all you need is love

i am sitting here revising the verse lyrics for Black Light Moon for what seems like the umpteenth time.

i believe that sometimes the longer you sit on a song or piece the more you revise it and the more trouble it causes you when all you want is nothing more than to have a finished product for the world to see or in this case hear.

this conundrum gave me lots of issues over these last few years but there is some point to it...some higher truth that i am supposed to be learning here and that is discovering my own voice even if what it is saying is not so revolutionary but instead is honest.

the songs on this album are not going to be trend-setting or revolutionary. i won't be getting "most unique" songwriter of the year awards but i am learning through these songs how i am supposed to be expressing myself.

take this song for instance. i wrote the basics of what would become Black Light Moon right around the time i wrote the song A Time For Rust so the song initially came from a very dark but hopeful place. the protagonist in it is tired of what he is feeling. he looks at himself and feels like even though he may give off a normal appearance there is a giant black light on him which, as anyone who ever went to a goth night dressed all in black knows, exposes hidden dirt and/or flaws that normally can't be seen. this leads to resigning himself to his fate of drifting, or basically continually moving forward in the hope that eventually he will find someone to find rest with along the way and understand him and ease the troubles as life keeps moving forward.

now we move forward to 2007 and things are not like they were back when i started writing it and i am discovering new things about my character and coupled with the fact that i listen to the old verses and cringe a bit, i decided it was time for some changes. and i discovered that what i have here is a love song.

and i fought with this concept for awhile because growing up as a metalhead you dread those two words like the plague. but here it is in front of me saying in the voice of toki wartooth "i am a love song and you gots to deals with it."

now at this point you are thinking "oh greg, you went and got yourself a girlfriend and now you feel the need to be all romantic and wussy" and you know what? you're probably right because what I have discovered is that I have experienced new things this year because of my relationship and it completely re-informs the characters that I am writing about. Now I am not saying this song is directly about my relationship but what I will say is that being in the situation I was in back in Rhode Island definitely gave me that initial spark of creativity to write the song and understand its basic structure and story but my relationship this year has taught me what this song is really about.

the protagonist is not supposed to be alone and drifting because no one is truly alone but we all are drifting through life in some way. some people may feel they are more ambitious than others but regardless of where you are life is pushing you forward and my character needs to tell you he is not alone but has found that one person who makes him realize things will be ok. and drifters can find their place.

and while i sit here explaining it i think to myself "but how can i really write a love song that sounds different" and the point is that i can't. i have been fortunate to be around creative lyricists like Toby and Byron and Byron wrote the most unique love song ever i think with his lyrics to "Undine and Underwater Flowers" but in trying to be as unique in my lyrics i would not be doing the song justice, i would merely be exposing myself as someone trying to sound better than i am.

Instead i am trying to reach for the "right" words to say in these lyrics and the "right" words to describe love and if that means they don't sound new or fresh then it doesn't matter because they are honest and true to what i am feeling now and therefore no matter what they are the "right" words to say and my song can be created and finished with the knowledge that i have achieved some measure of truth and to me that is more important than trying to be some uber-poet so i can get some kind of meaningless accolade. i practice the new words and already i feel i am bringing a deeper emotional resonance out of the song then previously i was and it makes me excited!

but the question that the song leaves me with is...is my character's person that he found for real or is it just a really amazing dream that gives him hope to move on? i am still not sure of the answer there and that is the way i like it.

Black Light Moon is a love song and you all's got's to deal with it.



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