A lot went into writing your favorite song, but how much do you really know about it? This week Andrew Gilfert, guitarist and back-up vocalist of Seattle alt-rock band Entwine By Design, delves into finding his spiritual side, singing to a crowded room and writing something relatable.
Song: "Death Like Diamonds"
Album: Self-Titled EP
Release Date: Dec 11, 2012
When it was written: I wrote the songs for the EP over the past three years.
Where was it written: I started writing the lyrics in my head when I was walking home one day, and finished the music at my house where I currently live.
Favorite line in the song: There's a line in the first verse, "All the lights blind me tonight." Sometimes we can all act blindly and forget about what's really important in life. When I wrote the song I guess I was trying to figure out what that was. At the time, I was being pulled in a lot of different directions by the band, my friends, family and work. I really couldn't see the course to take.
Which part was the hardest to come up with: The most difficult part of the song was the arrangement. Fitting the lyrics to the verses and the chorus came pretty easily. I spent weeks trying to piece it together. I wanted a definite sound change from verse to chorus, so I ended up going with a small build up before each chorus to really make it stand out. That also gave more time for more lyrics and make it easier to tell the story. I wanted there to be a big sound in the recording with layered guitars and keys, but I knew the song needed to be very vocal driven. So it was important to not overpower the lyrics. When I write, it's really easy for me to end up with too many ideas running through my head. It's only when I try to add too much that I'll lose a song.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be: I would have liked to strip the verses down a bit more and explored with more space when we were the studio, but we were really on a time crunch. I think the song came out great though.
Odd fact about song: The song has a very edgy sound and can seem almost dark at times, but the message is of good fellowship. I want people to get something positive out of our music. When I write, I try to take my own experiences as well as other peoples and turn it into a story they can relate to, and hopefully get something positive back from it.
What was your inspiration for writing the song: The past few years I haven't become religious, but definitely more spiritual. Its helped me to look at life in ways I never have before and perceive my actions through the eyes and ears of someone else. I had been living in different places trying to figure what I wanted to do, and I knew it was time to start a project that could give back. I really wanted to write music that I would want to hear and something people would enjoy.
When was your favorite time performing it live: We had actually shelved the song while working on new material and hadn't played it in a long time. Then a week before we had a show coming up in Seattle and we decided to get another band and put on a show at our house. We had played the song at a lot of venues, but there's just a certain energy about being a foot from your audience in an over-packed room of people singing along that's different. I don't know how long "Death Like Diamonds" will keep popping up in our sets, since we're already heading back into the studio for another release and have a lot of new material. It will always be one of those songs that defined us early as a band and got a great response from people.
What is the meaning behind the song: The meaning is pretty straight forward. Figure out what's important in life, put your pride to the side, and just go for it. I know that's a lot easier said than done. Our pride can easily take over if we let it. It puts up walls around ourselves, creating distance from those who care about us. It's so easy to get caught up in every day bullshit and people forget what really matters. There's so much garbage floating around on TV, the internet, and other media that you can forget what your suppose to be doing on this planet. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!