Our latest installment of 10 Questions, where we ask people who've been involved in Desert Mine Music to reveal the truths behind their skills, focusses on our latest signing, Dany Slak, who explains the secrets of songcraft.
Dany is a reclusive, lizard-like genial wonder-brain hidden deep within the folds of Toronto, Canada and is set to release his debut album Rods this month through Desert Mine Music.
With his ten songs illustrating god-like depth and vision, I was keen to ask him the ten unaskable (until now) questions about writing songs and shit...
1. Is there a particular word that you'd like to get into a song but have so far been unable to?
No. Many words are far too overrated. Including these.
2. What is the worst song you have ever written and why?
I recorded a song called The Fox on a casio keyboard aged 12. I didn't know any chords so I was just hitting random notes and chanting verbal diarrhea about a crazy fox (something to do with a pair of jeans he had bought if I remember correctly). I still have the cassette recording somewhere. I anticipate it would fetch around $14 million at Sotherby's. Why is it the worst song? Oh, I thought you said 'best song'. Sorry.
3. Do you have any hobbies that you like to do whilst writing a song ie knitting, golf etc...?
I am extremely fond of playing the guitar whilst writing a song.
4. What substances do you abuse to 'get in the songwriting zone'?
Normally sleep. The better songs always seem to come when you're not really paying attention. Ideally, you'd be fast asleep while writing a song. (And it obviously works, just look at 'Yesterday').
5. How easy is it to rip off somebody else's song and get away with it?
VERY easy. I've been ripping myself off for the past 15 years and I still haven't got the slightest clue.
6. How important is it that words rhyme? And what is your least favourite word to rhyme?
Only the really great poets seem to get away without rhyming. All song lyrics should rhyme. And even if they don't, attempts should be made to sing them as if they do (re: Dylan's "grey" & "italy" in Idiot Wind).
7. Why do you repeat choruses in your songs?
Because that's what The Beatles did.
8. Which chord is the best chord?
Oh I'm not chordist. All chords should have equal opportunities to be put to work in whatever songs they choose (provided they pass the interview/screening process).
9. What method do you have for naming your songs?
The most obvious line from the chorus. And if that's too objectionable...well, you're in trouble then. Then it's just important to find something that's not too pretentious.
10. How long should a song be in minutes and seconds?
It should be exactly as long as it is, and not a second longer.