In full disclosure, John Lefler is a very good friend of mine. I’m headed to his house tonight. So, does this mean that I’m only interviewing people I know? Nope. Does it mean that my life is filled with many extremely talented people that I’m glad to know? Yes, without a doubt.
Let me introduce you to John,
Name: John Lefler
Current City: Dallas, TX
Label: Good Hang
Most recent release: “Shout Fire EP” – 2012, also recently appeared on Treefallsounds’, “There’s No Local Scene Finer,” 2013 compilation, benefiting the students of W.E. Greiner
Band Affiliation: John Lefler, The Trimbles, Revolution 9, Camille Cortinas, Dashboard Confessional
Texas-based artist, John Lefler, has an extensive musical resume to say the least. As the guitarist for Dashboard Confessional, John has toured for the past decade alongside an impressive solo career of his own. Currently promoting his sophomore EP, “Shout Fire“, the followup to his previous release in 2009, “Better By Design“, Lefler has garnered notable reviews and tours regularly. He describes his music as “rock and roll, albeit a lighter 30-something version”, and does not reject a likeness to “power pop”. With obvious talent, an excellent sense of humor and self, and an honest ability to charm crowds, Lefler is an artist to keep on your radar.
What is your songwriting process?
The songwriting process is probably the worst process in the World – possibly worse than fracking. For me, it generally starts with a simple moment of musical inspiration, which then has to be hammered into shape over the course of days, months, years, or decades. I always start with music – and by that I mean the melody. Writing lyrics is such a pain in the ass, that unless I feel strongly about the tune, I won’t even bother attempting words. Having said that, my best songs are generally the most effortless. My favorite song from my last EP was written, words and music, in about 30 minutes. It took me about 5 months to stop writing it, though. I can say without hyperbole that there are around 25 completed and unused bridges. Oh, and I bounce a rubber ball around the house when I write.
What are you most proud of?
For me, pride comes completely from songwriting. All the success and accolade in the world can’t make a shitty song good – at least in my mind (though I am proven wrong everyday, by music critics who should know better). If an album contains three, or four songs that, 10 years later, I can believe in and still play in my live set, then that’s good enough for me. It’s a percentage that worked pretty well for The Eagles…
What is your favorite songwriting lyric?
“People will always be tempted to wipe their feet on anything with, ‘welcome,’ written on it.”-
What advice would you give to young songwriters?
I am not a legendary songwriter, so I feel a bit silly giving advice. However, if I had to, I would tell them that songwriting is a craft. It’s a skill that is acquired and, hopefully, kept sharp. I would advise against being one of those musicians that says, “I don’t want to learn the rules because it will stifle me as an artist.” The groundwork of this profession (or hobby) has been laid by men and women that are much more talented than we are. Learn from them. Don’t just learn ten chords and feel like you’ve, “got it.” Also, technology is a tool. It can’t write a song for you. 99% percent of all great songs ever written can be performed with just a voice and guitar, or piano.
For someone who doesn’t like to give advice, I’m very comfortable on a soapbox.
To view John’s selected playlist and other bonus items, please go to;
All interviews and Bonus Materials will be archived alphabetically HERE for easy access in the future.
I truly appreciate everyone that has stopped by, talked about this blog and/or shared with friends. Please continue to share this page and site with fellow music lovers.
Only two posts next week, but they’re bands I’m excited to share with you. Both are groups I’ve met through this blog.