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When Songwriting Gets Tricky

Making Music In The Twenties Of The 21st Century

  Episode #2  

The question was: What comes next?
My last two productions are ESCAPE FROM THE MADHOUSE and IN THE AIR TONIGHT. The latter was a spontaneous work, out of the blue, literally. ESCAPE FROM THE MADHOUSE was a very different story. It took me, believe it or not, thirteen long years to finish that song. Again in numbers: 13!!!!
So, what the hell happened?

The Song Production Started With A Demo

We have to go all the way back to the year 2007, when I was working in my little home studio and recorded this demo:

As you can hear, it has this funky bass-line in the verses but also a latin “Smooth Operator” (Sade) groove in the chorus. Hmm … somehow a strange mixture.
I didn’t know how to produce it. My first approach was to incorporate a lot of electronic stuff because of Beck, who did his 9th album “Guero” 2 years earlier and encouraged me to experiment fearlessly. So, with that in mind, I grabbed my demo recordings and went to a bigger studio. The audio engineer Markus Kaiser at his s.p. audiolab helped me with the sound and my brother played the bass. But it didn’t work out. Unfortunately the recording disappeared without a trace.

Four years later in 2011 Tom (Waits) & Kathleen (Brennan) released the album “Bad As Me” and the opening song “Chicago” inspired me to try another version of ESCAPE FROM THE MADHOUSE. Tom’s “Chicago” is a static wall of sound with an evil train-beat - Fantastic!

So, let’s hear what it did to my song:

I was not happy. Still I didn't want to let it go, because I love the lyrics.
What had to be done?
And again, what next?

Ev’rybody, have a good time!


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  Episode #2  

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