Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum
But the mood inspires the lyrics, and the lyrics inspire the mood.
The Who lyrics pointless drivel? Hardly. Well, ok, a few songs.
Would Metallica have every gotten huge if all those thrash songs had Britney Spears lyrics? Would Britney spears have becomes s darling to 14 year old girls if she sang about death and destruction? Of course not. The words matter.
Can you play the drums without the lyrics? Of course. I don't disagree there. But, what's the point of being a band if you have no idea what the band stands for? Why would you go to rehearsals week after week, and our your sweat and blood into a band if you didn't understand what the singer was going to put over your work? Wouldn't you be offended if you put a ton of work into recording an album, and the singer paraphrased popular pop songs over them? Or sang about things you didn't believe in?
Some bands are made or lost over the lyrics. (Rush "Working Man" comes to mind, The Who and the story of Tommy also)
What comes first, music or the lyrics? Depends on the band honestly. Often, I find they go hand in hand, because at least a vague idea of lyrics are in mind when the music is written. But that's my experience. In Rush, they're often written completely separately, and then merged over time. I know singers who have books of lyrics looking for songs.
Im a Who fan from way back and they have a ton of crap songs. Who's Next...every song is great though. Britney is an example of my point. The studio guy playing that for her could have cared less about the lyrics. He was just playing what the producer said to play. No feel, no expression, nothing.