The Songwriting Podcast is a monthly music podcast where three hosts revel in the technical and creative aspects of the craft of songwriting, with the help of guest songwriters or some other music industry professionals.

Episode 8 features three songwriters: Jeremy Batten, Michael Stewart, and Bill Barnes.

(Jeremy and Michael also play for the band The Ultimatums. You can also find Michael Stewart on Facebook.)

Our topical themes are Composition — with some music theory discussion included — and Writing Concise Lyrics and overall Writing Method, among other things. We take an in-depth look at Jeremy’s song, “Questions” — and we also listen to Michael’s song, “Nothing.”

And of course, this episode also features specialty segments, such as Send Your Song (where we have two very interesting submissions to review: “Lost and Found” by Vincent Tomasso and “In the Sky” by Fizzy Mits); Don’t Do the Dumb Things That Jason Did (led by Jason’s long-time songwriter best friend, Bill Barnes); and Moving to Nashville, which features “Nashville” Steve Rempis. We also introduce Jason’s new songwriting student, Mesake Finau, who brings us “Mesake’s Tunes,” a segment that will supplement Craig Can Write. Grant Adams was unable to join us again this month, so his Grant’s Rants … and Raves! segment is still missing.

Moving to Nashville: This month Nashville Steve Rempis teaches us about copyrighting. Thanks, Steve!

Send Your Song: The hosts of The Songwriting Podcast invite budding — as well as seasoned songwriters — to send their songs to us, and we will critique them on the show, giving constructive feedback, which consists of positive and negative points, and is merely based on our opinions. Feel free to contact us about sending your song at SongwritingPodcast@Gmail.com.

Your hosts of The Songwriting Podcast are Craig Tovey, Grant Adams and Jason Pyles. The Songwriting Podcast posts new episodes on the first day of every month. To contact us or to send your feedback, you can leave a voice mail at (801) 382-8789, or as noted above, you can e-mail us at SongwritingPodcast@Gmail.com. And you can also find us on Facebook.

We’d like to thank the Dave Eaton Element for the use of its tunes for our theme music, and we’d also like to thank Kara Brewer for her graphic design work.

Episode 8 of The Songwriting Podcast was recorded on March 21, 2012.

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4 Responses to Ep. 8 – JEREMY BATTEN, MICHAEL STEWART, BILL BARNES: Composition and Method

  1. Just listened to the critique of Lost and Found, I don’t disagree with most of it. A little background, this song is not typical of our band(None of the Above), we tend to sound a lot more like Tom Petty than not, except for my vocals(I can’t help that I sound Steven Page-esque of Barenaked Ladies fame, being a fan I’ll take it!) Our songs are generally around 3 to 3.5 minutes. I was goofing around with my effects and got the sound that opens the song and my band mates were all over me saying we need to use that in a song. My thoughts on it were that we were not a band that could incorporate it. They said we can do whatever we want so I used it as an excuse to do all sorts of things in a song I had never done. The same chord prog is used for everything but the bridge, I usually have different progs for verse and chorus. The song was heavier than we usually go for, used distortion instead of overdrive etc… I wasn’t writing in any particular style or to sound like anything specific, it was all fed by that intro sound. As for production? It was recorded about 10 years ago in a project studio and the masters are long gone so remixing is unfortunately no longer an option, I don’t even have a decent copy of it. The lyrical content, and I understand that most, if not all, of you could not hear them, was in response to a fresh wound of a girl who lead me on then did an abrupt about face and froze me out of her life. I agree that the song is long and the chorus repeats, but it repeats more toward the end, just 2 lines the first chorus, 4 lines the second chorus and then again with variations of the same line in the outro. I agree it is painfully repetitive but there was nothing else I wanted to say there and shortening the chorus didn’t sound right, we tried it at the time of recording. I LOVE the idea of using alternate chords for the chorus and will play with that. I have played the song acoustic and do sing it differently, never recorded it that way but I am willing to lay it down if you want to hear it. After reading my long winded response, you now have no problem seeing why my song was that long, no self edit. Any further questions, suggestions etc are welcome. Vince

  2. admin says:

    Awesome. Thanks for the insights, Vince. That makes sense. And yeah, actually, I’d love to hear an acoustic version of “Lost and Found,” if you’re ever up for recording one. In fact, if you send it in, we’ll play it after our outro on a future episode. I think it would be great for the listeners to hear the contrast between the two versions (sort of like we did with some of Corey Graham’s songs in Episode 5). Thanks for your comment, and thanks for sending your song. Jason

  3. Fizzy Mits says:

    Hey Jason, just want to say thanks for opportunity! I agree with a lot of what the critics said and yes I would take out the background chopper and guns in the background but I was new to the music production thing and thought it would just intensify the lyrics. Also, I’ve never served in the military, I’m just an artist that can write about different situations, so I found the critique on this aspect very motivating. Also, I also write mainstream hip hop songs that are deep so I guess I want to be in a classification of my own because I don’t reach for mainstream consideration…I do my own thing and will never change for any major label…I’m just trying to create music at my own capabilities. I know that you understand that…and I just want to say thank you for the opportunity, it is truly apppreciated. Thank you brother! p.s. I will send an accapella version to you guys if you’re serious about the mix down ha!

  4. admin says:

    Fizzy Mits,
    Thanks for writing. I can’t believe that you’re not in the military! It was a foregone conclusion to me that you had actually experienced the lyrics you wrote in your song. I’m blown away. I was totally sold. I’m glad to hear that you’re your own artist. I mean, I don’t judge people who try to be “marketable,” but I think we need refreshing R&B like yours with new themes. I e-mailed Michael Stewart so we can try to figure out what format we should receive your files in for the Fizzy Mits mix-off contest! I’ll e-mail you about the details. Thanks again, Fizzy Mits. Jason

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