Thursday, 8 July 2010

Workshop interview #3: How to build the perfect pop song

At midday on Sunday at Indietracks, Ben from Onward Chariots will be running a workshop on how to make – and add pop loveliness to – a great pop song. Ben's popped by the blog to tell us more about it.

Hi, tell us a bit about yourselves

Ben has spent much time feverishly studying the great songs of the last fifty years, from the Beatles to Camera Obscura and even Phil Collins. He may or may not also have studied classical music at a university or two, and yet he is still full of passionate ideas about what makes great pop songs, well, great pop songs. Once he played a bit with Cake. Presently he leads the band Onward Chariots, is writing a musical about anarchists, and is attempting to prove his twee credentials by writing a musical about Angelina Ballerina.

What will the workshop be like?

We will chat about what makes a great pop song and how to add pop loveliness into any song. We'll talk about how to make a melody catch the ear, how to create tunes of aching beauty, what makes a hook, how to give a song shape and drama... and how to develop an idea into a complete song. Depending on how the conversation goes, we might even talk about lyrics - how to craft meaningful words in a world already filled with hundreds of thousands of songs. We will discuss existing songs and write one or two songs together. Please bring in your own songs for discussion!

What are you looking forward to the most at Indietracks?

There are so many bands I've never seen that I'm looking forward to seeing... but mostly I'm looking forward to finally meeting face-to-face the fascinating people from around the world with whom I have been corresponding since starting this band!

Do you have any camping tips?

Bring long, bad jokes with pointless endings to tell around the fire. And marshmallows. And a rake to kill venomous snakes. On second thought, you'll find me at the hotel.

Have you been to the festival before? Do you have any Indietracks stories/gossip you'd care to divulge?

I'm excited to be making my first trip to Indietracks! But I do dearly love gossip, so please share with me any you might have.

Will do! But possibly not on here, we'll save it for the campfire!

Onward Chariots Links: Myspace / Facebook

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