WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR IDEAS FROM?
I am often asked this question.
I always find it slightly odd… as if ideas can be purchased from a shop.
(“I’ll have three ideas thanks…. and a gobstopper”)
The truth is that I probably have too many ideas…small and friendly, weird and quirky, hairy, bald, upstairs and downstairs. I really am a bundle of ideas squeezed into human form, desperately trying to remain grounded and not float off on some tangent like an escaped balloon.
The enemy to a good idea is thinking. If by some miracle you can clear the deck of plans, judgements, wants and needs, that’s a perfect start.
The best ones come when I have no intention of having an idea. Often while out walking. I think the physical rhythm is helpful, especially for musical ideas. Being outside helps, and travelling solo.
And once you’ve caught a good one (thank you iPhone), the real fun begins as you create a structure or a story or an intention around the idea. As with most things in life, the songs that come with least effort are usually the best. They seem to ‘write themselves’. This is a relatively rare phenomenon that should be treasured. With the others, it’s more a matter of patiently trying things out in your darkened studio with your bright little idea hovering overhead. Adding and subtracting, rotating and reversing, polishing and streamlining an initial idea till it appears simple and shining.
Here, in short, is the initial inspiration behind songs on the new album THE JUNGLE IS JUMPING:
1. Do The Woopsie – a beach walk, a clear sky, a vague intention to invent a dance like the old ‘Do The Hokey Tokey’ they used to play at skating rinks
2. Little Miss Mosquito – being attacked by a swarm of mozzies while watering the garden on a summer evening
3. The Jungle Is Jumping – trying to stay awake while driving back from WOMAD on a windy afternoon in March…over stimulation and tiredness
4. Lady Luck – a rare moment of good will to humanity
5. Don’t Believe What I Say – I’d like to say the pre election blather but that’s not strictly true
6. Peel Me – apparently they do grow potatoes in Africa
7. No Toast – nonsensical words that appeared unbidden on a walk by the sea
8. Real Good Time – a desire to provide light relief to the other songs with a feel good song
9. Get Out – fleaBITE goes techno… in your face, sound effected thumpery with a message
10. Paradise – I could say PMT, but that doesn’t sound very child friendly
11. In Your Pyjamas – we are small, the universe is vast. Go outside. Look up.
12. Pom Pom Song – nothing like an outdoor summer salsa dance class where you are partnered with an 82 year old to get the Latin juices flowing
13. Need The Bees – we just do