There’s something I’ve always found quite interesting about writing songs. It has never, EVER been boring. Frustrating? Yes. But never boring. As we prepare to release our first single ‘In My Head’, I found myself reflecting on how I came to write this song and all the other songs that I have written…
This song just fell out of my head! I wrote the whole thing in about 30 minutes!! Literally guitar in hand, pen to paper and there it was. And it felt like this was a piece that had been bottled up inside me for so long so I’m not surprised I spat it out in a frenzy! It just seems fitting. That’s why I find writing so fascinating…no single song I’ve ever written has been been written in a set way. There is just no pattern. Unfortunately, it makes things a little unpredictable. I mean, I’ve got some songs that have taken me a couple of years to write and others like ‘In My Head’ that was just ‘paint splatter’. That’s the game I suppose. I don’t necessarily think I get ‘writer’s block’, more that I just need to feel a connection to a song I’m trying to write (cheesy but true). I have to work hard to pluck it out of myself. I can’t speak for everyone else’s experience when it comes to writing but it certainly pertains to me.
Lyrics to ‘In My Head’
As an acoustic song, ‘In My Head’ certainly has a feel and a drive that, in 5/4, just takes over your body. As a full ensemble though? Fuck me! Oscar on drums forms the bedrock of the song locking in with Vernon’s simple but powerfully effective bass line. Then there’s Harry on guitar spooning the aggression on top as well as lacing the lead vocal line with powerful backing vocals. All that on top of my ever-present acoustic guitar just provides ‘In My Head’ with an irresistible gritty percussive edge (even if I say so myself ha!). That’s the feeling I get anyway…
The song truly oozes aggression. I am figuratively grabbing myself by the scruff of the neck and screaming down my own throat. I’m telling myself to “shut the fuck up! Everything is okay…it’s all in my head.” It’s a song that encapsulates frustration and determination and it is the perfect marriage of expression.
There is undoubtedly a nervous anticipation/excitement every time I get up in front of an audience to perform this almost ritualistic explosion of aggression. Anyone who has met me before won’t necessarily find me to be a very aggressive person. Quite the opposite actually. However, it just seems so natural when I’m on stage and, in truth, always has. I find myself thinking back to the first song I ever wrote when I was 7 years old. It was called ‘What did you do to my wife’. It is a song that would not have seemed out of place on any early Alice in Chains, Kyuss or Nirvana album. Rhythmically and musically speaking, I play a continuous, hard hitting, frankly quite haunting E minor chord (purely upstrokes as I couldn’t strum down!) on a very small Spanish acoustic guitar. The haunting nature of the piece is further emphasised by the crackly recording I made on a small tape machine in my bedroom.
It’s a song about a man who interrogates another man about the whereabouts of his wife and threatens that, should he lie about the whereabouts of his wife, he will proceed to throw the accused into a pit of dinosaurs. There’s also some talk of pigs (I loved pigs when I was younger) and claiming that “Everyone has somewhere to hide except for me and my pig” (yeah yeah I know).
Yep. I was a weird kid and, quite frankly, it’s a demented song that only a 7-year-old could write. But it was routinely requested at various family gatherings and would always get a roar of approval. Even now my family shout “Play the pig song!!” My Dad amazingly kept the tapes that I recorded these songs onto which included other classic hits such as “Stay Away From Me” and “I Wish I Was a Man” (careful). As a present a few years ago, he ripped the recordings onto a CD. Having dug it out, I feel it is time to share this almost ‘legend status’ (some might believe) song with you as you’re surely about to burst with intrigue.
(Above) ‘What Did You Do To My Wife’ – the original recording I made back when I was 7 years old
(Above from left to right) My brother David, my Dad and me holding on for dear life on holiday in Cornwall.
I look back on that song and that time of my life with great fondness; sat around a campfire in Trayarnon, Cornwall with my family and being asked to play that song again. I can remember the euphoria I felt after each and every performance of that song and, subsequently, every other song that I wrote and performed over the next few years of my life. Even to this day when I perform ‘In My Head’ that feeling is almost identical.
I am so excited to (finally) share this single with you in the next few weeks but, more than ever, I can’t wait to get up on stage and perform not just the single but the other songs that GALLIMORE have written and rehearsed. And no matter how or where, performing songs I have written will always be a portal to that 7 year old weirdo who just wanted to stand in front of people with a guitar and say “Hey, listen to what I’ve made…”. Cue the crunching E minor chord intro; “WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY WIFE!!”. Classic.
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Very interesting Ricky!
Reading between the lines, I think we’re going to find we have a lot in common and I hope you’ll agree that creatively working collaboratively is going to be a good experience.
No pressure, but I look forward to your thoughts.