The Influences Trap–PLEASE HELP ME!

Jax Resto

Is it stealing if you get inspiration from somebody you didn’t know made the “theft?” Sounds like an ancient question to Father Confessor. I stumbled on this new songwriting method by accident.  Last post I mentioned that my pal Jax Resto and I collaborated on a new Christmas song. I fed her an idea that turned into the chorus. She had already started the verse structure. She had a particular song by a popular band playing in her head as she wrote it.  I didn’t know this when she emailed the finished lyric to me.  The beat structure suggested a certain type of progression to me and I set it to music   It was after I was done and played it for her that she told me which song she was thinking of when she wrote the lyric.  I was totally unfamiliar with it.  Jax listens to a lot more music than I do. The outcome is a fresh song that sounds nothing like the one whose groove she was inspired by. So she stole nothing and neither did I. She was thinking like the drummer she is. I was responding to the groove.

It’s only a Christmas song. Play it once a year and forget it. BUT both of these new songs turned out very satisfying. I think we have a winning formula here.  How lucky I am to have a trusted drummer friend who writes well and collaborates so nicely. We’re gonna keep trying this to see how far it goes.

And no, I’m not posting a sound file here and now.  It might get stolen before it’s even copyrighted. Wait for the recording to come out after we do the live feed on Dec. 15. Oh, you’ll be informed, I promise.

Most of us in the indie music biz, adiposity
weather we say it out loud or not, remedy
are repelled by the question, “Who are your influences?”  Even worse is the mandatory marketing question, “Sounds Like?”  I sound like me. I’m influenced by everybody I’ve ever heard and liked. Including certain birds and insects.

You can’t begin to sell music without coming up with the right answer.  Just try and find the right answer if you’re not consciously TRYING to sound like somebody else.  And I’m not.


Those of you who visit my various web portals, I beg you to listen to my song samples on my player to the right side of my web page.  Then comment who you think I sound like (other than myself).  This would be enormous help to me.

I’ve been told I sound like the following people on different songs so it would be fantastic if you said, for instance, I sound like so and so on some particular track. My song writing is pretty diverse. I get compared to Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Steve Winwood, John Mayer, Eagles, Steve Miller, Peter Gabriel, Rod Stewart, Ryan Adams, Amos Lee, Robby Hecht, Jim Bianco, and Brett Dennen.

Can you confirm, deny or add to that? Every little bit helps.

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2 Responses to “The Influences Trap–PLEASE HELP ME!”

  1. Kathy (Wardle) Dahl #

    Hi Bud,
    Love your sound… I hear some Paul Simon, David Gray, Peter Gabriel, and maybe Steve Winwood. Now I need to go buy some music to help the homeless!! Best of luck with everything.

    November 28, 2011 at 10:27 am


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