Song writing with Sam
This month I’ve been talking to lead singer Sam Wilson about his approach to song writing.
When did you write your first song?
I was probably around 17 when I first started. I dabbled a bit for a while but didn’t finish much! Domino was the first song I put time and effort into and finished. I didn’t share it with anybody initially, but when we were talking to the record company about recording there weren’t enough tracks, so I was forced to bring it out. Fortunately, they liked it and we ended up recording it.
Do you write/have you written all of the BBROS songs?
Lyrically, I am the main songwriter, and have had some involvement in nearly all our original songs. Seb co-wrote Dance with the Devil and Only Love and is the sole writer on a new track called Will You Be Mine. All three of us have input into the musical arrangements on all our original tracks.
Ever written for anybody else? Would you?
No not yet. I would love to, and it would be very flattering.
What is your personal approach to song writing?
I usually start with the chords and then hum a melody to myself. Then I voice record some words and see where it goes.
Sometimes ideas just pop into my head when I’m out walking. Oh dear and Oh My God began life this way. For these two, the lyrics came first., then the melody, then the chords.
Where do the ideas and inspiration come from?
Past experience and personal events. I have tried writing about things I’ve not experienced personally, but it didn’t feel authentic, so I wasn’t engaged.
I’m really into the lyrics of the music I listen to so writing about things people can relate to is important to me.
How do you go about introducing new songs to the band? Do you get nervous? Have they ever rejected any songs?
We’ve been together a while now, so I don’t get nervous. I usually don’t introduce a new track until its musically and lyrically complete, so I’m fairly comfortable with it. Generally, I just sneak in new tracks at rehearsal and see what they think - I don’t make a big deal of it.
I can’t recall they guys rejecting a song, but we have had some that we’ve agreed wouldn’t work in the environment we play in.
How has your song writing changed over the last ten years?
I’m much more confident in scrapping a song if it’s not going anywhere. I would previously hang onto them for too long before accepting they weren’t good enough.
The lyrics are more overtly personal now, whereas previously I would have shied away from anything to close to home and the lyrics would have been more vague.
And, I’ve mixed up the way of writing to keep it interesting for myself (e.g. sometimes lyrics first).
What do you find most difficult about song writing?
Trying to find inspiration and new topics to explore and getting the balance right between something totally personal and something relatable to other people.
Which of your songs are you most proud of?
Naturally Domino as its one of the first of my songs that got recorded!
However, as Id like to think my song writing has evolved over time, there are a couple of more recent tracks that I’m particularly proud of:
I’m on fire (from our upcoming album)– it’s probably the most vulnerability I’ve shown in my lyrics.
Death of me (new track) - the lyrics really capture the feeling, and the tempo is spot on for the subject matter.
Name a song from another artist you wish you’d written and explain why?
One by U2. It has the most beautiful lyrics.
“I can’t be holdin’ on to what you got when all you got is hurt”
Are all of your songs about love and if so why?
Pretty much - Yes. Because “Love is all you need” (so said The Beatles anyway) 😊
Thanks for reading. Comment below to let me know what you think, ask any questions, or suggest anything you'd like to hear about in future blogs.