Podcast

Interviews with some of the world’s most successful songwriters.

Ron Sexsmith Episode 46 – Ron Sexsmith

Singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith discusses his approach to the art and craft of songwriting by detailing the processes behind songs like ‘Secret Heart’, ‘Speaking With The Angel’, ‘Words We Never Use’, ‘Strawberry Blonde’, ‘Gold in Them Hills’, ‘Imaginary Friends’, ‘The Grim Trucker’, ‘Brandy Alexander’, ‘Believe it When I See It’ and ‘Life After A Broken Heart’. Ron talks in depth about his love for artists like Bill Withers, his collaborations with producers like Mitchell Froom and Bob Rock, his work with songwriters like Don Black, and his ongoing pursuit of ‘hit’ records.

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Chip Taylor Episode 45 – Chip Taylor

Singer-songwriter Chip Taylor picks up his guitar to talk Simon and Brian through the writing of songs like ‘Wild Thing’ (The Troggs/Jimi Hendrix), ‘Angel of the Morning’ (Merrilee Rush/Dusty Springfield/Chrissie Hynde), ‘I Can’t Let Go’ (Evie Sands), ‘Welcome Home’ (Walter Jackson), ‘Storybook Children’ (Billy Vera and Judy Clay), ‘Try’ (Janice Joplin), and selections from his recent solo albums like ‘F**k All The Perfect People’, ‘Dance With a Hole in Your Shoe’ and ‘Phoned in Dead’. Chip also talks in detail about the Brill Building days, his alternate career as a professional gambler and the writing processes behind his latest release Block Out The Sirens of This Lonely World.

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Neil Finn Episode 44 – Neil Finn

Neil Finn of Split Enz, Crowded House, Finn Brothers and Pajama Club chats with Simon and Brian about his songwriting process and the writing of songs like ‘Fall At Your Feet’, ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’, ‘Weather With You’, ‘Four Seasons In One Day’, ‘Not The Girl You Think You Are’ and ‘Edible Flowers’. Neil also talks about his work on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and details the production of his forthcoming solo record, due in early 2014.

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Rumer Episode 43 – Rumer

Singer-songwriter Rumer talks with Sodajerker about her approach to writing songs like ‘Slow’, ‘Aretha’, ‘Come To Me High’, ‘Blackbird’ and others from her debut album Seasons Of My Soul. Rumer also talks in detail about how events in her life have influenced her creative work, paying respect to great songwriters on her second album, Boys Don’t Cry, and her plans for the future.

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Johnny Marr Episode 42 – Johnny Marr

Songwriter and guitarist Johnny Marr, loved by pop fans worldwide for his work with The Smiths, The The, Electronic, Modest Mouse and The Cribs, joins Simon and Brian for a conversation about the writing processes behind his fantastic new solo album The Messenger. Johnny also talks in detail about his musical influences, growing up in Manchester, his relationship with the guitar, his songwriting partnership with Morrissey, and his collaborations with artists like Kirsty MacColl (‘Walking Down Madison’) and Billy Bragg (‘Sexuality’).

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Allen Toussaint Episode 41 – Allen Toussaint

Influential New Orleans songwriter, producer, arranger and pianist Allen Toussaint sits down with Simon and Brian to discuss his long and highly productive career including the writing of classic songs like ‘Mother in Law’ (Ernie K-Doe), ‘Whipped Cream’ (Herb Alpert), ‘Working in the Coal Mine’ (Lee Dorsey), ‘Here Come the Girls’ (Ernie K-Doe), ‘Southern Nights’ (Glen Campbell), ‘Happiness’ (The Pointer Sisters) and more. Allen talks in depth about his creative process and also gives advice for young songwriters.

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They Might Be Giants Episode 40 – They Might Be Giants

John Flansburgh and John Linnell of They Might Be Giants take an hour out of their busy tour schedule to talk with Simon and Brian about their new album Nanobots; their approach to songwriting; the Dial-A-Song service; writing music for children; their collaborations with production team Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley on songs like ‘Birdhouse in Your Soul’, and more.

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P. F. Sloan Episode 39 – P. F. Sloan

Singer-songwriter P. F. Sloan, known the world over as the author of political anthems such as ‘Eve of Destruction’ (Barry McGuire) and popular hits like ‘Secret Agent Man’ (Johnny Rivers), ‘A Must to Avoid’ (Herman’s Hermits), ‘Summer Means Fun’ (Jan & Dean), ‘You Baby’ (The Turtles) and ‘Take Me For What I’m Worth’ (The Searchers), joins Sodajerker to talk about starting in music as a teenager, his songwriting partnership with Steve Barri, the heady successes of the 1960s, and the many struggles that pushed him away from music for more than 30 years.

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Richard M. Sherman Episode 38 – Richard M. Sherman

As one half of The Sherman Brothers, along with his late brother Robert, Richard M. Sherman is responsible for co-writing the most memorable Disney songs of all time. From the Academy Award winning compositions for Mary Poppins such as ‘A Spoonful of Sugar’, ‘Feed the Birds’, ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’, ‘Jolly Holiday’, ‘I Love to Laugh’ and ‘Let’s Go Fly a Kite’, to other landmark works such as The Parent Trap, ‘It’s a Small World (After All)’, ‘I Wanna Be Like You’ (The Jungle Book), The Aristocats, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Winnie the Pooh and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (non-Disney), the Sherman Brothers have enchanted people of all ages for half a century. In this hour of conversation, Richard M. Sherman joins Simon and Brian to talk through the writing of many of these classics in his own inimitable style.

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Martyn Ware and Glenn Gregory of Heaven 17 Episode 37 – Heaven 17: Martyn Ware and Glenn Gregory

Martyn Ware and Glenn Gregory of Heaven 17 chat with Simon and Brian about the creative processes behind songs like ‘(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang’, ‘Let’s All Make a Bomb’ (Penthouse and Pavement) as well as hits like ‘Temptation’, ‘Crushed by the Wheels of Industry’ and lesser known gems from The Luxury Gap such as ‘Let Me Go’ and ‘The Best Kept Secret’. Martyn and Glenn also talk in detail about their early lives in Sheffield, their approach to synthesisers and multi-track recording technology, and early songs for The Human League such as ‘Almost Medieval’ and ‘Being Boiled’.

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Paul Williams Episode 36 – Paul Williams

Paul Williams, the Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe winning Hall of Fame songwriter of hits like ‘We’ve Only Just Begun’ and ‘Rainy Days and Mondays’ (The Carpenters); ‘An Old Fashioned Love Song’, ‘The Family of Man’ and ‘Out in the Country’ (Three Dog Night); ‘You and Me Against the World’ (Helen Reddy), and songs for films such as ‘The Rainbow Connection’ (The Muppet Movie), ‘Evergreen’ (A Star is Born) and the scores for Phantom of the Paradise, Ishtar, and Bugsy Malone, sits down with Sodajerker to talk about his approach to the art and craft of songwriting. Paul also talks in detail about the documentary Paul Williams Still Alive, which chronicles his extraordinary life.

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Harry Shearer Episode 35 – Harry Shearer

Harry Shearer, the actor, writer and musician known for his work on Spinal Tap and The Simpsons, talks with Simon and Brian about writing the songs for his latest album Can’t Take A Hint. In addition to describing his process on songs like ‘Celebrity Booze Endorser’, ‘Deaf Boys’ and ‘Autumn in New Orleans’, Harry talks in detail about his work with Michael McKean and Christopher Guest on Spinal Tap classics like ‘Big Bottom’, and songs from A Mighty Wind, such as ‘Old Joe’s Place’ and ‘The Good Book Song’.

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