Blog Post

Zac holding guitar

Stay With the Song

on 25 Apr 2018, 05:40 PM
  • zac
  • songwriting

I've had the pleasure of working with and becoming friends with the incredibly talented Travis Hill, who writes under the name Scooter Carusoe. Travis has written several hit songs, including perhaps my favorite country song ever, "Anything But Mine". Go listen and I'll wait.

See? Right? The melody on that "Cleveland" part. The verse lyrics that just put you in that seaside pavilion seeing them laugh when they trade "I love you's" cause they know it's not true.

I sat recently on a panel at a songwriter's event and he talked a lot about grinding...staying with a song. And I also can tell you he practices what he preaches. We have written a dozen songs together and not one happened in a day. We talk, get coffee, talk, maybe start a little idea; grab lunch, get a little further down the road on the idea; decide it's not quite right and make a minor adjustment that makes the whole first verse unusable, then we have to end the session to go pick up our kids at school (we record where the song is at into our phones before we leave).

Then we reconvene the next week and exchange notes. This is where he usually says something about waking up early this morning with a new first verse; which turns out to be brilliant; but makes the bridge not quite right. We plug in all the pieces then play the song down into our phones.

He calls me the next day and says he sat in bed last night tweaking the ending; one little twist makes the song all the more poignant. He sends me a voice memo of the latest version of our song.

Some days I write a song and demo it by happy hour. But with Travis I know it's gonna be different. That's his process and it works. Find your process (and trust it like Philly) and get to work.