You can’t create inspiration, you can only capture it.
Inspiration can come from anywhere at anytime from anything. Just be open and ready. You can’t force it but you can create the right environment for it to appear, invite in in and capture it once it happens. Whether I am ready to write a song or not, I try to stay in a great mood and focus on the details of my surroundings. Once something strikes me to the core and I know I want to save that idea, then I write it down or record the moment. This way you can find a song in just about anything, from an experience that moved you, to the news, to the random sounds made on a bus ride to work or to a melody you accidentally create, the list goes on.
My roommate loves to shop at Trader Joe’s. He loves it so much that he even buys their beer. One day we were in the middle of a writing session and drinking their beer called “Simpler Times.” I remember taking a break and just noticing the can, it’s vintage looking label and how the design made me feel like reminiscing on the old days. It didn’t take long before I had a chorus.
“Those were simpler times,
Those were easier ways,
Those were shorter nights
And longer days.
I just rode along
With every wave.
Those were simpler times,
Oh how things have changed”
Oh be Joyful
I am a big documentary buff and love soaking in large amounts of useless knowledge. When I first moved to Nashville I felt compelled to catch up on the history of the area. Eventually, I ended up binge-watching a documentary series on the Civil War. What pulled at me the most were the stories behind each individual soldier and the letters that they would write home. Each were very unique but at the same time, they all shared the same experiences of love, loss, joy and pain. I was so moved by one that I took bits and pieces of it and turned it into my song "Oh Be Joyful."
Queen of Eden
This one is almost all random improvisations that I felt were really cool at the time. I came up with a rock progression on the electric guitar in my parents basement when I was bored on a trip home. It just sounded cool. I later took it to my band and on the first take hummed a melody to fit the progression. It just sounded cool. On the second run, I improvised some lyrics and for no particular reason out came “my baby don’t mess around …” It sounded cool, so I went with it and later refined it into a song.
“My baby don't mess around.
I’ve fallen into her trap.
My baby will shoot me down.
She’s gonna leave me just like that.”
Inspiration can come from anywhere at anytime from anything. Just be open and ready.