Interview: Lee Dewyze
Tue, 24 Sep 2013 10:19:05
Frames feels as cinematic as it does auditory. It's as if you're flipping through a photo album of Lee DeWyze's experiences, while listening to it. That's the real magic of the album. It's an intimate and irresistible journey driven by a phenomenally talented singer and songwriter.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Lee Dewyze talks Frames and so much more.
Did you approach Frames with one vision or vibe in mind?
Yeah, growing up, I always listened to albums with my dad that were front-to-back kind of things. I definitely wanted the whole thing to flow as one. Maybe not even necessarily as songs that connect this way or that way, but I wanted the vibe of the album as a whole to be cohesive. I wanted you to be able to sit down and listen to the whole thing and have a musical experience with it versus saying, "I'll skip this song or that song". I wanted you to press play and listen to the whole thing throughout. I think we achieved that.
Are there thematic threads to the songs?
I would say, "Yeah". When it came to writing, there was a good three month period before I started getting into the thick of everything where I was just writing songs that were a bit "disconnected" if you will. It was like, "I wrote this song, and I wrote that song". Once a certain amount of time passed, we had a number of songs. I thought, "None of this is going to work". Then, I really got into writing songs that I feel like I can connect with and can work with each other in a weird way. The songs started becoming much deeper, real, and honest. They formed this flow of stories, melodies, and lyrics. I had to write things I knew wouldn't make it on before I could write what would.
It's like carving a statue out of a block of marble.
That's exactly what it's like! Sometimes, you could spend days on one, and then smash it. That's where we were at. I couldn't imagine how it would go, but I had this support. It opened up a whole new world of creativity and no pressure. I could just do whatever I want. I wrote what I wanted to write. I did what was best for each of the songs musically.
What's the story behind "Breathing In"?
I wrote "Breathing In" in my backyard. To be honest, I generally don't sleep very well at night. I was in my backyard writing, and the song developed into this thing. It's really about my wife. More or less, the only reason you live is for this other person in your life. If it wasn't for that person, you'd have to drag me back inside. In the end, you think, "I'm coming back because of you". It's one of those songs where it's like, "all of these things can happen, but you're the anchor. You're what brings me back to earth". I wrote that really fast. I was in the backyard. I picked up the guitar and started writing it. It started coming, and we had to get into the studio to record it. It's one of my favorites. I'm glad you asked about it.
What song resonates with you the most?
I'd pick a few. They'd be "Silver Lining", "Don't Be Afraid", "Fight", "Frames", and "Who Would've Known". I've been listening to "Frames" lately. I'm hearing it with new ears. There's an emotional thing going on in the song. I love playing "Don't Be Afraid" live. It's internal and about myself. I really love the message behind "Fight". It's an anthem for people and for love. I like that.
If you were to compare Frames to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
It's definitely about love, but there are also some self-realizations in it. I'd say Silver Linings Playbook. It's like love, fighting, looking for self-help, and self-realizations. There are a lot of things in there. If I had to pick a current movie, it would be that one.
What artists shaped you?
Growing up, Cat Stevens was huge for me as well as John Lennon and Neil Young. When it comes to harmonies and storytelling, Simon & Garfunkel were always big for me. I kind of took after Paul Simon's guitar playing. I really loved how he played guitar. I took to that. I tried to teach myself that as best as I could. As far as being in the moment of your song, Cat Stevens was that to me. He had a way of conveying the song emotionally to his audience.
What's next for you?
A whole lot of touring!
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