Toby Goodshank Songwriting Interview




Toby Goodshank Songwriting Interview


Toby Goodshank can be found playing Guitar in a friends group, writing songs, at an art ehxibition by his collective 3MB, playing with one of his projects like IowiA or even designing a new comic. I know him via a good mutual friend. I enjoyed the sincerity of his writing on “Truth Jump Fall” and that he was writing personal stories, not trying to write to trends. I knew his name before that from being the guitarist in The Moldy Peaches. When Jason Reitman was filming “Juno” he asked Ellen Page what music Juno would listen to and she said, “The Moldy Peaches”. This led to a whole lot more people knowing the song “Anyone Else But You.”  I really enjoyed this discussion with Toby. It may be the first “not safe for everyone” post but it’s a really good one.


Name:  Tobias Marbles Goodshank
Current City: Brooklyn, NY
Most Recent Release: Minus Días (2013)
Band Affiliation: I played rhythm guitar in The Moldy Peaches. I also sang back-up, co-wrote a few songs and shook things in Huggabroomstik. I also also played rhythm guitar and sang back-up in Brent Cole’s band Berth Control.

Brief Intro/Bio:  I was born and raised in Connecticut. I started playing guitar and writing songs when I was sixteen. I changed my name when I was eighteen and moved to NYC when I was 20 to begin walking the lifelong path of someone who loves to make things. I have self-released a bunch of albums since 2001. The bands The Frogs and Dufus were huge inspirations to me early on!
I’m looking for help releasing future albums, help organising tours, career help in general.
I am in an art collective called 3MB with my friends Adam Green and Macaulay Culkin.
I helped Adam to film a movie that he wrote and directed called The Wrong Ferarri.
Sometime soon I will help Adam make his film version of Aladdin.
I’m thirty-four years old.

OSW: What is your songwriting/composing process? 
Toby Goodshank: Ah, my songwriting process is always changing!
Lately I’ve just been writing lyrics around melodies that I come up with, usually on the fly. Trying not to force anything. Letting instrumental arrangements fall into place. Not rushing, just waiting for moments when writing feels free and easy. If it feels good to sing something, I’ll sing it!

OSW: You’re very prolific. You put out 2-3 albums a year along with various other projects in a variety of styles. Do you write everyday?
Toby Goodshank:  I don’t write every day! I wish I could. But I dry up sometimes like most other folks. I prefer to at least play and sing daily. I think that my prolific ways are indebted to a combination of generally not filtering any written/recorded material out even if the recordings are not perfect, and an urgent desire for the immediate communication of my thoughts and feelings. I’m not a verbose guy, so when I do have a little bit to say I am in a hurry for others to hear it.

OSW: You’ve lived in both new York and Berlin. Compare the art and music community and environment of both cities.
Toby Goodshank:  Oh man, I’ve been in Berlin just shy of a year, so I don’t feel like I’m qualified to make that kind of comparison. It’s been too short a time. I think that the music community that I became involved with twelve years ago in NYC is rare to find anywhere, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Super-fun and inspiring. The more tight-knit community that I am familiar with in Berlin seems to have been in a hibernation mode this winter; regrouping and reorganising. It will be interesting to visit in the near future to see what develops. I think in both scenes, as years go by, life begins to get in the way of being hell-bent on going out to play or hear music constantly, each participant needs to seek their own balance, people weave in and out of different circles …I dunno, both cities have cool art and music things going on! I’m more tapped-into the NY scene cuz i been there longer.

OSW: Your first solo painting exhibit was named after a Fritz Lang film. Do films also influence your songwriting?
Toby Goodshank: Hell yes, they do! So much. A lotta times I’ll attempt to organise songs on an album into a narrative, often inspired by film. And for instrumental arrangements and lyrics to be visually evocative… Lately I been gettin really into the films of Robert Downey Sr., especially ‘Two Tons of Turquoise to Taos Tonight’ (Moment to Moment).

OSW:Truth Jump Fall’ is a very, personal and intimate album. I say that because it’s the album I’m most familiar with. Is it hard to re-live dark and difficult times in your life by continuing to sing about them or is it therapeutic?
Toby Goodshank:  Thankfully it rarely feels difficult to me to revisit these moments in song. I can usually find away in which the content still applies to my life, even if the situation has changed, so that I can sing it and it will be honest and good. If I can’t feel honest and good whilst singing it, I just won’t sing it!

OSW: You also write comics. I remember seeing Will Knox, songwriter from the UK, who wrote a comic to go with his album. Would you ever release an album and comic following the same storyline? 
Toby Goodshank:  I suppose it’s possible, but unlikely for right now. I’m currently working on a quadruple-X rated comic that should hopefully debut early next year. I don’t think there are enough notes in any scale on this planet that could compliment the cornucopia of mutant cocks I’ve been drawing.

OSW: Tell us about your time with The Moldy Peaches. Did you do any writing with them?
Toby Goodshank:  It was a blast! It was being onstage with my five best friends. We’re still together in spirit, just not touring around. There were a few aborted attempts at new music composition towards the end of our run, and a few rejected jingles that we all threw down on. We choreographed a dance together to a Hulk Hogan song, that was a fucking milestone.

OSW: What do you think of the Antifolk movement?
Toby Goodshank:  I think it’s more of a group of friends than a cohesive musical movement, and I love these friends dearly! Really looking forward to hanging with everyone when I get back into town.

OSW: What is your favorite songwriting lyric?
Toby Goodshank:  It’s when Deenah sings Live and Let Die, “You Gotta Give The Other Fella Heaaaaad!” Is what McCartney originally had in mind but I’m sure there was a lotta pressure at that time to minimize the homoeroticism in solo Beatles songs. If they had been allowed to flourish as true artists into the nineties I propose that The Beatles would have reunited and emerged as the four supreme omnisexual New Gods, and this would have been reflected in their lyrics and in their liner notes and album art.

OSW: What advice would you give to young songwriters/composers?
Toby Goodshank:  Persevere! And forreal, be careful with drugs.

OSW: If you could sit down and talk about songwriting with anyone, who would it be and why? 
Toby Goodshank:  I think this is one that would change depending on my mood, but right now I’d love to chat Daniel Smith up about the writing and recording process for the Danielson Famile album “Tell Another Joke At The Ol’ Choppin’ Block”, such a beautiful album that has brought me so much joy over the years. Also, would love to quiz Def Leppard on “Hysteria”. Also, Anthrax re: the writing process for their latest “Worship Music”, an album that gives me a big boner of the mind and spirit. Scott Walker… The list goes on!

OSW: If you could go back and be part of any album session what would it be?
Toby Goodshank:  Oh, The Frogs “It’s Only Right and Natural.” I wouldn’t have belonged there, though. Or maybe Scott Walker’s latest. Any Jandek album.

OSW: The follow-up to that. If you could do album cover art for any session, what would it be?
Toby Goodshank: Hmm, maybe any future Danny Brown release.

Toby Goodshank on the Web

All interviews and Bonus Materials, including Toby Goodshank, will be archived alphabetically HERE for easy access in the future.

Please follow the Facebook Page for more updates and songwriting posts. Send us a message on Twitter and tell your friends, neighbors and relatives about us, if you like.

Thanks for spending some time here,

Our Scattered Words


Northern Spies


Northern Spies Songwriting Interview (Astrid Wiezell)

We all have access to a world of music; YouTube, Spotify, ITunes, Pandora, Grooveshark. No one has time for a world of music.  There is currently approximately 115 non-stop years of music on Spotify.  Ready, Set, STOP!!  Some music is not available everywhere. It exists, in general, outside of the unending world of Jay-Zs, Katy Perrys  and Robin Thicke. That’s the stuff that matters, that catches us, that takes us away from the bland, same old stuff. EardrumsPop is an online label. Until recently their unique collection of songs existed only via their site.  I assume, for exposure purposes, that they added their songs to Spotify to draw more listeners to their page.  Here’s how they describe the label:

EARDRUMSPOP is a net-label. We love warm and melodic music of all kinds, we believe in beautiful things you can see and hear, and we believe in working together, helping each other and getting good music and good art out to the public. All our releases are given away for free. We HOPE that instead of supporting us, you can visit the websites of the bands you like, buy their releases, go to their concerts or just spread the word about these wonderful bands. All our releases are made in close collaboration with the artists and illustrators.

I found Northern Spies through one of their releases. I really enjoyed Astrid’s voice and writing, so I decided to start my EardrumsPop artist  interviews with her.  I plan on interviewing more of their artists.  Not just because I think Knut and Stefan are great guys (don’t really know Tim or Silja that well yet) but because I believe that they have a passion for helping musicians and people that love music to find each other.  I also love that they encourage;

– people that have never worked together to collaborate
– musicians to cover songs by “less known” bands.  Does the world need another “Get Lucky” cover? No, but only because Daughter killed it.

Here’s Astrid, also known as Norther Spies…..

Northern Spies (Astrid Wiezell)

Northern Spies Songwriting Interview

NAME: Astrid Wiezell
Current City/Home Town: Stockholm
Most Recent Release: ‘My Middle Names’, a free EP on in December last year. Upcoming album is called ‘America’ and is being finished right now.
Band Affiliation: Northern Spies, Don’t Cry Shopgirl

Brief Intro
Northern Spies is Astrid Wiezell, 27, of Stockholm Sweden playing guitar and singing songs with her heart on her sleeve. Northern Spies has existed for about a year but Astrid has been playing and singing since her early teens, mostly on her own. 2013 promises the release of her debut album ‘America’.

OSW: What is your songwriting/composing process?
Northern Spies: You know, I find so many people talk about the long arduous process and working on songs for years but that’s not my experience with writing at all. I feel like I often know immediately if it’s going to be something worth finishing or not. I get this little “ZING!” feeling and I just follow that notion as quickly as possible before the idea runs away from me again. Normally I play guitar and try to find a melody or rhythm I like and mess around with it until suddenly I’m singing something and get a sense for the theme but lately phrases and sometimes entire song lyrics come out in my head when I’m nowhere near a guitar so I just write them down and as soon as I’m home with the guitar the pieces tend to fall into place. I work pretty quickly when I’m writing but sometimes I go longer times without writing and that’s the hard thing, when you can’t get inspired and find something you want to sing about.

OSW: What are you most proud of?
Northern Spies: Playing the Indietracks festival in Derbyshire, England this year. I’ve been going to that festival almost every year since 2008. I’ve always enjoyed it but come away feeling slightly bittersweet, wishing I could just get going again with writing and get to be up there myself. I started Northern Spies not even a year ago and to get to play the festival was a dream come true. My set was in an old steam train’s postal carriage and going on this train ride, playing songs to a packed, sweaty space with all these people was so intimate and fun. I was really moved by the support.


Northern Spies at Indietracks Festival

But honestly, every time someone else writes about how my music is part of their day, that makes me happy and proud. Knowing someone else listens to something I wrote and recorded makes my heart soar. It’s the best feeling to have as a songwriter too because I am crazy about music and I know how much a song can mean, how just a phrasing or change in melody can turn your day around. At least with myself, I sometimes know that I’ve written something I think is great but it’s so easy to just focus on your flaws. So to hear that someone else is listening, enjoying and even more importantly: listening again, that is just so flattering.

OSW: What is your favorite songwriting lyric?
Northern Spies: That is an incredibly different question! There are too many to count… one that is sticking with me lately is from Joni Mitchells’ ‘Both Sides Now’ where she sings “Well something’s lost but something’s gained/In living every day”. I think that is just such a perfect little line. I think the factor I consider the most in it though is the vocal delivery, it doesn’t have to be the technically best, but I have to believe it. You could have the best song in the world but if it’s sung without passion or guts it’s not going to do anything for me.

My favourite songwriters are the ones who sing with candour and intent. I am a very wordy writer myself so I’m always drawn to those who cram a lot of words in, like me. At the same time I’m intrigued by those who create such vivid images and impressions using very few words or repeated phrases… it’s a life-long study, I guess!

OSW: If you could sit down and talk songwriting with anyone who would it be and why?
Northern Spies: Oh gosh – so many people! I am lucky enough to know and get to talk to some of my favourite people, like Vermont veterans The Smittens, about these things and that often helps me to rethink or regroup my thoughts. In a dream world I’d love to talk to Jonathan Richman because his songwriting style is so his own, from start to finish, and it’s great how he is so obviously himself all the time and so unapologetic about it. He’s unique yet so approachable in his writing. I’d love to get to channel some of that. His songwriting blows my mind. I would also love to hang out with some of my contemporaries, like First Aid Kit. They’re fantastic, we’re from the same city and roughly the same ages and I think it’d be wonderful to have some of that positivity and strength that they show both musically and in interviews.

OSW: I found you through EardrumsPop.  One thing they stress is collaborating
with other artists.  How do you feel about collaborating with other musicians on songs?
Northern Spies: I love it! I really haven’t done it enough before but because of how well Northern Spies has been received, I now have quite a few collaborations in the works. I do this on my own because I guess I need an outlet for my own personal songwriting and I don’t think there is always space for another person in there, as selfish as it sounds. If you are working with someone else, you have to be willing to let some of that go and let their opinions count equally to yours. I need a space where I – and as a woman I think society always tells you to not show these qualities – can be as unapologetically assertive as I want to be. In turn, that makes me a far easier person to collaborate with in other projects. Lately I’m looking to go off-genre a bit more in collaborations.

OSW: What advice would you give to young songwriters/composers?
Northern Spies: Don’t apologise for yourself, don’t wait. Just put things out there, play live, take up space. I started writing songs when I was about 15 and it took me 11 years to really, truly get going because I’ve always been so nervous about what people would think, comparing myself to others. Not everyone can or will love you but most of the time, the meanest voices are in your head. It’s better to just make the most of what you have now and get out there. You can convince yourself otherwise your entire life. If you write on your own it’s great to find a few people whose opinions you trust and let them be your soundboards if you want feedback. I’m currently finishing my first album where I’m doing everything myself: from writing the songs to playing all the instruments to recording it all. It’s something I’ve taken to heart, as I have to be pretty inventive to get away with it all.

Northern Spies on the Web

All interviews and Bonus Materials, including Northern Spies, will be archived alphabetically HERE for easy access in the future.

Please follow the Facebook Page for more updates and songwriting posts. Send us a message on Twitter and tell your friends, neighbors and relatives about us, if you like.

Thanks for spending some time here,

Our Scattered Words

The Lawsuits


The Lawsuits (Brian Strouse)


“On the cover of The Rolling Stone..”, if you don’t know the original song then you certainly know it from “Almost Famous”. If you don’t know “Almost Famous”……. well you wouldn’t be here at a songwriting blog if you’re not familiar with one of my all-time favorite movies.  That’s all I’ll say about that. Now, it’s been decades since I lived or played music in Philly.  But a good friend, from Philly, introduced me to The Lawsuits.  I really like them and think you will too and… back to my opening statement, you can download a song (“Dreaming #26”) from their new album (‘Cool Cool Cool’) for free via Rolling Stone. Go ahead and take a minute to do that so you can let it play while you read this.

NAME: Brian Dale Allen Strouse
RECENT RELEASE: ‘Numbers’ (2012) and the upcoming ‘Cool Cool Cool’ (Fall 2013)

Brief introduction To You
I’m a human being from planet earth.

[and for the benefit of their PR person…taken from their website]

The Lawsuits were once described as a “schizophrenic mix of modern Americana.” However, they don’t stop there – interweaving elements of reggae, 60’s pop flair, and 80’s anthemic refrains, woven together by highly literate lyrics.

They play with an energy that’s infectious, charging through changeups and reveling in every solo, making the playing of each song look as enjoyable as it is to listen to. The songs are intricate and insightful in a way that recalls a time when music was more pure, but with a progressive and lighthearted style that is executed with apparent ease.

The band consists of songwriter and lyricist Brian Dale Allen Strouse, accompanied by Vanessa Winters’ alternately dancing and soulful vocals over the tight and powerful backing of Brendan Cunningham and Josh Friedman.

OSW: What is your songwriting/composing process?
The Lawsuits: There is no real process. Sometimes a melody comes to me and i feel like trying to work it out, so I do. Sometimes I’ll sit at a piano or with a guitar and leave the mics on, then review the tape later…. You can get some good stuff by keeping everything recording and just screwing around.

OSW: What are you most proud of?
The Lawsuits: That i’ve stuck with music. I’ve been singing since 5 yrs old, writing since 10 or 11, and performing live since 12. I have no intention of doing anything other than what i’m doing.

OSW: I grew up in Philly and I loved having access to both Philly and new York because they can be totally different worlds musically.  Has being near those two cities impacted your writing?
The Lawsuits: Maybe. I’m not sure what it would be like to have grown up in a different area. I assume my surroundings impacted my development to some degree.

OSW: Everyone has access to a “world of music” now, but you don’t sound like “a band from Philly”?  How did your sound/direction come together?
The Lawsuits: Well, thank you.. If that is the case. We owe a lot to the fact that the core group of myself, Brendan, Vanessa, and Josh have stayed together. Keeping a band together is pretty tough, and most people can’t do it. I’ve been able to, and I see no reason why it should change anytime soon. With the new album just about ready to come out, our direction is becoming a bit more focused. This album is the best thing that we’ve ever had the opportunity to put our name on. Good recorded music is something that we’ve been lacking for a long time (funny for a band, right?), and also ironic because we record more than any band I know from Philadelphia (although I’m not sure such a figure exists) …a running catalog of about 1k proper demos, and who knows how many song ideas or lyric pages with no corresponding melody. Maybe someday all these demos will become useful…

OSW: What is your favorite songwriting lyric?
The Lawsuits: “A heart stained in anger grows weak and grows bitter. You’ll become your own prisoner as you watch yourself sit there, wrapped up in a trap of your very own chain of sorrow.”  (“Bruised Orange” – John Prine )

OSW: What advice would you give to young songwriters/composers?
The Lawsuits: Record anything and everything. Try playing types of music you don’t like listening to. Keep receipts.

OSW: If you could sit down and talk about songwriting with anyone, who would it be and why?
The Lawsuits: Good question. I’d sit with the guy who writes all these pop songs we hear on the radio.  I ought to know his name. He’s brilliant.

Or Dylan 🙂


The Lawsuits on the Web

All interviews and Bonus Materials, including The Lawsuits, will be archived alphabetically HERE for easy access in the future.

Please follow the Facebook Page for more updates and songwriting posts. Send us a message on Twitter and tell your friends, neighbors and relatives about us, if you like.

Thanks for spending some time here,

Our Scattered Words

Jessie Frye


Jessie Frye Songwriting Interview

Jessie Frye

Current City:  Denton, TX
Most Recent Release: Fireworks Child (our new record Obsidian is due out in the fall)

“Jessie Frye has become something of a local institution since the release of her debut EP, The Delve, back in 2009. On the strength and reputation of that first collection of songs, she was invited to perform at SXSW that same year and began a round of extended touring with some local musicians whom she knew and had brought together to form a permanent band…….

The way in which the music effortlessly interweaves with her voice without overpowering or drowning out her intimate vocal complexities is a testament to the intuitive interplay between all members of the band. A compelling example of how synth-pop can expand and develop past its bloated mainstream inclinations, “White Heat” is equal parts inclusive campfire storytelling and rafter-reaching pomp

– Joshua Pickard, Beats Per Minute

OSW: What is your songwriting/composing process?
Jessie Frye: It definitely varies. A melody will pop into my head randomly, or I will thump out a cool chord progression on the piano. Then it just goes from there. It’s kind of like connecting the dots.

OSW: What are you most proud of?
Jessie Frye: Our new full length album “Obsidian” (Click HERE to hear the single “White Heat” from the upcoming album and here’s a preview of the cover)


OSW: What makes ‘Obsidian’ different than your last release?
Jessie Frye: ‘Obsidian’ is our first full-length album. I am playing with a completely new set of musicians, too. I am proud of Obsidian because I challenged myself as a vocalist while writing these songs. I love writing dark pop music and I feel that this is the first time I feel fully confident.

OSW: Do lyrics come quickly or do you revise them over a period of time?
Jessie Frye: I am a lyric snob, I have to admit. So sometimes I spend more time on the lyrics than the actual song. It depends on the song, really. Some songs have placeholder words until I hunt the right ones down. Some lyrics just pop out and feel right from the start. I have a lot of journals that I can go back into and pick out lyrics from, so that is a good source of material for me.

OSW: Where does your inspiration for songs come from?
Jessie Frye: From a lot of literature that I read. I also am very inspired by scenes in movies that I am moved by and dreams that I have. I love writing really abstract lyrics about situations or emotions. People would never know the meaning of some of my lyrics unless I sat down and picked it apart from them. That is fun for me.

OSW: What advice would you give to young songwriters/composers?
Jessie Frye: Practice a lot. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Focus on a skill that you want to be really good at and then venture into other areas. Stay determined. No one can make it happen but you.

OSW: If you could sit down and talk about songwriting with anyone, who would it be and why?
Jessie Frye: Robert Smith from The Cure. Coolest guy ever.

Jessie Frye on the Web
NEW Single- “White Heat”

To see Jessie Frye’s upcoming shows go HERE

All interviews and Bonus Materials will be archived alphabetically HERE for easy access in the future.

Please follow the Facebook Page for more updates and songwriting posts. Send us a message on Twitter and tell your friends, neighbors and relatives about us, if you like.

Caleb Hawley

Caleb Hawley

Caleb Hawley (photo by Don Razniewski)

Caleb Hawley

Minneapolis to Berklee College to Harlem.  That’s the path Caleb Hawley has taken and you hear all of that in Caleb Hawley’s music.  Prince, Dylan, Jazz, Soul. A voice that earned him a spot on American Idol.  I heard about Caleb through mutual friends for a few years and listened some.  This morning was the first time I listened all the way through his full album, ‘Caleb Hawley’. (can’t wait for all of you to have the chance to hear this!!) He sounds natural and genuine in the updated, soul sound material. I’ve heard other contemporary singers record material like this because they love it, but never really find that authentic place that truly connects a singer and band to the truth of that music. They end up sounding like a mediocre lounge band or an album that belongs on an infomercial.  But, that’s not the case with Caleb.  He truly connects, sings and writes this material very genuinely. I really enjoyed listening through this morning

Caleb Hawley
Current City or Home Town: Harlem, NY originally from Minneapolis, MN
Record Label: Independent, baby!
Most recent release: ‘We All Got Problems’ – 2010

Brief Intro/Bio
Independent Harlem based soul singer & songwriter who grew up in the ‘burbs of Minneapolis surrounded by the sounds of Prince & Bob Dylan. Influenced hugely by the two, taking thought provoking lyrics & funky grooves & blends them together as well as possible.

OSW: What is your songwriting/composing process?
Caleb Hawley: Usually I have two stacks. One stack is of musical ideas, the other is of lyrics. I think of them at separate times, because usually musical inspiration comes to me when I’m practicing and lyrical inspiration comes to me when I’m out and about, observing people and contemplating my life. Typically I take from each pile and try to mix and match the vibes and moods that fit each other best. Then I either extend or whittle the lyrics into a place that fits the musical idea best. I hardly ever write them both at the same time.

OSW: What are you most proud of?
Caleb Hawley: My most recent unreleased album. It’s the most “me” recording I’ve ever done and just hope I can find a good home for it in order to release it.

OSW: How does someone go from a degree in Jazz Composition to American Idol?
Caleb Hawley: I chose Jazz Comp while at Berklee because I was super interested in arranging. I’ve used the skills I developed there in my recordings as you will hear. I think my passion for jazz was a little higher at the time I attended school there, but the degree was still a great supplement for the music I’m making nowadays.

OSW: What did you learn from the American Idol experience?
Caleb Hawley: Hmm.. That reality TV isn’t reality? That’s probably the most rewarding knowledge I gained there. As a person who struggled with a need to strive and make it to the “top”, it’s nice to know that the “top” is mostly just a game and a facade played on others not in the biz. On a more positive note, I made a lot of great friends there and also learned how to push myself to really learn a song in less than 24 hours… and attempt dance moves with it : )

OSW: Do lyrics come quickly or do you revise them over a period of time?
Caleb Hawley: Definitely revise them over and over. The idea usually comes quick. I try my best to spill it out on the page as fast as possible and revise later, but that can be tough. When I get excited about a line it’s hard not to revise it in the moment. It’s a balance though, cause I wanna continue the thought at the same time before I forget it, but also make the revisions before I forget those as well.

OSW: What is your favorite songwriting lyric?
Caleb Hawley:
“I found myself face down in the ditch
Booze in my hair
Blood on my lips
A picture of you, holding a picture of me
In the pocket of my blue jeans”

 – Ray Lamontagne “Jolene”

 To me this portrays is the best imagery I’ve ever heard. There are three scenes in one, which is pretty amazing to me.

OSW: Is rhyming still important?
Caleb Hawley: Yes and no, for lack of a better answer. Some people say perfect rhyme is the only rhyme. In musical theater that may be true, because you really need to hear the dictation as an audience as it goes by fast. On a record, people can always check the liner notes or lyric websites to find out exactly what you’re saying, so I think being abstract works a little better in that case. As long as it’s not cheesy and too predictable, I’ll always go with the rhyme. It’s the really predictable rhymes that I attempt to stay away from.OSW: What advice would you give to young songwriters/composers?
Caleb Hawley: Make your songs dramatic. And if you’re gonna use an ideas that has been done a million times, like a love song, find your own original twist. Always depends on the style you’re writing in, but don’t be afraid to take some risks.

OSW: If you could go back and be part of any album session what would it be?
Caleb Hawley: ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered” album. Not only is it my favorite Stevie record but it’s one of the few he used the funk bro’s on. I’d love to sit in the room with James Jamerson & Stevie Wonder at the same time. That would teach me more than a Berklee degree easily.
(OSW Note- from that album, this is one of my all-time favorite cover songs.  Stevie completely makes it his own and that distorted Clav sound kills me)

OSW: If you could sit down and talk about songwriting with anyone, who would it be and why?
Caleb Hawley: Eminem. I’d love to hear how much he actually revises his internal rhyming, or if it just comes that natural to him. I’d also be curious why if he is so graphic just to get a rise, or if it’s genuinely him. Either way, it’s still brilliant in my opinion.

Caleb Hawley on the Web
CD Baby
YouTube (search)

Also, this is important people, you can get a FREE Sampler by Caleb Hawley at Noisetrade for a limited time. Please check it out.

No bonus material page this time.  Completely my error.  I let the whole interview slip through without making sure I had 3 videos for his songwriting playlist.  But, I will share a couple videos of Caleb + you got the Stevie video above.

“Little Miss Sunshine” (Official Lyric Video)“Let a Little Love In” (Live in Studio)Important stuff

If you’re enjoying these interviews; please follow the blog and Facebook page. Also, share both of these with your music loving friends.  Let me know on the Facebook page if there is anyone you think I should interview and…..
even more importantly

BUY music by these musicians.

Please don’t just go stream the songs.  If you enjoy the interview and the musician, certainly use streaming to preview their tracks but then buy it if you like it.  They need sales of their music, merchandise and people at their shows to continue making the music you love. Buying directly from them at shows is always the best option, then buying from their website if possible.   This is really important stuff people.Have a great weekend and I’ll see you next week.