31 covers in 31 days project over. now…we tour.

in january, joe and i learned 31 songs in 31 days by bands that we always really liked.

i did not expect that i would learn so much from this project. it started out as a way to try and become better songwriters by learning some of our favourite songs (it occurred to me at one point last year that i only knew a grand total of 3 cover songs). what i didn’t realize was how much it would help and all that i would learn.

the biggest thing i walked away from this with is the idea that all my favourite songs…are essentially the same! for too long we as songwriters have been trying to re-invent the wheel (hell i even put out an album a few years back called breaking down the barriers that break down your music, a sort of concept album about my own personal trials and tribulations regarding the concept of music).

for some reason it’s ok when our favourite songwriters rip themselves off. or rip other people off. most of the time they don’t realize they have, maybe sometimes they do. most of the time we don’t realize they have. maybe sometimes we do. for some reason when we find ourselves accidentally doing the same thing, the song gets scrapped (how many times can you hear E minor C G and D consecutively in your lifetime anyway, especially if you grew up in the 90s). the only time this self-editing seems to go away is when you’re either really heartbroken and messed up or…you have a deadline. haha. then you let yourself get away with a little more. maybe. who knows.

some other stuff i noticed:

1) the 80s allowed for very unconventional song structure. people just can’t get away with that kind of stuff anymore.
2) the 90s had even weirder structure! maybe that is why i love them so much. you could just do anything. for some reason it was ok.
3) when you get one person to play the song in the way it was written and then you throw a capo on and learn the song in a different position, not only do you get some cool voicings but then you REALLY realize that…every song is the same. even songs you think are not. and then you can’t sleep at night cause you’re like everything is the same what is the point.
4) then one day you wake up and realize: all these songs that are so similar, i put them all on a list because i loved something about them. and maybe it is ok to just go back to where you were as a young songwriter, smashing 3 random chords together and scribbling your heart out on the back of a napkin.

and that was the best part about january.

going on tour today. tour dates posted here: http://billythekidonline.com/site/tour/

tune in here if you missed any of the 31 videos.