Passremarker on Songwriting
at The Pineapple Lounge at Brisbane Writers Festival 2012
Interview on Songwriting with Dave Graney
Name (not for zine): Pineapple Lounge performance name: AKA (if you want this included in your interview):
How would you describe your current musical style, and how did your music journey take you there?
Rock Music. Done properly. Everybody else does it wrong
Which songwriters from the past or present do you respect and influence you?
Syd Barrett, Bert Jansch, Robyn Hitchcock, Paul Westerberg, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams, Leon Russell
What is one particular song that has really stood out for you, remains a favourite; and what is it about this song? (the lyrics will be included in the zine at the end of your interview)
The Waters of March or Quiet nights of quiet stars by Jobim. More for the music than the lyrics.
How do the words come out and get onto the page? Do you carry a notebook at all times? Scrawl as you awake in the middle of the night? Need to spend a lot of time alone?
None of the above. I don't sweat it.
As in all creative professions, you must have at some stage, experienced creative doubt: how did/do you deal with it?
Never, only disappointment in the organized music world really.
If you write your own music, do you consider the music to be equally as important as the lyrics? And which comes first the music or the lyrics?
Music. Lyrics are for sooks.
Do you keep your songs a secret until you perform? Or do you bounce your work off fellow musicians and friends?
I like music and words that are dirty and grubby with the fingerprints of many people on them. When I play them, I want people to take them away and do what they like with them.
How do you feel about reactions to your songs? Please elaborate on a prominent incident of this from your past.
I like people dancing , really. I like grooves.
The music industry, like publishing, is in a time of great transition: what has changed for you, and what excited you about the future, and what is pissing you off?
People love technology, and its going to do them in.Suckers. The war has been lost. End times are here for life on earth.
As a songwriter do you feel connected to poetry? How?
I love poetry, but I wouldn't let it near any songs. I hate "spoken word" bullshit. Poetry is to be read. In your mind. Musics about voices and luck.
Who are your favourite authors and poets? And which of their works in particular?
Guillaume Apollinaire for his book of poems Alcools and also Blaise Cendrars.
Paul Bowles, William Burroughs, JG Ballard, James M cain, Paul Cain, Delia Falconer, David Foster, Hal Porter, les Murray, Robert Grey. Joyce carol Oates, Walter raliegh, AE Coppard and many more.
Why do you write songs? What does it do for you emotionally?
Just for the thrills really. I like the ephemeral nature of it. I hate shit like leonard Cohen . Give me Lil Wayne any day.
Have you had any premonitions with your future? Do you think you’ll continue song writing and music? If so, what direction?
Rave to the Grave!
One more thing: please include four full song lyrics you will be performing during your set.
No! people can hear them, I sing proper! Also, I didn't even know I was playing!
Post Script ? further correspondence (thought this might be interesting. I try hard to be nice. This exchange all happened just after a lot of travelling- including our night of HELL on the GOLD COAST which is a fulcrum upon which I have spun and which has determined my attitude and trajectory for THE REST OF MY LIFE!
I'm not meant to write to you, but I'm writing the zine for BWF, and need your answers by the morning, because my deadline with them is tomorrow.
If you can fill it out... that would be sick.
I've attached it again, and need a pic of you also.
Be great if you could possibly not mention to them that I wrote to you, cause I was given strict instructions not to. ha! Strange world with all that bureaucracy.
I sent my answers last week in an email to the BWF person
yeah they just sent them to me today... thanks. ( :
you definitely don't want any lyrics included?
all good if not, just checking.
no, I'm not sure what or how long I have to play. Will make up my mind on the day I guess. I was trying to say I'm more of a musical focussed person. And pretty much all rock lyrics- except mine- are fucking rubbish.
except for led zeppelin, rollingstones, talking heads. there's a number that have some good lyrics I reckon.
anyway Mr. Graney, see ya on the 9th.
those are all very good musical acts. lyrics pretty good for the Stones , terrible for zeppelin but the best is by Steely Dan , Paul Westerberg, Bonnie Billy and August Darnell.
'll have to check em out one day.
My favourite lyricist of all time... well two acts: Cake and Butterfingers.
hey, just bear in mind that you're talking to a fucking expert in this matter. I know everybody has an opinion , but I have the skills and the experience and have written 25 fucking albums and two books. Cake are (1) shit and (2) yanks...
...being yanks means they get a free ride from colonials...
I ran into the young lady who put a bit of time into making the fanzine at the festival. It was lovingly tied with a bit of string. I have a phobia about cds and papers tied up with string. It creeps me out.
I said hello and also that I was being a little bit funny in my responses. Little bit. The fanzine included some lyrics by Jobim. Someone else had done my bit, she said. She was a bit excited – I guess - and cried out that she had read my responses and thought “wow! Who is this guy? Who the fuck does he think he is?” I only regret that , once again, I didn’t express myself HARD ENOUGH! I was dave FUCKIN" Graney!
Friday 21st September - Palais- Hepburn Springs
Saturday 22nd September - NEWPORT SUBSTATION -NEWPORT book tickets here
Thursday 04th Oct Clancys Fish Pub (solo), Fremantle
Friday 05th Oct – Clancy’s Fish Pub (indoors), Dunsborough
Saturday 06th Oct – the Bird - Northbridge - Perth
Sunday 07th Oct – Mojos - Fremantle WA
This tour is supported by the Victorian Government through Arts Victoria