Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hank Green on Writing Music

Usually I start a post with a quote. This time, the post is the quote, since it's actually a blogpost by Mr. Hank Green. Putting the Mr. in front feels weird....

A comment on "This is Not Harry Potter" got me thinking. The commenter wanted to know why I was so judgemental of Twilight, and why I was excluding them with my song lyrics.

I'm not going to talk about Twilight, I'm going to talk about writing songs.

When I write a song, I don't generally write it from my persepective. I write it from a perspective I understand, but often, it's either just a facet of me, or some character that I imagine.

Obviously, "It All Makes Sense at the End" is from another person's perspective, I'm not 80 years old. Obviously, Anglerfish isn't from my perspective, I'm happy and have lots of friends and a fantastic wife.

But it's true of just about everything I write, even if it seems like it's all me. I actually like some of the books I mentioned more than Harry Potter, particularly Terry Pratchett books and Ender's Game, which come in my top five books of all time, along with Half Blood Prince.

I like these books in different ways and for different reasons, of course. And in a lot of ways, there are literally no books that top Harry Potter. In terms of the influence on my life and on the world, Harry Potter is entirely unique. The culture surrounding it makes it special in a way that a book is never going to be for me again.

But I'm not really throwing down Mockingjay and thinking "why couldn't this be more like Harry Potter." I'm thinking "I could see a world where I feel that way" and creating that person to write the song for me.

Does that make sense?

And as for dissing Twilight...let's be honest, it's an easy target. I devote an entire verse to it for a reason...everyone knows Twilight (not the case for Tithe or Wee Free Men or Frankie Landau Banks.) And people have definite opinions, many of them negative. And so it's fertile ground. It's easy to mix the worlds and have everyone understand them.

It's not that I hate Twilight, it's that it was an easy target for the song's writer to aim at and hit nerves and funny bones. And, let's be honest, I like hitting nerves and funny bones!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Talk to me.