The basic song was written on acoustic guitar, with the chord progressions suggesting themselves quite naturally. I was very pleased with the resulting key changes, but I was/am a bit anxious about the key change back the verse. I have got used to this over time and I hope it’s not too jarring to the listener. The melody was only finalised during the recording process, as I originally came up with what I considered to be very poor ideas.
Hear a very rough version of the track – poor melody ideas and even poorer singing!
I’ve always struggled to write lyrics and From Them To Me And To You was no exception. For me, it is all about the sounds of the words and the suggestions I hope they make. The rest is up to the listener. If someone thinks there is real meaning to the lyrics of this song, then they can see/hear something I can’t!
I re-wrote a phrase during the recording session. You can watch this:
Recording and production
The music was put together in Logic Pro X, using ‘virtual drummer’ Nikki and a range of plug-in instruments, a couple of guitars and with me doing the singing.
For all electric guitar parts, I used my trusty ’85 Fender Stratocastor – described by guitar-legend John Joyce as having one of the smoothest actions of any guitar he had come across.
Acoustic guitar duties went to my wonderful Taylor 54ce, which I mic’ed up rather than DI’ed.
There were no loops used in the making of this track – all guitar and keyboard parts were played by me.
The microphone I used for both the acoustic guitar and vocals was my Røde NT1-A. Audio/midi interface was via my Focusrite Scarlett 2i4.
For the main bass guitar sound, I used the Fingerstyle Bass in Logic’s EXS24 sampler. The synth-y bass in the chorus is Metro Bass in Logic’s ES2 synthesiser. I also play Logic’s built-in electric piano.
I tried to avoid reliance on Logic’s suggested effects and tools, especially for acoustic sounds and the mastering. Instead, I trusted my knowledge of use of delay, eq’ing and compression etc. Hopefully, this results in a track that is not generic in its overall sound, but instead contains my signature.
The idea for the video was just something that occurred to me long before I shot it. My opportunity to do so came when I was with Bexley Invicta FC at the Euro Cup 2015 in Hamburg. I had already mentioned to the players that I would like to film a couple of them doing keepie-uppies for a ‘pop video,’ and James Little and Jack Bailey gamely agreed to appear.
Hear James and Jack talk about the prospect of being in the video:
So the video was shot in Hamburg, in June, using my Panasonic video camera. It was edited in Final Cut Pro, employing the various ideas I had had in mind for many months – black-and-white, slow-mo, speeding up and slowing down, freeze-frames and the like.
There is no particular link between the video and the song. Having watched some recent music videos, this doesn’t seem unusual to me.