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Old 12-15-2010, 04:27 PM
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MikeM MikeM is offline
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
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Default Re: Knowing your band's lyrics?

You know, it's not that I actively avoid knowing what lyrics are. I get a general sense of what they are, although as I've pointed out, not always. I once quit a band simply because the words were just terrible (to a song that I wrote the music for no less).

I've heard a lot of really inexcusably bad lyrics. Classic (rock) example:

"I'm hot blooded, check it and see/Got a fever burning inside of me... "

I'd rather not know those words. There are TONS of bands with equally stupid lyrics and I'm not excited about finding out about them. I've developed an aversion to knowing lyrics with many bands because I like the music so much that I don't want the words ruining it for me. For me, there's a huge separation between the music and the words that get put to them.

Eminem was a good example of that. His rhythms and phrasings were so amazing that I've often wished he were a drummer. Put on headphones and play along to him sometime - some of the best individual practice sessions I've had have come from trying to follow him around, but I HATE 85% of his lyrics.

A lot of lyrics are also really obscure to the point where, even if you know what the words are, the meaning still isn't clear. Kurt Cobain was a good example of this. Many lyricists to that on purpose because they don't like their art to be that explicit - idea being that they create a sense of something that you assign meaning to. Nevermind went multi-platinum with most people not knowing the words or their meaning. Wasn't that the basis for Weird Al's "Smells Like Nirvana"? But that song (actually, the band's entire catalog) resonated with a generation anyway.

Then there's Neil Peart who, despite being somewhat clever, usually comes off as too preachy and dogmatic to me and he's too explicit for my taste. Love his drumming, but his lyrics... not so much.

There are lots of songs where the lyrics really move me, but I don't seek them out; they find me (good or bad).

In my own bands, if the lyrics don't offend my artistic or moral sensibilities, I don't really care what they are as long as the human voice delivering them is doing something interesting and pleasing. And if the lyrics do seek me out and resonate with me on some other level, well, that's just icing on the cake.

Sorry if that disappoints anyone.

Last edited by MikeM; 12-15-2010 at 04:40 PM.
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