In the Telling

Music Theories with Gordon Vetas

October 08, 2019 Season 1 Episode 15
In the Telling
Music Theories with Gordon Vetas
Chapters
In the Telling
Music Theories with Gordon Vetas
Oct 08, 2019 Season 1 Episode 15
Liz Christensen / Gordon Vetas
Singer songwriter Gordon Vetas talks about how, as a self-taught guitarist, he writes songs without being able to read music and takes an unorthodox approach to evolving and mixing genres.
Show Notes Transcript

Guest singer songwriter Gordon Vetas
Gordon Vetas on Spotify

Listen through to the end of the episode to hear the episode extra, a full track from Gordy’s album “Things I want to Say” the song, “Dancing Like a Gypsy.”

You can find more information about “In the Telling” at lizzylizzyliz.com
Theme music by Gordon Vetas



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Speaker 1:
0:00
That's why we do art. That's why humans do art. It's feeds the soul. We need to, we just need to, if we're not under the influence of art, then you know you're numb and that's, that's no in a way to live really.
Speaker 2:
0:17
The voice you just heard belongs to Gordon Venus.
Speaker 1:
0:20
My name is Gordon VTS. I feel like it's weird to introduce your last name if you don't know someone. Why is that weird? I dunno. I've never done it. I'll do it though. I'll do it for the sit for the sake of, uh, for the sake of the show. My name is Gordon VTS. It's good to meet you. Good to meet you. Very good to meet. We have met before that. That's fine. Yeah.
Speaker 2:
0:44
Who joined me at my home to talk about his self-taught approach to learning to play music and creating his own music. He even picked up my guitar and did a little strumming during our interview. So tell me about what you do as a musician. Gordon.
Speaker 1:
1:00
Do you want me to just call you Gordon or do you want me to know? You can call me Gordy Gordy Gordy Gordon is my stage name but it's also my real name. So there's sort of a paradox there. I think somewhere.
Speaker 2:
1:14
I'm your host Liz Christiansen and it's all in the telling.
Speaker 3:
1:26
Welcome to episode 15 music theories with my guest singer songwriter Gordon beat us. I struggle box with strings on it and yell at people yell at me in like harmoniously. I fell in love with playing music and other things. So listen through to the end of the episode to hear the episode extra, a full track from Gordy's album things. I want to say the song dancing like a gypsy. How do you teach yourself how to play [inaudible]?
Speaker 1:
1:56
Um, yeah, a lot of YouTube videos and a lot of just like listening to stuff and playing along with it and trying to emulate what you hear in copy while you're here.
Speaker 2:
2:07
I assumed that 15 is like late to start music.
Speaker 1:
2:12
Yeah, it is kind of late. I thought the same thing too, but I don't know. You're a here I am seem to, yeah, I uh, yeah, it hasn't seemed to be a huge problem. If you put in the time it's, it doesn't matter. I mean I don't know if you read, it might've been a Malcolm Gladwell book. The, the, the 10,000 hours of experts. Yeah. It's kind of in a way obsessive about about that. Especially with guitar cause it's not like guitar is easy cause like soccer players, they can't just like walk to their living room and then like play a full game of soccer, you know, so guitar is, I can just get up off my couch and play whenever I want. With music it's like, especially with a guitar, it's a lot easier. You can, you can get the 10,000 hours in in I think in, in a short period of time and only a couple of years.
Speaker 1:
3:04
I haven't gotten 10,000 hours in yet, but I've, I've tried to, you know, that's, that's the goal. Are you kinda clocking that really? Ah yeah. A little bit. A little bit, yeah. Where are you at? I'm probably around five or 6,000 I think. I haven't been as successful as I as I've wanted it to be obviously. But I mean it's good to have you know, goals. Any, any reason besides maybe like that it's more portable than you like guitar more than drums? Oh yeah. Lots of reasons. Drums is really physical and it's more of like gross physical impact therapy. It just like is, which is just like punching and hitting stuff and it's like a form of therapy, right? And breaking stuff. So drums is great for that. You can, you know, hit and let out a lot of physical energy. It's less portable. You can't go anywhere you want and just pick up a drum set and start playing.
Speaker 1:
3:54
I heard melodies, I've bought like all since I've been even young. I like wrote songs for fun in my head even though like little melodies and like, like stupid little lyrics since I was probably like at least seven. So I've always heard like instruments and like melodies. And so I wanted to get more out of just like cool beats, you know, I wanted to get melodic and actually write tunes with teaching myself. I didn't learn music theory or anything like that, so I just played by ear. So I don't know the names of most courts. I just, he just put things sounds together and combinations you like. Yeah. Wow. Yeah. What's that like? How does that happen in not being able to sleep and I just like makes you want to like, like do something, cause I'm in my house by myself, but I get ahead and introduce wanting to do something.
Speaker 1:
4:40
So I pick up the guitar, listen to music or whatever inspires me, and then I just start fiddling around with it and go from there. You write down a lot of what you do? I don't write down anything. I record it in my phone or I just keep it in my head. You figure it out and you record it. And then like, do you send the recording to your piano player? Uh, or you just like play for him or, no, I play play for him. We usually get together every day, so I'll play it for him. And then, uh, he, he's, he's a genius. So he figures it out like, and then he'll write down whatever like yeah. And then if he needs to, he often doesn't even need to write it down either cause he can just remember it. But if he needs to like send it to other people to come play, he'll write it down.
Speaker 1:
5:25
Tell me about your band. A bunch of musicians that all kind of play with together with each other. I'll call 'em up and say, Hey, I need like a guitar player and a bass player and a drummer and I'll call them guitar player and bass player and drummer and then they'll come play with me. And so it's not a set, these are the guys in my band. It's like I know a few music musicians who I can call and say, Hey, I've got a song I want to do. Do you want to come play with me? Yeah. Depending on availability. Yeah, right. Shortlist. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. That's how if you're not like giant, like huge that like that's how money's made is, is getting the repetition and getting the gigs. And so if you make yourself available for multiple bands, right, the more you play, the more money you're going to make.
Speaker 2:
6:07
I'm really jazz ignorance. So my understanding of jazz is that, is that it's like, well, like it's, um, I feel like I can tell I'm listening to jazz when I hear it and I guess that what I'm listening to is that it sounds jazzy, but that's not helpful. It sounds like it's operating off of a different set of rules, like even the kinds of notes that want to be together.
Speaker 1:
6:32
Yeah. Does that, is that kind of accurate? Yeah, no, absolutely. Yeah. Um, here's, here's a question for you. This is, this will be a good philosophical, philosophical, uh, sort of insight into jazz. Do you personally, do you think Sinatra is Jess? Is Sinatra, Jess, yes or no?
Speaker 2:
6:56
Um, no. Okay. Um, because I feel like what he sings is predictable. Like once I started hearing it, I know how it's going to go.
Speaker 1:
7:09
There you go. That's so, so we've just made a miss a distinction. Right? Okay. Jazz isn't predictable. Okay.
Speaker 2:
7:17
Okay. So, so when I listened to like, um, like Sinatra and I get part way through the verse, I feel like I know all of the ingredients he's baking with and jazz. All of a sudden it'll be like, but there's Rosemary now. But
Speaker 1:
7:33
yeah, exactly. So that's a very good, so you sort of intuitively already kind of get it a disclaimer. I'm not an expert on jazz,
Speaker 2:
7:44
you know, you don't have your 10,000 hours.
Speaker 1:
7:46
I don't that well there's a lot of people that would say I, I shouldn't have been, shouldn't even be talking about this because I can't read music. So there is, there's a very traditional viewpoint on jazz, but before I go there, I totally want you to go there. Okay. Yeah, I will. I'll go there. So Frank Sinatra's his pop effectively in his day he was, he was pop, pop just means popular. Jazz can be popular, but jazz musicians, especially the ones who are traditional, don't think Sinatra's Jess and a lot of people don't because he's, he does have, you know, forms that he, that are sort of predictable and not very complicated that, that he follows. It's, and it's sort of the same sort of pop structure that's, that's going on today. Sinatra's so much better than than the pop today. I just want to make, make sure everyone doesn't, you know, don't mistake what I'm saying, but there's, there's definitely a form upon music wherein it's not super complicated. There's a B, C, there's clear hooks and and simple, there's a clear formula. Jazz is not so cut and dry. Jazz allows for more improvisation and it doesn't always necessarily follow the same form as pop music.
Speaker 2:
9:18
So I can't just like listen to a jazz song and go, I'm going to hear a verse and a chorus and the instrumental break and a bridge. And of course
Speaker 1:
9:25
there are just songs that are like that, but it's not, it's not common right away. I would describe jazz, it's sort of extemporaneous and it's, it sort of flows. It allows for more improvisation and free form and sort of doing what you want, but you have to really know what you're doing. You have to know theory and know jazz really, really well to be able to play jazz the best, the best musicians around are really can play jazz really, really well. It's just one of those things that like requires a lot of skill and a lot of knowledge to do. That being said, what really is jazz? So it comes from like ragtime. It's a mix of ragtime and like African music. A lot of people today still feel that like that's how jazz should be played. The the way it was played in the 30s forties 50s when I was at Zenith.
Speaker 1:
10:17
Really I think music evolves just like anything else, like classical music. There are traditionalist classical players, right? They think classical should only be played a certain way, a certain way and same with rock. Even with rock and roll, there are people who are traditionalist like I can roll should only be played a certain way and so, and there are some people who look down on people who don't play like traditional rock traditionally or traditional classical Keytruda. Traditionally, same with jazz. Art. Art is an evolution, right? Artists supposed to be creative and evolve. And if it stays the same way, there's a ceiling there, you know there's, there's not room for creativity or evolution. And I think it's fine if it's fine if people want to play jazz, how it's traditionally supposed to be play. But at the same time there's sort of been an evolution of jazz and there's been just like with rock and roll and, and just like with classical music, because we've experienced that music and now we know what it is, we have a concept of it and a structure of it.
Speaker 1:
11:25
So now we can get creative and play with it and go off to the side and go, Oh, I'm going to do funk. Like I'm going to play jazz really, really, really fast and upbeat and, and then you get funk from jazz, you know, or I'm going to play it like really, really distorted, really, really distorted and as fast as I can. And you get, you get metal, metal comes from classical music and then you have people like me who I write songs that this is, this is kind of where I come in my songs. I don't write jazz music. When I play the guitar and write a song, it's not, it's more so like an acoustic like poppy, like maybe I have like beetles influences and blues influences and, and pop influences. I'm not thinking like I'm going to write a jazz song for one because I don't know how, cause I don't have a theory and to, that's not the music that I did, I really want to make. But the fact that you're asking me this question too is very interesting because I, I write pop songs and then I bring in Trump trumpet player and, and did some improv on my pop songs. And it sounds jazz. Yeah, right. Yeah. It sounds very jazzy. So that leads you to ask me this question. So now this is where my philosophical, but education is coming in. But so you, so now you're thinking that I'm, I'm sort of jazz musician when really I'm not,
Speaker 2:
12:50
well as we've been talking, so I was thinking like I've listened to you on Spotify and I've seen you live and as you were like helping me to understand this, I was like, Oh my gosh, on Spotify his music is pop. But when I saw him play at Lake effect, it was definitely jazz and it was the same songs. So I was like, you write pop but then you play it jazz live.
Speaker 1:
13:13
No. Well I sort of play differently all the time cause that's the fun of being a musician. But I did, there is a structure I want to have for, for these songs, just for things I wanted to say. I had a great, amazing trumpet player and I heard a lot of cool trumpet stuff in the songs. I was like, I want to bring him in, you know, I need to have him, Tom. So I brought him in and he played on the, on the record and it's like his trumpet solo. It's like, it's kind of jazzy but it's called also like kind of poppy. And then when we play live you said it's more jazzy. I think that's probably a product of the musicians that I, that I play with and that I bring in, uh, to improvise over like the solo sections. Like my piano, piano player, Kevin, he's a great jazz player and he does a lot of jazz stuff when he improvises on the solo sections and stuff.
Speaker 2:
14:07
Okay. So I've got to ask you about that cause I feel like I'm super ignorant about it. So like Hindu go to Kevin and say, and this is the part where we'll just do stuff. How does that work?
Speaker 1:
14:16
Like, so in terms of like writing a song with Kevin,
Speaker 2:
14:19
like preparing you to go play at like effect when I'm hearing a song that I kind of know, but then there's a lot more to it.
Speaker 1:
14:25
Yeah, me and him play every day. So we'll play three songs. I think playing, playing live music is, it's a show you're entertaining, right? You're supposed to entertain and you're, you're really kinda supposed to show off a little too. I think even if you're playing live and you're not showing off at least a little bit, you're not really doing it right. If you, if you show up and play something exactly how it is on the recording, that's fine and there, there are things that you should play from the recording that people have come to know and love and that you should shouldn't you be with, but you also, there are times when you can show off and you should make a show. When I talked to Kevin, sometimes we go, we'll play a, an original original song of mine. I'll say Kevin for the solo session section, I'm just going to leave it open, which means I'm going to keep playing it over and over and just let you solo over it until like for as long as you want until you give me the the, go ahead.
Speaker 1:
15:25
How does he give you the go ahead? Like is it just you just feel intuitively like it's time to move on and he's kind of rapping? No, no, it's a nod. Okay. Yeah. He just said it's a nod. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. So if I never caught the nod, like this magic thing is happening, it's like, yeah, it's a little like, it's, it's a very subtle like, okay, I'm ready. Okay, cool. It's not like a musical, like, Oh, I'm going to go to the seventh chord and then night and then that's where we're going to go in. You know, it's, he's just nods to meet. Yeah. Like the next measure or like when the counts make sense, you just move on. Right. And so we know the song so that after the solo, we know to go like this on the structure of the songs, like after the solo, it goes right into, for example, into the chorus.
Speaker 1:
16:07
So when Kevin nods to me, I know that like, okay, here's where we go right into the corners. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Carry on. Yeah. So it's interesting that you asked me that because I, I really, I don't feel like it. And my next album is, is not as much jazz. It's not, it's not some jazzy. A lot of that was Tom because Tom's an amazing jazz trumpet player and I wanted that into, I want to do some different things. I want to do, get a little heavier, get a little softer, you know, I don't just want really want to be a jazz ask or like, it's more like alternative Jazziz. I wouldn't call myself jazz right now. It's like kind of alternative jazz. So the next album is not going to be, it's not going to sound as jazzy. It's going to sound a little more, it's a little more acoustic senior songwriter. He play something a little bit. Um, yeah, I can play. So there's a, it's going to be like
Speaker 4:
17:53
[inaudible] [inaudible]
Speaker 1:
18:04
you, so it's, it's a little more, that's, it's a little more, here comes a sign, you know, it's a little like acoustic keen, like that sort of, that sort of feel. It's a little more alternative. And
Speaker 2:
18:15
it still sounds playful to me though, I would say. I think your music sounds playful.
Speaker 1:
18:18
Yeah. Yeah. That's a very, very playful, playful.
Speaker 2:
18:21
Yeah. I want to go back to something you said about jazz, but we'll, we'll like make it more um, open than just about that. Like people who think that you do, do you feel like it's hard with the perception that because you haven't studied, I don't know, only only so much of a musician because you're self-taught. Cause like some of the storytelling artists that I've talked to, like there can be a difference between like the self-publish author and the not and know somebody who's with like random house or
Speaker 1:
18:53
I'm, I'm the self-publish author, author and music is a language despite the popular belief, there's not one way to do music. You know, we teach in universities, we teach music. This is like the theory and this is how you go about making songs. And there's a formula that we, air quotes formula that we prescribed to writing music. But there's really tons and tons of ways to create music and to be a musician. I'm taking the, uh, S the unorthodox route. In essence, it's, it's a language and music is just a means of when you're playing with other musicians, it's a means of communication. So because I don't know theory, there are avenues of communication that I can't take, but no matter what, I can still get my point across. And what I mean by that is one Avenue of communication is, which is also a very jazzy Avenue of is, Hey man, I've got to get tonight, be there at seven o'clock, we're gonna play some jazz scenes.
Speaker 1:
20:05
Okay, great. I show up. Then the band leader says, okay, we're going to play this song and see if you know your theory, you can, you can transpose it right. You can transpose it in your head or if not, you can pull it up on an iPad and just read it in seconds. I can't do that. So there are advantages and disadvantages just cause it's, it's a different mode of communication. I, I, but I can, what I can do is this, Hey man, can you play a song? Can you, can you come play a gig in five days at this place and we're, I'll send you a set list. Learn the songs. Okay. Yeah, sure. I'll get this Atlas. I'll learn the songs and I learned by heart and then I go and I show up when I plan the issue is okay. Yeah. Maybe I can't show up and play something on like on the spot, which I actually kind of can because I'm, I'm working some tricks there.
Speaker 1:
21:06
There are tricks to do with the guitar that you don't need to know music theory to be able to play a lot on the spot. But that's another, that's another story. But for those who can't, yeah, maybe you can't show up on the spot and play something immediately, but you can, when you learn something, it's in your head forever. I know a lot of musicians who read music and read, um, they'll show up and play the song right. And they know how to play it and then they can't remember it. Yeah. Like the next day they will be the next day they could. Yeah. They couldn't play it again. And I think because I play that way, I think it helps my songwriting because I have, I have like this library of songs in my head that I've been forced to learn or wanting to learn for fun. So I have a catalog of chords that I in chord shapes that I can throw together and pick the ones that I like the most and apply them that way.
Speaker 1:
21:55
So I think it's good for, for creativity in songwriting too, for me to be avoid the theory altogether because I, yeah, maybe I could go and show up a song and play it immediately, but I could, I can't remember that core that I really liked the next day. I, I'm really happy with, with not being able to read music. I'm really, really happy because I, I want to be able to write songs and I think memorizing the songs and being so, so familiar with them is has helped my, my writing a lot. Like on things you want to say, what is it you're saying there? There are a couple of songs on things I'm willing to say that are very, they're, they're sort of social commentaries. They're, they're sort of stories that I've, I wanted to say because they've been pretty depressing to me and sort of frustrating growing, growing up in the, in the climate that I have grown up in of those songs are Pillowtalk is one is a social commentary.
Speaker 1:
23:05
Lo and behold, social commentary. Dancing like a gypsy not, not so much but still cautionary tale. So most, most of the original songs are social commentaries. The theme is things I want to say because these are things that have been bothering me that, that I've sort of, I feel like no one is addressing or talking about and the ones to an extent like, like Pillowtalk pillow talk is about a lack of intimacy that I think is concomitant with my generation or at least the people in my immediate vicinity that are in my generation. I don't, I don't know if there's, this is true cause I, I really can only talk from my, from my personal experiences, from where we are in front. I don't know if this could be true elsewhere, but I've found that young men and women my age, we can't socially connect as well.
Speaker 1:
24:04
We can't communicate as well as like my parents or my grandparents. There's a lack of intimacy. There's a lack of socialization. I think this is largely because of the cell phone and the social media, so that's been really, really frustrating to me because I've had to grow up in it. It's, it's been a struggle to understand. I don't know why I can't like say hi, how are you in the elevator someone and have them go like fine and then look, you know, look down like that happens. I live in an apartment that happens to me all the time. I can talk to older people and older people like will talk to me, but if it comes to like kids my age, people my age, they're looking down their head, their phones, their heads down, their headphones are on. I can't say hi, how are you?
Speaker 1:
24:54
You know, it's, it's really, really weird. It's really weird. I feel like I'm living in a movie. Sometimes humans need need that connection. And I with the social media is where with the, with the cell phones, I don't know if it's social media but the solid with the cell phones where I think we're missing out on a lot of it and I think it's going to be a real, a real problem in the future if we don't get ahead of it. So there is something I want to say things I want to say. There you go. Low, low and behold is about the gun violence that's been happening all around the country and especially in the schools. And I wrote it after I was watching on the news mass shooting, I think it was Ohio or the one in Ohio and they were like doing some interviews and I didn't see were they were interviewing dads.
Speaker 1:
25:44
Right. But there is no moms and this is my uh, hit home for you. But they like they never showed the mothers on, on camera. Why? That made me really, really be, and I think I knew why because if I was a mom, I don't think I would want to go on camera and talk about that either. So I took that, what I was feeling about that, the moms and the guns and I was pretty, pretty, pretty upset about it. And so I put it into a song. That's why music is great because it's music has, has given me an outlet to not only sort of give me a voice to an extent, but also it's, it's been a great form of therapy for me. So yeah, I think I want to say is, is I was sort of frustrated with a lot of, a lot of that was going on in my life really. And so I put it out there and as I was hoping that people would feel same.
Speaker 2:
26:44
How do you find that place when you're writing it? Where, where it's not just overtly, like I'm angry about moms and guns and
Speaker 1:
26:53
I usually can't write when I'm, when I'm like Saturday depressed or sad, like I don't write anything. It's after, it's like right after when I've sort of gathered myself and gotten all my thoughts and in order and then I sit down and they're like, guitars, you right there. So I just picked it up and I started playing it. I wasn't like, I'm going to write a song about this, you know, and I, so I started playing it and then I was like, Oh, lyrics like this cool guitar part. I'll play that. And then lyrics started coming to my head and because I was in the mode of, I was, that's what I like consciously, what my kind of, what I was, I was in the mode of like the guns in the, the, the violence and everything. So that, that sort of the, it just, it just came out, it, it comes through. I don't know. I, I think if you're, if you're trying to write a good song, then you're doing it wrong. If you're writing a song to say, okay, I'm going to write this song. So a tons of people will like it. I think you're doing it wrong. You should write, you should write music to say what you need to say or, or get something off your chest. It's, it shouldn't be about people liking it. If people like it, great. If not, doesn't matter. You still should. Should write the song.
Speaker 2:
28:10
It seems like that works because you're playing the guitar like all the time, like every day or I mean if, if you just waited until you were upset and then afterwards, that seems like really intentional in a way that isn't your process.
Speaker 1:
28:24
Right? Yeah. So that's the, yeah, exactly. That's partially a function because I, I'm playing the guitar all the time.
Speaker 2:
28:30
So sometimes things can come out as you're processing.
Speaker 1:
28:34
Exactly. Other times you get nothing and you just play a guitar for three hours straight.
Speaker 2:
28:42
Well, you're doing that. Are you playing, are you, are you playing a song? Are you playing a guitar?
Speaker 1:
28:46
I think the best point is like getting to the point of meditation when you're playing, but you kind of have to have to get there. You can't, when you're walking around your house, you can't just like be meditative. Like you have to sit down and close your eyes and focus. So in playing the guitar, usually it's cause I hear something cool on there on the radio or I hear some, some something on YouTube and I go, Oh, that's kinda cool. I kind of want to pick up a guitar. So I'll pick up the guitar and go and then I'll turn on the TV and then I'll watch TV and I'll go,
Speaker 4:
29:25
I won't even need to be thinking about guitar. No, I'm just listening to what you're playing or not really. I'm kinda just just going with it. Okay. And so you kind of just do this for awhile and sometimes you're just, you're noodling and
Speaker 1:
29:43
nothing. Yeah, you're noodling and nothing ever comes in. This is all you ever do.
Speaker 4:
29:48
But sometimes you go, Oh, that's kinda interesting.
Speaker 1:
29:55
And then wait, what was that? Maybe I could go. And then you have a song that was pillow talk.
Speaker 2:
30:20
You're sort of, it's like the background of your day until it catches your attention cause something just sort of happened and came out.
Speaker 1:
30:27
Yeah. A lot of times, yeah. Sort of just nothing. And then something, something happens and then it's, it's a song.
Speaker 2:
30:40
Is that similar to the lyrics for you? Like you're just playing around with words or words or ideas are floating around in your head and all of a sudden they'll come out in a way where you're like, Oh, I'm going to chase that for a minute.
Speaker 1:
30:52
The lyrics are similar and there are different, the best lyrics are the ones that just come like Pillowtalk I wrote in in 40 minutes because I just got done after and I was sitting in my room. I was really bummed out. And so I picked up my guitar cause there's nothing else to do. And I started playing around and then I [inaudible]
Speaker 4:
31:20
I put the course together and then
Speaker 1:
31:29
immediately I got silence, right. And then you sort of just fall into it. Like there's an idea there now with like, you have silence and you have the chord structure and allows an idea and now you have a place to go and now it's like a meditation and you fall, fall into it. And the words just like come, there's not really like, Oh, I'm gonna write this song about getting dumped. Or like I'm not gonna, I'm gonna write this song about that picture on the wall. That's not, that's not how it goes. It's like it just comes,
Speaker 2:
32:05
does the music, does the, do the sounds of the music come first for you normally?
Speaker 1:
32:10
Yeah. I usually always start on guitar. I always start my songs with guitar and guitar chords and then I think of a melody and usually the melody doesn't always have lyrics. I'll just like ad lib. There was a song, one of the songs that's going to be on my next album. Um, I had the corner,
Speaker 4:
32:37
I don't have any letters. I took some, we had some time on you Phil.
Speaker 1:
33:13
I know, I know I've got a melody but I don't have lyrics. And then you play the song and you sing it, the melody and then the lyrics sort of just fall into place as they're seeing, they just like the words just come out of your mouth. Some of the songs I feel like I didn't even, I didn't even write them because like pillow talk, it just sort of happened and it was like there. And I was like, I have a, there's a full song that only I know and no one else knows it.
Speaker 2:
33:34
I think that takes me back to what you said about like just doing this by ear and not writing things down. I can see how if you had to be like, Oh my gosh, I have to record, I have to write down what I just did or I'm going to forget what I just did. That would be really interrupted.
Speaker 1:
33:49
Yeah, I've, I've heard, I've heard theories that like if you can write songs and you don't, haven't learned learned music theory, like it can hinder creativity now you like your, and like some people think you're not supposed to learn how to, how to read music. If you can already write music and play it by year and you can, some people I've heard theories that like you're not supposed to, cause that'll don't mess with it. Yeah. If it's not broke, don't fix it.
Speaker 2:
34:15
I feel super under-qualified to have a comment about what you just said, so I'm just not going to,
Speaker 1:
34:23
they say putting a song out there like releasing a song. 50% is writing the song and the other 50% is recording. Yet probably even more, eight even more than 50% you have to do it over and over. You have to get the right takes. You have to be perfect essentially. And it's different sitting at home and playing by yourself. Then playing into a really good mic that picks up a lot of stuff that maybe your ear might not, and a really, really talented engineer that has a really great ear. Those are two different things. Playing live comes a little more naturally. I think it's a little more similar to S sitting home and playing and playing in your room. That's really what people train to do that you, they play music to, to, to play live, right? You don't really learn an instrument. So you can just be a studio musician.
Speaker 1:
35:21
I don't, I don't, I've never met anyone who's wanted to be a student musician their whole life. You know? I've never heard someone say, I picked up a guitar because I want to be a studio musician. You practice playing live. So that comes naturally when you playing lie. When you're playing live, you're playing, you want to be emotional with it, communicate with the crowd. You want to be present, you want to play well, you still want to play well. You're focused on your voice and the guitar, but you, there's also an element that you, that you just want to lose yourself in the music and I think that's a lot of the best, lot of the best people. A lot of the best live shows come from musicians who can lose themselves in the music and find that be in the trance. You know in the, in the zone.
Speaker 1:
36:09
I played basketball for a lot of years and it's, it's very similar to basketball. Actually. Music is really similar to basketball in a lot of ways. There's the zone that you want to be in with music. If you're in the zone, it's like you know the guitar so well and like everything you play some play sounds good. And with your voice, like everything you are so confident, every note you hit is like red in the Senate, a pitch in your voice feels free and there's an element of losing yourself in order to get there. When you're in the studio, you aren't so much thinking about trying to lose yourself as you are playing the song well, but also preserving the emotional integrity of of the song through the recording. It's good to lose yourself as well while you're playing in a studio, but sometimes it doesn't sound the same.
Speaker 1:
37:01
Sometimes what's cool on stage in the studio, if you have a guitar I really, really good my picking up your car guitar might not be as impactful. So in the studio you're, you're more thinking about the song maybe in the meaning of the song. It's more internal. I think the CEO, you're more thinking about the meaning of a song and getting, getting the message across and being clear and, and hitting the right notes and making it sound pretty and then making your voice. I'm pretty, so I think it's a little more internal in the studio and it's a little more, it's a little more work I think, cause you have to, if you get it wrong, you have to do it again. And then if you get that wrong, you have to do it again. And then there's a psychological issues of, okay, well I'm focusing on these things.
Speaker 1:
37:50
I want to get the most integrity of the song through, but I'm not, I keep messing up. So now you have to focus on playing the song. Right. You know, getting, hitting the notes perfectly so you don't mess up. And so there's a lot of psychological stress when you go to the studio, but some of the best players can go on the studio and do it one try, you know, and then get out of there. That's how I, that's how you know, you're, you're a good musician. If you can hop in the studio, record your part and get something you're really happy with within one or two tries. That's really impressive. Michael Jackson recorded, I think it was, beat it. He had a hundred different recordings, uh, vocal recordings for a hundred different takes for PETA. Absolutely. That's insane. Yeah. They, that that means, right? He, yeah, he saying beat it a hundred separate times, the whole song in the studio and guess which take they ended up going with, was it the first? The first one? Yeah. Yeah. So that's, that's just sort of a Testament to the psychological issues that you can face in the studio. That's how they differ is I think generally the studio's a little more internal and when you're playing live it's a little more external and, and a little more maybe relaxed and a little more present.
Speaker 2:
39:14
Um, I want you to play around, I want you to improvise for me on something that sounds interesting to you right now, but you don't really know what you're doing with it yet.
Speaker 1:
39:22
Some something that sounds interesting, like, like a song that I finished.
Speaker 2:
39:28
I want you, I want you to experiment and play like [inaudible]
Speaker 4:
39:35
[inaudible]
Speaker 1:
39:36
or like the cord you super like and I, yeah, there's [inaudible]
Speaker 4:
40:04
[inaudible]
Speaker 1:
40:04
I mean people, people think this is like, it's always like, there's like an August rush, whatever that show is, it's going to be like a really cool, like sounding like, Oh, he's saying, but a lot of times it's just when you're playing around, it's just like kinda like messing up and it's a lot of messing up and it doesn't sound as cool as you might think, but I'll do it. I'm trying to think if I have anything like half started that I wanted to, Oh yeah, I do.
Speaker 4:
41:06
[inaudible]
Speaker 1:
41:07
Hmm. So then that the power, yes. So then, right? Yeah. So then, um, you think of you here where you want to go next? You can, I can hear where I want to go next and, but then I have to find it. So now it's a lot of like trial and error.
Speaker 4:
41:51
Nope. When you go back to square one,
Speaker 1:
42:11
sometimes I like to do that just fine. You just find the note and then build a quarter around it. So like
Speaker 4:
42:20
[inaudible], [inaudible], [inaudible], [inaudible] then [inaudible]
Speaker 1:
43:28
so yeah, there's a lot of like, there's a lot of just random noodling and it's throwing stuff in the pot and stirring it around and seeing what you can.
Speaker 2:
43:36
It's super interesting cause I feel like I'm watching you like make decisions in real time about like, I like that. I don't like that. I don't like that over here. Over here. No, no. Like,
Speaker 1:
43:44
yeah, that's, that's pretty much what happens.
Speaker 2:
43:47
It's really cool. It's, I don't know, did you ever do like mazes as a kid? Like for fun, it's like, it's like if you were really very quickly going down a different maize path, but you can already see like, no, I just, that's not the way to the end.
Speaker 1:
44:01
That's actually a really, really good way to describe it. It's like, it's, it's almost like it's already there. You just have to, like, you have to find it. It's like amazed. Like you know, there's an end. You just have to, you just have to get there. And so what's, what's the best path? Maybe it's [inaudible] is it going? Is that the best path or is it not really. I can kinda hit a dead end.
Speaker 4:
44:30
[inaudible]
Speaker 1:
44:40
there's maybe I made a little progress and then, yeah, you could. Yeah. Yeah. It seems like most of the time you could tell pretty quickly if you wanted to go down that direction or not, but there were a couple times that you were like, maybe, maybe now I got a couple of couple, the past lead a little farther, but they're still dense. Thank you so much for letting me interview you Gordy. So fun. Yeah, it's been, it's been great.
Speaker 3:
45:07
Thank you for listening to this in the telling interview with singer songwriter Gordon Venus. You can find more information about in the telling@lizzielizzieliz.com theme music by Gordon vetoes and the telling is hosted and produced by me. Liz Christianson. Thanks for joining me. And now dancing like a gypsy by Gordon fetus.
Speaker 5:
45:51
No, as though it's done in city. She [inaudible]. She does know where's she gonna sleep tonight. [inaudible] plan and the moment she's got a scar as watching navigates has Shoah. She has no one's ever tried to fight [inaudible]
Speaker 6:
46:47
[inaudible]
Speaker 5:
46:48
sound and sound in Santa the Sabbath. She use things to know and sad. She's crying. She wants to know what it means to feel boundless, boundless bound with the spirits. We is bound by the town of the wicked. For years ago, Dan Smith, the DocuSign guy [inaudible]
Speaker 6:
48:24
[inaudible] [inaudible] see how she does [inaudible]
Speaker 5:
48:53
[inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible].
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