Music by Scott Martin

SM Blog

Lubricating lyrical gears (part 2)

After coming up with the lyrics for the chorus of an upcoming song, I brought it up on studio night. Mike, Kenny, Jeff and I all suggested ideas for words, phrasing and melody.  I had old lyrics from another song that were unused and seemed to fit the concept of minute by minute change, so we used those as a starting point:

seconds pass into unseen places
can’t outlast it, and can’t outrace it
one way trip, might as well just face it
step right up, the next minute is here

The issue I had with those words was that, with all those syllables, the lines didn’t contrast with the lines in the verses at all. And it made it more difficult to fit the music and have a distinctive melody. The one thing that did work was part of the last line: the next minute is here. It fit perfectly with these rhythmic stabs at the end of the chorus music.

So we whittled down syllables and tried out some melody ideas and harmonies. Less syllables meant longer notes, and we came up with some harmonies that took me by surprise (reminiscent of King’s X) as you can see in the vid below:

The working chorus lyric at that point was:

Can’t out race the fear
The next minute is here
One way
Might as well just face it
The next minute is here

As we let that stew for a couple days, Jeff asked me to post a rough mix of the song. Before I did that, I wanted to fix a couple details. As it sometimes happens, while I was fixing some things I came up with some changes that I liked a lot better than what we were using.

That was the feeling that’s been eluding me for a long time: the sudden rush of inspiration, like you’ve finally gotten a big, cool drink after working all day in the sun. It felt just as refreshing. I think I’m addicted to that feeling because I always want more.

So as of right now Jeff Beam and I have fleshed out the chorus harmonies, and Jeff Endemann and I have worked on guitar solos and some harmonies for the bridge. I’m still trying to find the words for the bridge, but once those are finalized, the songwriting is done. And once we track the vocals and some assorted noises and the like, the tracking will be done as well.

And we finally have the title: “(The) Next Minute”.

More to come…