Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Byron Gold in the house, and musings on pop music

Not that I wish to give you, my dear reader(s), the wrong impression here - that of me, in my arrogance, taking a cheap side-swipe at my esteemed colleague - nay, this writer would simply like to express the fact that he is indeed in possession of the infinitely valuable skill of being able to type 'é'.

And by way of small addition to our very broad and thoroughly headliner-heavy review of the Glastonbury festivities I'd just like to say I actually enjoyed U2 the most.

Anyhow, onwards... Today, this guy joined us in the studio for some recording shenningans involving a pop hit that just seems to get faster and faster every time we work on it.

His name, as you can see, is Byron Gold. And he has a fast song. Which also has a nice fat-sounding chorus and some epic delayed acoustic guitar, courtesy of my MemoryMan. It's fun and poppy. We're hopeful that the powers that be will decide to include it on Byron's record, and with that in mind, our task for the day was to try and find the song a nice and suit and tie to make it extra smart for the all important interview.

For inspiration, we headed to the top 10, and realised, quite unsurprisingly that it isn't actually a top 10 at all. More like a top 3 - an Ed Sheeran tune, something else quite good, and 8 tunes that basically all sound virtually identical: big pounding crotchets in the kick drum, distorted, frantic synth parts, auto-tuned vocals, and overall club vibe. Sorry if you think that's unfair. Perhaps rock music all sounds the same to the uninitiated.

Anyway, it makes me smile because it's one thing to sit on your high horse and bemoan the lack of originality in the music industry, but it's quite another to go into the studio to make a tune that needs to compete in the charts and not end up with: big pounding crotchets in the kick drum, distorted, frantic synth parts, auto-tuned vocals, and overall club vibe, and still feel like you can sell this to the guy who decides if you get to be a hit or not.

What was that Bono said about compromise again...?

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