For his latest album Phoenix, David Bazan made a lot of phone calls. To himself.
Each day, rather than journaling, he’d use the voice memo on his phone for ten or fifteen minutes to talk to himself. These calls were a “meet and greet with myself.” And through them, he got to know himself better. At the end of each day, Bazan listened to the voice memo, often mining them for song ideas. He did this in, of all places, his grandparents’ house.
The creative process behind Bazan’s latest album Phoenix is unique among the countless songwriters I’ve interviewed. He stayed at his grandparents’ house in Phoenix, each day driving the streets of his youth as memories came flooding back of all his experiences, from church to soccer games to pizza. It was on these drives that he’d often have those meet-and-greets. He’d start in the morning before sunrise, drive for a few hours, then come home, Bazan repeated the ritual after dusk. These experiences gave him an arsenal of song ideas that formed his latest album. It was such a fruitful process that Bazan will do the same thing for his next three albums, driving the streets of the other cities of his youth as the memories, and songs, overwhelm him.Read More