My history with band members was interesting. When I reflect back on these experiences, it all comes back to arguments over “who is the songwriter” and the “time invested into the band”. For me, in all my bands, except one, I was the main songwriter and for the band in which I wasn’t the main songwriter, I shared that duty with the other guitarist/vocalist. As they say, in order to write music, you need to play a musical instrument.
One thing that always irked me was when I would write a song, with music and lyrics complete and then the singer would come along, wanting to alter the message of the song or to change a word or two around so they could argue for a song writing credit. It never was about enhancing the song, except in the band when I was sharing songwriting duties.
I have no issue if they want to enhance the message, but to change the songs message completely for the sake of getting a songwriting credit was a WTF moment for me. So my normal response would be to ask them to write a whole new set of lyrics for their own message to the music.
I didn’t know then what I was getting myself into when I said this, because the lyrics they delivered had no quality, didn’t flow and I spent more time fixing up their crappy message than I did writing the song. And to top it all off, if I decide to use the new lyrics, I now need to give someone a song writing credit, which really they didn’t deserve, because I spent hours organising their thoughts into something coherent and even added more of my own thoughts and words to it, just so it makes sense.
And this would all come to the fore and suddenly, the good vibes the band had are gone and eventually it’s over.
I’m not a singer at all. I never wanted to sing, nor do I practice singing. I’m a yeller that has a terrible range. And growing up listening to music that had singers like David Coverdale, Bruce Dickinson, Ronnie James Dio, Geoff Tate, Axl Rose, Steve Tyler and so on, I know I don’t even rate on the scale.
So why do I do it?
It’s to keep the authenticity, the vision and the message of the song in tact the way I want it to be and I am really having so much fun laughing at myself doing it and that’s what it is all about to me.
Having fun, writing, creating, recording and releasing. And the only person I can argue with is me.