You gotta do what you gotta do to make a living, right?
In this excerpt from Darker Shades For Brighter Nights, the free ¡MAYDAY! eBook that explores the creation of Take Me To Your Leader, we get a glimpse of the philosophy behind the creative process behind the songs that fuels the songs that you know and love.
As it turns out, a rather interesting occupation turned out to be a blessing in disguise and would train Plex Luthor to become the beat-making machine that he is today…
Plex: It’s just a constant grey area of music. There’s so much music that the outsider will never hear us do. 90% of the music we make will never be heard. It’s on the spot. It’s jamming before we start rehearsing. We submitted almost 50 songs for this album, 20 of them will probably never be heard. They’re just ideas. It’s a constant whirlwind of shit and everyone has like 10 riffs at a time that they’re trying to find something for. If you see one of our one-offs you might see us do a song right on the fucking spot, like seriously right on the fucking spot: music and rhythm. The speed of that creation is much faster now.
You want a beat? I’ll make you a beat. I’ll make it in 30 minutes. Tell me how you want it to sound. I’m not going to obsess over it for two weeks. Is it working or is it not? If it’s working and it makes it to the final stage and somebody puts some effort into it writing-wise then I’m going in and obsess over every detail, but the beginning is always “Is the basic groove working or is it not?”
Gianni: The tracks have a mind of their own. It gets to a point where you start working with a chord or a riff and that will take on its own identity or feeling. When you hear it, you can already hear the story. You run with that feeling and you start adding to the beat. They start flowing naturally.
There’s a song called “June” and it’s a part-two to “Due In June”. “Due In June” had already been recorded and it dealt with the very controversial topic of abortion. We needed another track to balance that out, a way to talk about not having an abortion. Plex and I knew that we needed to make a track to be the counter to that track. We knew exactly how it was going to sound in our heads. That track was probably the most spiritual. As a producer, it was a real moment of going in with an idea and executing it just the way it was suppose to be. It was fresh and it came together beautifully. That one was very special to me because I had never experienced that.
Plex: We used to force some shit and overproduce everything. Double-think every word, re-question everything.
Gianni: You can never really be done with a record. You can always keep going. We have to literally stop ourselves sometimes like, “Okay, alright, I think we’re done.” You can just keep beating yourself over the head and keep on going. You have so many changes, so many riffs and ideas that you get to a point and you’re like, “Enough, let’s just put it in the pile and let these guys come in and put their lyrics over it.” You can absolutely go in too much. It happens to us. At the same time, you find yourself not going in enough. There are two sides to it. With the sounds we do use we’re really picky. We try to give them something fresh and original. We try to steer away from the gimmicky stuff that you hear every day.
Plex: Wrek and I used to make music for internet porn. That’s how we supported ourselves before we signed to Strange. That’s four beats a day regardless. It’s not like “Oh I’m not vibing today…” No, fuck you. We have a deadline. You want to get that paycheck? You better make those four beats. And corny shit too! Shit you don’t want to make. But that was the best thing that ever happened to me. It trains you to think “It’s just music, don’t fall in love with it, make it. If you’re dope it’s going to shine regardless.”
To read more you’ll have to check out Darker Shades For Brighter Nights, available for FREE for a limited time!