Following the release of You Know The Drill’s EP Losing Streak last month, we got an insight on lyrics from vocalist Benji Yapp. Check it out below!
How do you write them? What is your process either as a band or individually? Have you ever suffered from writer’s block and if so, how did you overcome it?
With lyrics I often make sure I have some awesome music to write to first, I struggle to write words without the music. The melody usually comes first to, so I’ll be writing words to a tune I already have in my head. I actually do suffer from writer’s block a fair bit, mostly due to self-doubt that what I’m writing isn’t any good. I overcome it by just grinding away until I come out with something I’m really happy with.
What is the lyric you’re proudest of and why?
I think it has to be “I’m just an empty shell, cracked on the surface”, it’s just so metaphorical and really represents how damaged and broken you can feel sometimes.
What themes and topics do you like to cover and why?
When I write I always find myself covering two polar opposite subjects. The feeling of self-doubt and dealing with that, but on the other hand I like writing about getting over situations and overcoming any problem you may face.
Has anyone ever misheard, perhaps to comedic effect, or misunderstood the intention of your lyrics?
When we first wrote Heads Up, our guitarist Jim was forever poking fun at the lyrics singing “with no spoon to eat my pudding I lost direction along the way” instead of “with no flame to guide my footing I lost direction along the way” which was pretty funny admittedly.
Which of your own lyrics best sums up your band?
“I’m not about to watch this cave in”, purely because we’ve had to plough through some hard times and we always try to overcome whatever comes our way, never giving up.
If you had to have any lyric tattooed on you, if you don’t already, what would you pick?
It’d have to be “I’m just a Losing Streak” from Less Than You, it’s so representative of the EP and I just relate to it personally.
What lyric do you wish you’d written and why?
It’s probably “I know perfectly well I’m not where I should be, I’ve been very aware you’ve been patient with me” from You Still Believe In Me by The Beach Boys. I think it’s such an honest confession to open a song with; I also love how despite the song is over 50 years old, the lyrics aren’t dated in the slightest.
Who are your favourite lyricists or even writers for content such as film, TV or even poetry? What are some of the lines that best connect with you? Do you take influence from that?
Carrying on from the previous question, one of them has to be Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys. He always writes with such honesty and he is such an interesting person which really shows in his lyrics. You can take any lyric off the classic album “Pet Sounds” and it’ll be my favourite, I definitely take a lot of influence from the tone of the lyrics on that record.
What are the worst lyrics you’ve ever heard?
Off the top of my head I honestly can’t think of anything, although I know that I find myself cringing at a lot of mainstream pop music on the radio.
Finally, please sign off with some lyrical words of wisdom…
The best lyrics come from honesty, but make sure they make sense. No one likes having to guess what a song is about!
You Know The Drill released Losing Streak physically & digitally on 28/10/16 via Scylla Records. Get it at: http://scyllarecords.myshopify.com/products/you-know-the-drill-losing-streak-cd-cassette
Stream Losing Streak: https://soundcloud.com/youknowthedrilluk/sets/losing-streak-you-know-the/s-D1oLU