April 04/12/18, 2018
Guy Story may have built his name in the tech world, but it is music where he finds his heart. Along with his band Storytown, he is gearing up to release their long-awaited debut out this year. With elements of southern rock and alternative flare in tow, Storytown have been winning over the ears of all who comes in their path. Their recent single "Run Run," has been garnering critical acclaim throughout, and this is only the beginning. We dive in deep with Guy as he puts the "Story" in Storytown.
When you are writing music, what comes first, the music or the lyrics?
Usually the music comes first. I typically fool around on guitar until I happen upon a riff or musical figure that “catches my ear”, so to speak, then develop it further, first adding a melody and then the words. But this isn’t always the way it works. For example, I have a song called “Caramel and Fleur de Sel” which started as just the title – I thought it would be a cool title for a song.
“Run Run” came about in the more typical process. One day I was sitting on the steps of a house we were renting in Maine, and the verse’s strumming riff and melody just came out in a matter of minutes. It took a while longer for me to come up with the chorus and the rest of the song. The lyrics usually are the hardest part for me, and for “Run Run” the chorus lyric “Run run, run …” popped out of nowhere, as if it had just being hanging around waiting for its song.
This all sounds more organized than the process really is. There’s lots of tweaking, adjusting, refining, and throwing stuff away, until, in the end, I’m usually a bit amazed and unclear about where the song came from.
What is the inspiration and aspirations behind the latest single release?
As I said before, “Run Run” started as a strumming guitar riff, and somehow, mysteriously, the lyric “Run run” just arrived from out of the ether. It seemed to fit the driving urgency of the music, and so I conceived a sort of “love story” where the singer both wants to be pursued and is afraid of being “caught”. The chorus lyric says “run to me”, a kind of demand that the lover should pursue the singer. And at the same time the music conveys (I hope) a mix of urgency, the excitement of the chase, and the fear of being trapped in the relationship.
I hope that listeners respond to the mix of paranoia and excitement in the lyrics, and I hope they also just enjoy the song as a straight-ahead, driving rock song.
Can you tell us about the upcoming record? How did the concept come to life?
I knew I wanted to record an album to translate fully what was in my head into a finished product. Plus I just love recording. Over the course of many gigs we tried out a number of songs. In the end I wanted an album with plenty of music (thus not an EP) and one that offered a good variety of grooves, feels, textures, and lyric ideas. And since it will be most folks’ introduction to STORYTOWN, it was important for the album to convey the breadth of musical experiences that the band aspires to create.
What is the ultimate inspiration when penning the tracks for singles and for the upcoming release?
The singles are – no surprise – meant to be a bit catchy and more up than downbeat. One of the tracks on the album is called “Sad” – needless to say this will not be one of the singles.
I grew up listening to pop hits and I love catchiness. But I have to admit that every time I try to write a song according to some kind of “criterion” (I might, for example, say to myself, “Self, write me a ‘hit’!”), at some point early in the process the song takes over, and eventually it ends up being whatever it wants to be, with me having been relegated to a servant in the service of the song.
Do you produce and record your own records, or do you head into the studio?
For this first album we headed straight to the studio, although of course much earlier I had come up with “starter arrangements” for the songs at home. And the band had played and refined all the songs many times, both in rehearsal and in front of live audiences. But I did take on the role of “producer” for this album.
What are your key musical goals for the end of the year?
For myself as a performer I want to improve my singing and my live performing. As for the band, we’d like to play live more, especially to new audiences. And I’m already writing more songs. So, I guess, more of everything. More more more!
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