Meet Previous USA Songwriting Competition Winners "Stars Go Dim"
And learn what they have to say about songwriting in a band. Joey Avalos, songwriter and lead singer of "Stars Go Dim" talks about songwriting.
Artist Name: Stars Go Dim" from Los Angeles, CA.
Previously won the 13th Annual USA Songwriting Competition in the Rock/Alternative category.
1.Can you describe how you write a song?
I usually start off with messing around on the guitar. I usually stumble into a cool lick or progression and then somehow melodies and random words come out of nowhere. About 99% of the time I always work on the chorus first. I guess I live by the rule, "why do you need verses if your chorus sucks."
2. How do you get ideas for creating a melody?
This usually happens when I find a cool progression on the guitar. I really don't know how I come up with melodies. I tend to believe that people have a gift of melody or they don't. The melodies seem to come from nowhere most of the time.
3. Who is your favorite songwriter or lyricist? And why?
I guess it would be Ryan Adams. His way with words and emotion really captures moments for me.
4.Who is your favorite band? And why?
I don't have a favorite band. I only have "Favorites for the moment" Right now I am into Justin Nozuka, The Script, OneRepublic, John Mayer, Kesha. Ok, Maybe not Kesha. Ha!
5. How did you write your winning song? Did the melody come first or the lyrics or background music?
The title came first. I was actually driving home from a dinner party and I was listening to the radio when a PINK song came on. Don't ask me which one, but I think it was the one where she is mad or going to beat someone up. I thought to myself... I should try to write a Pinkish kind of a song. You know, a sarcastic I'm better than you, you had your chance, so now get over it. Later that night I wrote the song in a couple of hours.
6. Have you collaborated with other songwriters or producers or band members? If so, can you describe the collaboration with other writers and producers?
I have. The singer of my band and I have co- written a couple of songs together. I have also written with other well-known writers in the business. At first it's a little awkward cause you both are a bit scared that your ideas suck (trust me, even the best feel this way) but after a couple of minutes of self-doubt then you can really be productive.
7. Do any other members in your band write?
Yes. Our singer has co-written a couple of songs with me.
8. Can you tell us about your SXSW experience? Do you take anything positive from that experience?
SXSW is not for me. I think it's because I am not underground enough. SXSW has an Indie vibe. It seems like the only bands/artists that matters are the ones that "Rob", John Cusack's character in High Fidelity listens to. I guess I need to be in a band called Sonic Death Monkey or something like that.
9. What advice would you give to other up-and-coming bands and songwriters out there?
Be you. If you write shiny cliché pop songs, then do it. Don't think you need to change the world with each song that you write. There is room for all styles of music and songs. K.I.S.S. Keep it simple stupid. Live by it. It's all about connecting with your audience. Don't write for you, Write for them. If you write for yourself, then the world doesn't need to hear it.
Watch the 2008 winning song of the Rock/Alternative category "Get Over It" by Stars Go Dim here: