wait just start

New song, new process

Flip That Switch, my "internet based international rock group" has a new song out, "Throw Time"! For background on how the group came to exist check out this past post.

Play the song!

Get the song!

Song credits:

The writing and recording process for "Throw Time" was similar to group's first song. However this time I tried a new approach to writing lyrics. I'll get to that in a second.

For writing the music I started with a few guitar riffs and came up with chord progressions for the Verses and Choruses. I came up with transitions for each section and pieced them together.

The opening riff of the instrumental section (1:59) came about from a spontaneous jam session. I liked the feel of playing the riff so I added to it and then slid the section into the song.

The guitar solo in the intro was a last-minute addition. Originally that section was going to be rhythm guitar drums and bass only. However I was inspired by the power of the opening guitar solo of Majestic's Losers Shades of Hell. So I composed a guitar solo to imitate that mood.

I recorded all the guitar parts at home and sent the files to Tony who wrote and recorded the drum parts in his home. Drums and Guitar were then sent to Rocco who recorded Bass. The song then traveled to Valentino who recorded the vocals. All the recorded parts were accumulated by Rocco who then mixed and mastered the song.

Writing lyrics has been a big challenge for me in the past. I'd suffer from blank page syndrome. I'd play the song and stare at a blank page waiting for inspiration to strike. I'd toss around phrases and often not land on anything I was happy with. This lack of a process resulted in frustration and lack of progress.

Thus with this song I decided to come up with a system to focus my attention. Having a system established constraints so that I could channel my creativity. It was much more productive to work within constraints, versus having an open-ended "write anything you want" blank page.

My system was three steps. Come up with a song theme. Come up with a takeaway message from each section. Then write the lyrics.

The theme for this song is accepting that time is finite and realizing that throwing time at your "thing" (problem/goal/dream/challenge) is no longer a viable solution.

It's realizing that the thing you keep postponing or procrastinating may no longer happen. You'll eventually run out of time to throw. And thus you must change. The realization may result in hyper focus so that you can overcome the challenge with a new approach. No longer just throwing time. Or the realization may be that it's time to move on. Let it go. No more time will be thrown.

With the theme in place I created an outline of messages based on each section of the song.

In verse 1 I focused on the ideal settings to create. In that rather than sitting down and doing the work, you spend more time trying to get in the "mood" to create. Plus the idea of waiting for creativity and inspiration to strike, as though by divine intervention.

The resulting lyrics:

For the ideal moment
Just need time

The perfect setting to create
Blank page reveal yourself

In verse 2 I focused on the topic of 10,000 hours. Someone that put in the hours but didn't get the expected results. And how endless distractions (especially in modern day) are vying for your time and attention.

I spend ten thousand hours and yet
The dream is not here

And my will feels this constant duress
Temptations take my time from me

Verse 3 is the realization that it's finite. And now channeling this realization to become much more deliberate in how you spend your time.

Next time
I'm aware
Will not fall
To regret

I see
The scarcity
I control

In the chorus I wanted to reaffirm the idea of now deliberately throwing time. It's not just a default reaction. It's a deliberate action and choice.

I take hold
Driving fear
I take hold
Spending clear

Throw time
Throw time

Putting these constraints on myself greatly helped with channeling my focus on getting the lyrics done. Without the constraints I would struggle to make decisions and progress with the lyrics. Sometimes creativity needs freedom but other times it needs constraints. For it can be intimidating to stare at a blank page and think of something to say when anything can be said.