check off everything we must think about. It always happens by itself, because we are four creative heads, who always have new ideas for our songs. All this happens with passion and the urge for perfection. After all, each of us wants to be able to say at the end: "Yes, the song has become really cool!"