Sunday, 25 March 2012

Evolution of a Song – A glimpse into the creative process of The Woohoo Revue

Since the release of the first record the band went on the road and pretty much stayed there for the following 2 and a half years. This is heaps of fun because you get to see the country and meet lots of amazing people and do lots of great gigs and festivals. But it doesn’t lend itself to writing and being creative, because there simply in not enough time or space to all get together and work on new material. So after 2 and a half years of going around in circles, we decided the only way to make a new record happen was to lock ourselves in a remote country house, where phones don’t work, with no TV or Internet, no people or pubs or really anything remotely fun or stimulating to do, and make music (and hopefully not go a bit “heeeere’s Johnny). So in June 2011 we packed up all our gear and filled the van and (2 cars!!!) and headed off to what would later be affectionately known as “The Farm”.

We stayed in a beautiful spot in remote southern Victoria with rolling hills and ponds and ducks and rain and mud. Lots of mud.

So we set up all our instruments, and my recording gear and put the kettle on. The series of blogs to follow will show what happened at the farm and in the following months leading up to the completion of the new Woohoo record.  I will focus on one song in particular to give you an idea how a lot of woohoo tunes are conceived.

Rarely does someone bring a completely finished and arranged tune to the band, so we have a number of different processes, which create and evolve what becomes a finished tune. One process we use is to sit in a circle, set up a guitar loop or rhythm section loop, and everyone has to come up with a melody, and then teach it straight away to everyone. This solidifies the idea and then we record it. We then have 20 or 30 small 2 or 4 or 8 bar melodies that later we listen to and see if we can put together a song. These first 3 examples were taken from the original melody session of around 30 recordings.

Now that we have 3 or 4 sections, we come up with a form, and try switching things around and adding bits and take bits out, usually over a period of hours or weeks or even months and generally come back to the original form we came up with at the start. The fourth track in the set is from the end of the first session we spent as a band arranging this tune, and we recorded it on my little Tascam portable recorder. 

Next blog you will see how the song gets shelved for more imminent priorities such as touring, and what happens when it is returned to with fresh ears a few months later.


1 comment:

  1. Nice blog entry Andy! i am looking forward to seeing how this develops!