I was recently asked, “How did you write songs in Gears of Redemption?” So I thought I would share as this may help someone with their own process. Here goes…
In gears this was how we would typically write…
I would come up with a riff or three that kinda strung together. Bring it to Reese. We would work out a rough arrangement and maybe add some things here and there. Maybe an intro, bridge, etc if one of the ideas was one of these. These ideas would usually stem from… A. some crazy guitar sound I wanted to try, B. a technique that was hard to play, or C. a big groove that felt like it could motivate a crowd to riot.
A, B, and C is pretty much my goal for all guitar parts. 🙂
Next we would show it to Kevin and Jerry. Jerry would learn it, and Kevin would record it and work on it mostly at home. We would firm up the arrangement to fit the vocals as needed. If Kevin had an idea but it didn’t fit with what we had, we would write something to fit. We would also try to add something dynamic with the bass guitar to add flavor.
On occasion… Jerry would bring in some crazy Bass riff, and I would write something to go along with it. I figured these little jems were few and far between and should be used if possible.
Jerry’s bass tone is huge, and he can play, so we would not hesitate to let a part lean on the bass guitar. That I love.
I like the song to build and go up and down some if possible, so sometimes that would come into play on the final arrangement and whether or not we added another element.
Technically, I play better at a medium-fast speed. The faster songs are easier, and the slower songs harder, to me. I cannot play shred fast stuff. I just can’t. Acoustic pieces terrify me, but I use them. Solos I try to go for feel and melody because I am not a shredder. Also because I am not that great at bending, but I try.
Once the song was roughed in, we would practice it until, well, we never stopped practicing it.
Reese and I ended with almost a second album and 2 complete cassette tapes of ideas.