WildeStarr released their brand new album "Beyond The Rain" today (Dec 8) and to celebrate we asked vocalist London Wilde to tell us the story behind the title track. Here is the story:
"Beyond the Rain" is about my brother and I growing up in a violent and abusive environment, and how the love of music became our source of inner strength and sanctuary. In particular, metal and heavy guitar oriented music. There is something so empowering about the sound of traditional metal. The electric guitars and driving beat almost sound like a battle cry. Life can be a battle, and for my brother and I as kids, this kind of music uplifted us and gave us the strength to not only want to survive, but to want to achieve great things as well.
On This tune, "Beyond The Rain" Dave had already final tracked the guitars and bass, and Josh final tracked the drums. I had to work within that framework that was established.
I don't approach lyrics as poetry written and planned beforehand. I find that poetry written this way rarely translates well into a pleasing flow musically. I typically write and record the lyrics and melody at the same time. I establish what I want the song to be about in my mind, and may write down single words, and short phrases that get the concept across in an interesting way. I like to include words that are visual. Colors, elements from nature, things that are descriptive enough that the listener can "see" something in their mind. I find that balance between the cerebral, emotional, and visual makes for a more interesting lyric. Then I spread these papers around me at the recording console, press record, and I improvise the melody and phonetics on the fly. If I glance down and see and interesting word or phrase on my note papers, I'll try them. Sometimes not ONE idea from my notes make it into the song. Usually a lovely phrase just comes out from my subconscious, and I keep it. There are a few of my songs that were written entirely this way, almost 100% improvised. Usually I have a good portion of parts that sound great phonetically but are just gibberish nonsense words. I replace them with similar sounding words that make sense later. The first challenge I had, was that the music in the verses sounded very light and happy for such a serious subject. Major chords tend to sound cheerful, and minor chords tend to sound pensive or sad. There was this nice open light guitar strumming going on in the verse, which sounded really uplifting to me. I decided to just go with it, and sing something that sounded light and happy as well. "I'm living in the sunlight, I got a little peace of mind"
Then I turned it darker with the next line "So strike your blows". I like this kind of unexpected direction, it keeps the listener on their toes.
I hate to admit it, but usually I don't rehearse ANYTHING or even warm up before I record. You can call it being lazy, but I like to think of it as streamlining my time! I also don't like to perform the song so much that the fire is gone. Sometimes the first words out of my mouth are the most passionate, and I can never recapture the performance of it. Sometimes I do have a specific line and melody in my head. For example, I had written words and melody in my head for the chorus, and the words are "Somewhere beyond the rain". When I rolled tape for the first time, and the chorus part came up, I got my timing wrong. I came in too soon, so there was a slight stutter. It was like S---Somewhere Beyond the Rain…I thought it sounded really cool like that, so I kept it. "Somewhere beyond the rain...I found another place. Where music kills my pain..It's Steel and It's Fire. The sound it makes you Fade." In the last line of the chorus, I was thinking about my father's face screaming and yelling at me, and how I developed the ability to tune it out by going somewhere else in my mind. The sound of the music made the bad things fade away. Negative thoughts replaced by positive ones.
Music also ignited the dream of being a musician both my brother and myself, and it felt like a having a "pact" with music itself; So I decided to give music an entity in the song, and called her "Tranzation Angel of the air" in the vocal bridge. Tranzation is a made up word, but I thought it sounded good. It is a combination of the words Transmute and Vibration. "And I'll trace it all, one more time inside.." These lyrics mean that no matter where you are, you can simply recall a song in your mind, and replay it mentally. I still do this today. If I am stressed, like in the dentist's chair or something, I just play a favorite song in my mind. That's the beauty of music..no one can take it away from you. It's always there.
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