One of the things that I love about songwriting is that it gives you complete freedom to write and express yourself however you want to. It is interesting how people responds to your songs whether it is good or bad feedback. I’ve always had mixed reactions toward my music over the years.
Some say my lyrics to my songs were too dark and too controversial. Some complained that my songs were too long ’cause a lot of times I would write songs that would go up between 6 – 10 minutes long or a little longer. Some even said my songs were a bit too “rock n’ roll” and not folky/country enough. Yeah, admittedly some of my lyrics were dark & controversial. Some of my songs were long and some of my songs were a bit too “rock n’ roll”. To correct some things though, I did write “positive” and “happy” songs. I did write short songs and I wrote plenty of folk/country songs.
I like to mix it up with my original songs. I just write how I’m feeling, ya know? If I’m feeling angry/pissed off, I would write angry songs. If I’m in a good mood, I would write positive/happy songs. If I’m sad, I would write a ballad or something. I just write what I’m feeling and that’s the end of that, ya know? Yes, I do write a lot of acoustic rock ’cause that’s how I’ve always liked to play the guitar. I only write the slower songs whenever I’m in the mood to. Just write whatever comes out of me.
When I used to gig in the past, I struggled to get gigs booked at cafes and coffeehouses that mainly played folk/country. Many of them wouldn’t book me ’cause they felt I was too “rock” and they felt I didn’t promote myself as a folk artist. I always promoted myself as a rock artist ’cause that’s what I am. A perfect example of this is one time I tried to book myself an actual gig at Caffe Lena; I tried to book myself to perform on one of their big weekend main shows but the managers there said they wouldn’t book me ’cause I was too “rock n’ roll”. I’ll never forget it so they put me on their Wednesday night “Emerging the Artists” series instead so I played those shows.
I’m a rock n’ roll musician. That’s what I am and that’s what I do. On the acoustic guitar, I like to rock pretty hard on it. I try not to play the acoustic like a folk and country instrument. I play the acoustic as if I’m playing the electric guitar if that makes sense. That could explain why my performances are always so tight and aggressive. I play the acoustic guitar this way ’cause I listen to a lot of rock n’ roll and metal. I don’t listen to folk and country much. I just play all the stuff of what I’ve been influenced and inspired by all of my favorite bands and artists that I listened to over the years. Bands like Led Zeppelin, Ac/Dc, The Who, Black Sabbath, The Doors, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Aerosmith, David Bowie, Dream Theater, etc.
I did write some folk songs, though and that’s what old songs titled, “Evil Fred” and “Back to Running” were. They were folk songs.
The point of this topic is that if you’re a musician and singer/songwriter… make music how you want to. Make music that makes you happy. If you get mixed reactions and people complain about the way you write your songs then who cares. Don’t listen to the negatives and the critics. The point is just make music for you and make music whatever makes you proud.
People had a hard time understanding me as an artist ’cause they’re not used to hearing rock n’ roll acoustic musicians. They’re still used to hearing the acoustic guitar as a folk/country instrument. I never played acoustic guitar that way. I try to play the acoustic like a folk/country instrument ‘but I can’t do it ’cause I’m so used to rocking hard on it. I’ll always play guitar like that. That’s how I’ll always write my songs.
When I write my next batch of originals which will be soon, I’ll continue to write acoustic rock. I’ll try to write folk/country stuff too, though. I’ll mix it up some. I do want to put out a new acoustic demo album soon and it’ll be an internet only album kind of thing like always. My plans are that for my songs I’ll add guitar solos and put in my own backing vocals too. I’m gonna try to make my next batch of songs more melodic than my past songs. Like I said before, I just want to make music that I’m proud of and hopefully other people will like it too. If not then that’s fine. I like to make music for myself anyways. I want to get back into songwriting again and I’m planning on it this Spring/Summer.