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Is The Knowing the most essential ND album?

Discussion in 'Novembers Doom' started by batmura, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. Novembers Paul

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    I've always seen it like this... The riffs and arrangement of the song is the foundation of the song. Other things are written to make it a complete song. Drums, bass lines, lyrics and vocal patterns, leads, overdubs, keys... To say this is "the last 5% of effort" can be misinterpreted and somewhat insulting to all the other work that went into making it the song it is when complete. The riffs only make up a part of a song. There's been many times we're not sure about a song until all the layers are on top, and then it finally becomes something special, and we've done that since day one. There's never been a single song, since day one, that is 100% a one person effort, other then perhaps the interludes, piano pieces, or single acoustic guitar tracks.

    Take Silent Tomorrow for example. That song is TOTALLY different then what was presented to us. Eric wasn't happy about the changes to it, and perhaps that's why it's not a favorite of his, and I can appreciate that being far from his vision, but that turned out to be a fan favorite, and we still play it live today.

    Bottom line, we always made it work, no matter what the process was, and the end results have been more then pleasing to us.
     
  2. TheNewChupe

    TheNewChupe HTML is not allowed.

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    The percentages I spoke of were not meant to belittle the contributions of other band members. They're in reference to songwriting. I always view the written song and the final full-band, recorded, arranged, produced, mixed, etc. version of a song as two seperate entities. For example, For Every Leaf That Falls is one of my favorite songs I got to work on in the band, and yet there is no recorded version of the song that I feel fully comfortable with or that I think truly represents the song. That's just an example of how a vision for a song and the ultimate physical representation of that song can differ.

    To me, it's the same thing as saying Nora O'Connor didn't help write any of the songs on The Fade, even though she arranged some of her own parts. Arranging is fitting a specific instrumentation part to a previously formulated song. Maybe I just see it differently.
     
  3. Novembers Paul

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    This is actually a great topic for debate.

    To me, several riffs strung together doesn't make it a song. It makes the outline, or foundation of a song. Layers are written and added to create the final piece, which becomes the song. Just like a house, the foundation needs to be strong, but it's NOT a house until all the pieces have been added to the foundation, and the stronger the foundation, the more ideas go into the layers, the better the house when complete.

    This is unless of course you either (A.) write the song to be guitar only, with nothing else layered, or (B.) You write every element of the completed song yourself, taking 100% credit for every element involved. I just feel it completely belittles all the work every other band member who contributes in creating the finished piece. A different vocalist would change the feel and sound drastically, just as if a different bassist would, or a different drummer. To me, arranging is putting riffs in order for flow. Creating bass lines, writing vocal patterns and guitar melodies... This all falls into song writing, not arranging.

    By your definition, what if the drummer sat down, and constructed an entire piece, from beginning to end, and said "OK, here's the drums, write riffs to this." Then by the same definition, the guitar would be arranging around his drums, and not actually creating the song, but just arranging? Seems a bit silly when you look at it that way.

    If you allowed Nora O'Connor to write her own melodies, and passages, then to me, you allowed her to be a part of the song writing process, and she contributed in helping create the song. Granted, there are levels of contribution in the writing, but it's writing none the less. If you wrote her melodies for her, then she didn't. Based on your definition of how and what Nora O'Connor contributed, it's like saying the rest of the band were glorified session players, since it was all just arranged around an already written song? It's sort of egotistical. It was never a one man project where a bunch of people were payed to play what was written for them. If that were the case, then yes, one person should be credited as the song writer. Everyone wrote and created their individual parts, which changed the face and vision of the song, hopefully for the better.

    Sorry my man, as far as the definition of songwriting, we'll just have to agree to disagree.

    This sounds much more heated then it is. I'm not picking a fight with Eric, even though it might read that way. haha! Eric knows I have HUGE love and respect for him, and his talent. Shit, we even asked him to be on "Aphotic" but unfortunately, we couldn't make that happen this time. (Maybe next time?)

    This is just a friendly debate folks. Join in with your opinions too! :)
     
  4. NvmbrsDoom5

    NvmbrsDoom5 Member

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    Unfortunately I think this is one of those things where there isn't a 100% right answer, because it really boils down to personal opinion. My views on the matter tend to lean more towards what Paul thinks about songwriting and the collaborative process of it. On every album from TPHD on, we've credited the entire band with the songwriting, because I think it's just too hard to really determine who is the specific songwriter on a tune when the whole band has had their say and input over the weeks and weeks of songwriting rehearsals and recording of those songs. Even if my raw demo I created of a song all by myself sounds 97% like what the finished product sounds like, then I think the band still deserves credit for that other 3%.

    I suppose when this really comes into play is when you're figuring out publishing rights and royalties, and that's when it can get complicated (and ugly lol), because one person will feel that they deserve the bulk of the credit and earnings, rather than split it four or five ways with other guys who only contributed minor things in comparison which helped form the song and it's sound.

    Yknow honestly, I realise I kinda started this debate with my earlier reply regarding my input on albums like The Knowing and TWTF, but really my point wasn't even about who gets/deserves writing credits on cd booklets or anything like that. My point is that I get a bit upset at how some people tend to perceive things about why certain albums or eras of the band sound the way they do/did. Obviously anyone who knows ND well enough realises that Eric's involvement and style of writing and playing was extremely important to the band at that time, and he helped take ND in an very different direction after "Amid...". But I think that the playing and input of myself, Mary Bielich, and Joe Nunez had a considerable impact on the sound, feel, and vibe of albums like "The Knowing". So while, yes, Eric's departure from the band did mean that there'd be a noted change in the sound and vibe of the band without him, I don't think people realise how much of that "sound" we had was also due to the other components in the band too.

    It's just something I've heard from fans, critics, etc. for years now, and it always bugged me a little. Not wanting to take any credit away from Eric at all for how important he was or talented he was, really it's not even about him at all. It's more to do with the other members getting proper due credit for their importance. Hell, I honestly feel that the absence on TWTF of Mary's playing and bassline ideas and her input she'd have with regards to song-structuring and drum/bass interaction, etc., made a huge difference between the sound/feel of that album and The Knowing, for example. I dunno, everyone is entitled to their own personal feelings and opinions, but when I listen to "The Knowing" I don't think of just one person, to me that's the sound of that entire lineup, it kinda balances out evenly in my head.

    Anyhow, the bottom line is that ND will always give equal credit on our cds to all the members of the band when it comes to songwriting, because I feel that everyone's input is that important to the final result. It doesn't matter to me if one guy gets equal credit as me even if I came up with 3/4ths of the riffs. Maybe if we were raking in loads of dough from songwriting publishing I'd feel differently, but I don't think so, I think keeping things even creates a better vibe, at least in this band it does.

    And ultimately y'know, at the end of the day, I don't really care who gets credit for what, as long as people enjoy what they hear, and knowing that I was a part of it makes me happy.
     
  5. TheNewChupe

    TheNewChupe HTML is not allowed.

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    Good debate, love it.

    I was not really looking for credit, just thought people might be interested in seeing the writing style differences in specific songs.

    As for the songwriting thing, I do still disagree, and that's fine. When you do a cover song, for instance, you are basically taking something someone else wrote and adding your own arrangement or artistic input to it. The best covers, in my opinion, are often those that take the written song and totally transform it into something completely different. That obviously takes tons of time, thought, and talent on the part of the group covering it, but in no way should they actually say they wrote that song. I view songwriting for the band in the same way. That song, when brought in, is more of an idea. The physical recording is merely a representation of that idea, and the idea can be recreated in a number of different iterations. I see the clean versions of the stuff you guys re-recorded for the Sculptured Ivy re-release for examples of that.

    Sounds like we're arguing the 1% inspiration (song writing) vs 99% perspiration (recording the song). I seperate them in my mind. My above percentages apply to that 1% inspiration, not the final recording.

    and yeah, i'm always open to working with you guys!
     
  6. beast from the east

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    It's been quite a while since I REALLY listened to The Knowing. I had forgotten how excellent it is, tbh. I checked out some samples of the re-release yesterday and it does indeed sound fantastic. I put the bug in Santa's ear, so hopefully it will be under the tree in a week.
     

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