Vann: Vann Hardin was destined to be a songwriter. My first performances were as a drummer (6th grade). I began writing lyrics for my 2nd band in 1982. At the time doing background vocals. The guitar came last, learned in the mid nineties.
Vann: Three streams. The biggest being The Beatles. Melody, harmony, diversity of styles. Then, the songwriter stream of Dylan, Cat Stevens, Peter Paul & Mary, Harry Chapin. The third being guitar driven rock ala Alice Cooper, The Knack, Kiss, etc..
Vann: Bruce Cockburn. Intellectually and spiritually. Dylan for being able to paint a masterpiece with a few well chosen words.
I have stacks of unused lyrics as thick as a phone book. I literally had to impose a moratorium on myself and quit writing, so the tunes would catch up! But occasionally, I'll write lyrics around a melody. Starting out as a drummer has really helped being a rhythm guitarist. Some folks struggle with their right hand, but it's second nature for me.
Vann: The Department of Motor
Vehicles, the exodus of the Jews from Egypt, road rage, the New
Testament, my family members, but mostly the woman I love when I
Roy: Walk us through the Vann Hardin songwriting process. You have an idea for a song. Now what?
Vann: Lyrics are king to me. I grab a pen and jot down a strong sentence or two, maybe an interesting phrase. I think about what I want to say, then, the best was to convey it. Even if a song has a lot of lyrics, it's out of necessity. I try to whittle down a sentence, deleting unnecessary words... I'll think if there's a better way to phrase it. Then, I'll often build it into a cadence or a numerical pattern. May write the verses first or the chorus. It varies...
Vann: Alice Cooper, Dragontown tour. He is like a master carnival barker who holds the crowd in the palm of his hand. Alice gives you much more than a concert. It's a show. An event. Also any show by songwriter Pierce Pettis, because his songs stick you right in the heart and make you weep.
Vann: Indeed, the vast majority of songs I write are from my life experiences, things I just have to say. But I'm trying to broaden my creative horizons.
Vann: Taxi by Harry Chapin. Fast
Car by Tracy Chapman. Wichita Lineman , I Hope You Dance, oh,
and Torn by Natalie Imbruglia, but most of all, a Pierce Pettis
song called "That Kind Of Love" which is one of the most moving
songs I've EVER heard.
Roy: Can a song change after you've played it for an audience?
Vann: Songs can change and I do on occasion, change one, but they're pretty sacred to me. I don't like to change them usually.
Vann: My second CD is next. Working at a healthy pace (cross fingers).
You can purchase Vann's CD Lyrical Sphere on CD Baby here.