One thing that distinguishes artists from everyone else is their hyperattention to their surroundings. Specifically, good lyricists (and that means songwriters and poets) see beauty in even the most mundane of things. And there's no better example of that than Mirah, who maintains a Tumblr account that features nothing but pictures of discarded banana peels she finds on the streets of San Francisco. She claims on the site that she doesn't think this has anything to do with her music, but I must disagree. It's all part of her creative package. This is exactly what makes songwriters artistic: they see purpose in everything, even (really, especially) in things that most of us never notice.Read More
What is it with the connection between manual labor and songwriting? Corin Tucker becomes the third interviewee (Grace Potter and Lissie being the others) to tell me that working around the house inspires her to write, be it housework or yardwork. Tucker offers an explanation: the time when brain and hands are moving is "meditative time" that stimulates creativity.
We know Corin Tucker as the singer and guitarist for Sleater-Kinney. In October she released a solo album entitled 1,000 Years (KillRockStars) that she called "a middle aged mom record." In her late thirties, Tucker is a mother of two with a full-time job outside the record industry. And the routine of her writing process reflects that: her day job has given her a healthy respect for deadlines when it comes to writing, even though she often can't work on meeting those deadlines until after she puts the kids to bed.Read More
One of the things I always ask writers to do here is describe their ideal writing environment, where they would be the most productive. Most mention someplace scenic, whether it’s the water, the woods, or high above a landscape looking down. Whatever it is, it’s a place of beauty.
Then there’s Hutch Harris of The Thermals, the anti-hero of the picturesque writing environment. Whatever is in front of him, it’s probably too much. He doesn’t want the sea, the trees, a gazebo, or a bay window. He wants nothing. Just white walls. Anything else is a distraction. That’s why I told him that if he ever does time, he could write The Great American Novel. Or if he ever becomes a monk, that would also work.Read More