Chris Difford, a double Ivor-Novello award winning lyricist, is one of the countries most respected songwriters. With Squeeze co-founder Glen Tilbrook he has written countless classics such as 'Cool For Cats', 'Up The Junction' and 'Labelled With Love'. Chris has also co-written with artists such as Elton John, Bryan Ferry, Paul Carrack, Lamont Dozier and Willie Mitchell amongst others. With 16 Squeeze albums, 3 solo albums, 52 American Tours, 50 Uk Tours, countless top 20 hits and a variety of global hits under his belt, who better than Chris to share his songwriting experiences:
- Do you have a daily songwriting routine or do you wait for inspiration to strike? Once it was a daily routine, these days it's when it gives, there is no routine.
- Do you have any tricks to get the creative juices flowing? I have to be in the cheese on toast state of mind and then I'm gone into writers world.
- Do you find you normally start with a melody or lyrics? I do not write top line, I did back in the 70's, just words, and that's great for me.
- Do you think that melody is the most important aspect of a song? No its the lyrics, but then I would say that.
- How long does it take you to write a song? Between 10 and 15 minutes if it's a good song, if not then it could take hours and it's a plonker.
- Could you explain a little about the writing process behind a few of your songs? All of my songs speak for themselves and come from either a dark place or a place of little light, I love them all.
- What songs that other people have written do you particularly admire? I admire any songs that Justin Currie writes and there are others, many in fact.
- Do you think that a technical knowledge of theory is important or does it get in the way? I would not know, I use a pencil and a sense of humour.
- Do you tend to revisit your songs and rewrite them? No, not unless I'm lost for words.
- Do you write songs with a view to being commercial and following current trends? I write for me and if that works for you then it's a hit, I try not to follow any other leads.
- Have you done much co-writing, and if so what do you see as the benefits? I love to write with others, co writes are so amazing it gives the water to my plant and visa versa.
- Who do you view as great songwriters. Who has inspired you musically/ lyrically? Elvis Costello, I love his words and his twist of words back in the old days when words were key.
- Do you feel that when there's conflict/struggle in your life that it inspires better songs? Mostly, I feel happy and write but trouble helps too.
- Do you have any idea where you ideas come from? I have no idea. I'm so lucky that I can write songs and feel what they mean, I have the best job in the world.
- Do you have any advice you'd like to share with budding songwriters out there? Keep it simple and love the things you connect with and then nail them in verse and chorus.
Click on the following to find Chris on the web.