5 Songwriting Tips From The Pros

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Looking to write the next album of the year, but you just can’t get your ideas out? Luckily for you, we sat down with some of extreme metal’s best songsmiths for some advice on crafting the perfect tune!

  1. Inspiration (with Luc Lemay of Gorguts)Luc_lemay_gorguts

“Finding inspiration for a song is the first, and most difficult task. The other guys in ‘Guts are always asking ‘Loopy Lu,
how did you come up with this song? It’s far out, Loopy Lu!’ Well they’re not exactly saying that, I’m still trying to get the nickname Loopy Lu to stick. Kevin (Hufnagel, guitar) is warming up to it I think, especially since I started calling him The Nagelator. Which reminds me, The Nagelator still owes me 12 bucks from that bet we had where he said I couldn’t write a 30-minute song. Ol’ Loopy Lu doesn’t take kindly to folks backing out of debts owed. I’m sorry, what was the question?”

  1. Organization (with Erik Danielsson of Watain)

14400_437093753014744_540014240_n“I can’t tell you how important it is to be organized as you start to piece it all together. A lot of the little parts are hard to see and easy to drop, so have maybe like a box or something underneath you so it’ll catch all those little tiny parts. Then consider organizing each piece by how brown it is, how much it makes you sigh fondly, or even bigness or smallness. Most importantly, make sure you have your glue in the same spot, because you never know when you’ll put it on your chair then sit on it like clumsy ol’ me. Ha! I once did a whole tour with a tube of glue stuck to my britches, and you can bet I didn’t get any work done on my miniature Full House set replica that whole time. Wait, did you say ‘song’ or ‘miniature Full House set replica’?”

  1. Flexibility (with John Gallagher of Dying Fetus)

Dying“You’ve definitely gotta be open to other people’s input, and be willing to budge on your original vision when it isn’t working out. For example, I always used to watch Top Gun on TV, but I’d get distracted and go rollerblading before the end. So it was years before I figured out that Goose dies. Man, that really wrecked me. I haven’t rollerbladed since. So obviously, all the stuff I had written for Dying Fetus had to be reworked, since most of our songs revolved around Goose from Top Gun being alive and well. Our big hits like “It’s Great To Have Goose From Top Gun Around,” “I Wonder What Goose From Top Gun Is Doing Right Now,” “Way To Go Goose!” plus the entire Goose From Top Gun Rides Again album had to be adjusted. I learned that I really had to be flexible, and that saying goodbye to Goose from Top Gun ain’t easy.

  1. Finding Your Style (with Paul Waggoner from Between The Buried And Me)

Paul_Waggoner“Nothing is worse than writing a song and realizing it sounds exactly like your influences. You’ve got to add your own style. Just look at, uh, you know, those dogs that win dog shows or whatever. They come out, prance around, show that crucial bit of style, badda-bing, badda-boom, fat cash prize. Yeah, cash prize. That’s where the real money’s at. We gotta get in on dog shows. Listen, I think I got a buddy that can get us some top-notch canines. And check it out, I think I already got our angle: we’ll have a big ol’ dog that takes teeny-tiny steps around the ring, or the floor or whatever. Just picture that, it’ll be friggin’ hilarious, they’ll love it. Win a few dog shows, make a few bucks, then retire in style. Now there’s your style. Meet me by the docks in an hour.”

  1. The Finishing Touches (with Juho Vanhanen from Oranssi Pazuzu)1028_artist

“To tell you the truth, I’m not sure how I put the finishing touches on my songs. I think—oh shoot, I just missed an opportunity to make a Finnish joke. I swore I’d be more on top of those chances. Next time, for sure. Anyway, once I get to that…Finnal… stage—nope that didn’t really work. Uh, let’s see, let’s see, I already missed Finnishing, Finnal doesn’t work, hmm. I could substitute ‘Finn’ for ‘in’ if the timing was right, I suppose. Ok, let’s try that. So, Finn all my years of writing music, I haFinn’t found one method that works Finn every song. Finn some songs you need a second oFinnion, Finn other songs you have to try every possible combinaFinn, but Finn all cases you have to have dedicaFinn. Ha! Nailed it.”

Truly inspiring stuff. Get to writing, everyone!

(VIA, VIA, VIA, VIA, VIA)

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  • Lacertilian

    TovH Exclusives>>>

  • Abradolf Lincler

    the Finnal touches lol

  • Scrimm

    This is classic.

  • Dubbbz

    Stockhausen, I really like your writing. Please never stop.

    • Abradolf Lincler

      im noticing a pattern here …

  • This is a gorgeous quote collection, Stock <3

  • CAVEMAN GORAK™

    GORAK ENTER SABERTOOTH KITTY IN DOG SHOWS!!!!!!

  • I’m surprised Watain’s advice wasn’t “TRY AS HARD AS YOU CAN”

    • CyberneticOrganism

      “Throw blood into the crowd. They seem to like it.”

    • BobLoblaw

      “Satan.”

  • Ayreonaut

    Man, do you guys remember when mathcore was a thing

    • brokensnow

      Don Caballero FTW

      • BobLoblaw

        Nice mention.

  • Stanley

    Stocky, will you marry me? I’ve gone off Richter.

    • Divorce pending…

      • Abradolf Lincler

        It’s okay buddy I have an amputee fetish

        • EsusMoose

          Oh man I can’t wait till he changes his name and a future comment reader sees this without context.

          • Abradolf Lincler

            i stand by my comment in perpetuity

        • more beer

          Does it matter which limb has been amputated? Do you have preferences?

          • Abradolf Lincler

            no preference

          • more beer

            Just as long as it’s a stump.

    • Stockhausen

      After that great article from Richter, I’m swooning even harder. I’m in.

      • Stanley

        Alright, let’s not tell our Mesdames and elope to Utah.

        • Stockhausen

          Done. Meet you there in 20.

  • EsusMoose

    Thanks to speed reading and skipping after half a section I didn’t realize it was a joke till I learned Goose dies in Top Gun, guess I had two things ruined for me in a single mind altering second.

  • Guacamole Jim

    Those Finn puns were very…. thyme… -ly.

    • Fine Sexy Ladies

      Get out of my house.

  • Elegant Gazing Globe

    You guys forgot “Fundraising” by Jari Mäenpää

    • Maik Beninton™

      Go ask Papa Roach or Hellyeah, they are the best when it comes to fundraising.

      • brokensnow

        …..or the numerous others that do it,ya know…..so they can exist.

      • CyberneticOrganism

        *raises 10,000 pulls*

    • Tronc McBeefyBeardloaf

      ….

  • I’m still lauFinn

  • M Shadows!

    The best way to go about songwriting is to steal riffs from classic bands and then change the names of the songs and say that the album is a tribute to your influences! Don’t forget to fire your drummer that is actually good!

  • brokensnow

    This…..this is depressing…..Any good songs someone can surprise me with?

  • MachoMadness5000

    I have entered the Toilet ov Hell

    • Abradolf Lincler

      Welcome!?

    • Dubbbz

      I guess the cream really does rise to the top.

    • CAVEMAN GORAK™
      • MachoMadness5000

        OOOOOOHHHHHH YYYEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

        • CAVEMAN GORAK™

          OH NO!!!!!!!!!!!!! SEIZURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • MachoMadness5000

            Sorry, I’m just excited to be here. DIG IT!

        • CyberneticOrganism
          • MachoMadness5000

            My brain has been fucked… in a good way you better believe it, YEAH!!!!

      • Abradolf Lincler

        Snap into a Slim Jim Andy Capps Hot Fries.

        • CAVEMAN GORAK™

          IF IT NOT AT LEAST 50% DEAD ANIMAL, IT NOT FOOD!!!!!!!!!

          • Abradolf Lincler

            pretty sure almost anything food, then, Gorak!

    • Janitor Jim Duggan

      Yay!

      • Stanley

        Do you know this fellow? Can you vouch for him? Looks shady to me.

        • Janitor Jim Duggan

          I will vouch for him due to his username.

          • Stanley

            Good reasoning. I like your style.

          • MachoMadness5000

            Thank you Mr Duggan you WILL NOT regret your vouching for the Macho one, DIG IT!!!

        • MachoMadness5000

          Stanley, I am a MetalSucks defector as you can tell from my NWO era avatar.

          • Stanley

            I’m just kidding around, welcome. You’re obviously awesome as you found your way here.

            Do you like Black Metal?

          • MachoMadness5000

            Thanks Stanley! I’m happy to meet you.

            I do like black metal. Are you the black metal expert around here?

          • Dave Vincent’s Perm
          • Stanley

            Nope. I just like it. As you’ll see.

            Black Fucking Metal!

          • MachoMadness5000

            ffffffffffffffffuckya

        • I rescued him from the metalsucks comments.

          • MachoMadness5000

            Jack, thank you brother.

          • You’re welcome dude

    • CyberneticOrganism
      • Janitor Jim Duggan

        Well ya know something Mean Gene, me and all my Hulkamaniacs have been waiting for the Macho Man to arrive here in the ToH brother!

        • MachoMadness5000

          THE MEGA POWERS OOHHH YEEEAHHH!!!

          • Tronc McBeefyBeardloaf
          • MachoMadness5000

            Oohhh yeeeaaahh!!! Make sure to check out my new hit single “Be A Man” … It’s about an ex friend of mine yeeeaaahh. Here’s a little sample for ya, DIG IT!!! :

            Hot diggity damn!!!
            Hulk I’m glad you set it off! (set if off)
            Used to be hard Hulk now ya done turned soft!
            Doin’ telephone commercials I seen ya
            Dancin’ in tights like a fuckin ballerina, yeahhhhhh!!

    • Welcome to the best website on the interwebz!

      • MachoMadness5000

        Thanks for the recommendation!

    • hey dude. you’re funny. glad to have you around!

      • MachoMadness5000

        Thanks man!! Glad to be here.

    • more beer

      Damn man took you long enough. Welcome, music is actually spoken here. Imagine that.

      • MachoMadness5000

        Actual music!?

        • more beer

          Yes that. Also I don’t think those lunatics who attacked you for not liking a band with a bunch of little Japanese girls. Know of this place.

          • MachoMadness5000

            Hahaha, glad to know I’m safe now. I was starting to think I was the crazy one.

          • more beer

            Fuck I didn’t even mention that horrible band. I made a comment to someone who said not being PC, makes someone a bad person. Yet I woke up this morning. To the most insane one of that bunch. Talking shit to me. Man those people have some serious mental issues.

          • MachoMadness5000

            Hey man, they’re everywhere now… I’ll watch your back if you watch mine.

          • more beer

            No problem there brother. I am sick of those mother fucers.

  • Mother Shabubu

    And from that day, Luc Lemay was now known as Loopy Lu.

  • Waynecro

    This is fantastic, dude. Jokes about John Gallagher rollerblading are my new favorite kind of jokes.

  • J.R.™

    Wait….GOOSE DIES!?!?!?!!?