Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Super Hero Rock. Issue #31


Over this last week I'm happy to report a breakthrough with a songwriting technique that I've been trying to make possible for about 2 years now. I've also been warned by my band that this is probably something that I shouldn't be sharing with people that like my music who might cringe at the unapologetic geekiness, but I digress...

In 2005 when I was getting through a case of writers block I started trying to think out of the box from what I normally do and wondered (why?) if anyone had ever done songs about comic book characters. I talked to my comic book advisory board (Brian at THE COMIC STOP) about the idea, and he thought it had potential but we both agreed it would have to be done a "certain way" to appeal to the Super Hero faithful. After a few failed attempts I put the idea on the back burner.

Fast forward to July of last year when I had another conversation with COMIC STOP co-owner Jim Demonakos about the idea and we brainstormed about what writing for that genre would entail. Now I'll be the first to admit that is was a pretty ridiculous concept, but I also know that for some reason it's charm has kept with me for over 2 years. The challenge was this...write songs that sound like "real songs" with "real lyrics" that the general public could relate too, but if you were a comic book fan you would realize it is specifically talking about (fill this spot in with superhero subject matter) and subsequently GEEK OUT.

Are you following me?
Basically, you can't have a chorus yelling, "SPIDERMAN! SPIDERMAN! WOLVERINE IS COOL!"

THAT WOULDN'T WORK.


Instead, you would have to be somewhat slick about it but at the same time have it be completely obvious if you're a fan-boy. The only genre of music that has done this successfully has been rap with artists name-dropping such characters as GREEN LANTERN, DR. DOOM, and MAGNETO. The difference is that it will only happen ONCE during a song. This usually has a delivery in the vein of a lyric such as, "I'm (blank) like DAREDEVIL, (blank) like SUPERMAN", and so on...
We agreed that when the formula was achieved it would probably received on one of the two extremes: One being very loved, and the other leaving the listener questioning if they'll ever get those 3 minutes of their life back...

This is all leading to the fact that after many drafts I think I cracked the code so in the words of my little brother...WHOO HOO!
Don't worry, I haven't lost my mind or decided that this is the new path of my music (I can hear all MANGA fans breaking my CD now), but more of a side project experiment. The real test though will be to see how the listener receives it, and to create a non bias judgement, I'll probably have to sneak one into a show to see how it goes over without saying, "This is about BATMAN". Hmmmm....you've been warned.

In other news JOSHUA STEARNS, the photographer who did my press shots and album cover has been featured in INQUIRING MIND magazine for his killer photography. One of the shots we took has been featured in the article, and you can find the article by clicking HERE, entering the site, and then entering the "Archive". View Issue #7 and flip through until you find the article. Once in, you can click through the images at the bottom until you find mine. Congrats to Josh, and his team!

I hope everyone is well in the first part of 2008, and I'll leave you with a quote from my friend Jim's blog that he posted a few weeks ago...

"May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself."

-Neil Gaiman


Be well,

K

1 comment:

Multitasker, PhD-to-be said...

Hi Kyle, I don't know much about comics besides what's in the popular media but I could imagine a comic-inspired song that comic-knowledge-challenged-people like myself could appreciate. I would think that there are all kinds of complex dynamics between the characters that the base of a song can be stemmed from. Yet you can maintain the comic connection by mentioning some unique character trait that those well informed in comics would pick up while the rest of us think: "Damn, that was a good analogy. How does he think this stuff up?!" Then again, I don't know what it's like to write songs so maybe that wouldn't work. Eh, just thought I'd throw it out. Signed, your friendly neighborhood science geek.