Hi, welcome to my new blog! Thanks for taking the time to visit.
This is the first time I’ve had a go at this, so any advice and feedback is more than welcome!
Here’s a little bit about what I do.
WHAT GOT ME INTO MUSIC?
I’ve been obsessed with music for as long as I can remember. I used to love singing along to ‘Now That’s What I Call Music’ tapes around the time; great pop tunes such as Take On Me by A-ha, or Who’s Gonna Drive You Home by The Cars. I got into rock music through bands like Queen and Kiss at about seven years old, and then started trying to sing to Paul Simon and James Taylor songs at around nine to ten. I never thought I was a great singer (I still don’t), but understated singers like Paul and James helped me realise it didn’t really matter as long as the songs were great and you enjoyed doing it. I used to love listening to my Dad play guitar as a kid too; but it wasn’t until those formative teen ‘grunge’ years that I started listening to bands like Nirvana and The Offspring and started having a go myself. I wasn’t very technically great on the guitar (I’m still not), but I luckily got into the 90s second wave of punk, which then encouraged me to get into original acts – the Pistols and even further back to the Velvet Underground etc. – which were more about passion than finesse. I got a bit bored with modern bands around the mid-90s (the bully boy bands like Oasis were exactly what I got into music to avoid) and became obsessed with discovering older and older exciting bands. The kind of ‘anyone should try it as long as they believe it’ ethos of punk really helped me get over my nerves and really informed how I (try to) approach music. From there it was playing in mates’ bands and slowly growing in confidence as a songwriter and performer.
WHAT MUSIC DO I LIKE?
My taste in music is very eclectic and I think my music is too. There are elements of cheesy pop, naval-gazing indie and ‘classic’ sounding alternative rock. I hate trying to pigeonhole my tunes, as I’m sure most songwriters do, and I’ve always thought music should be about bringing walls down, rather than putting them up; so I’m open to trying different ideas and trying to keep it exciting for myself, as well as hopefully for the people who listen. I guess it’s open for other people to describe – for better or for worse!
HOW DO I WRITE MUSIC?
I used to sit and write songs pretty much in one sitting when I was younger (and had the time to). These days it tends to take more of a ‘jigsaw’ approach. You get ideas for lyrics or riffs at the most inconvenient times, and I tend to panic and think I’m going to forget them. So if it’s a lyric/line I’ll write it on my phone ‘notes’ (my phone is full of random lines; some good, some terrible!) and if it’s a tune or riff I’ll record it on a little handheld recorder (Tascam DR-05, if you’re interested). Then about once a month I’ll sit down and try to put it all together. Occasionally a song will arrive almost fully formed too. I try not to control it too much and just let it happen. I find the more I try to influence the process, the worse it comes out.
WHAT ARE MY SONGS ABOUT?
I try to take the Jonathan Richman approach of always writing the truth of whatever I’m feeling or observing at the time. I’m rubbish at contriving situations or writing more clever stories or political songs; though I occasionally try to – with mixed results. My songs are usually about love, heartache or trying to understand the way I or other people around me act. It’s kind of a diary way of writing, so there is a lot of whinging in there too, as you would expect in any diary!
WHAT PROJECTS HAVE I BEEN WORKING ON?
I have just finished an album called ‘Hermit and the NotWe.’ You can listen to it for FREE here: https://timlee.bandcamp.com
The next project I am working on is a 12 track album called ‘And Into the Woods,’ and I will be writing about the process and theme behind this new album soon.
As I am making this new music, I’m also trying to teach myself the basics of production; using Cubase and Pro Tools. I’m still very much in the beginners’ category with this, so I’ll also try to share what I learn as I go along, if anyone would like to find out/share some tips and tricks I find out along the way.
I’ll try to post any upcoming gigs on here too.
As an unsigned and busy songwriter who is basically plugging away on my own, your support is SO appreciated, so thank you for stopping by, reading my blog, coming to my gigs or listening to my tunes, it means a lot.