Country noir superstar Gretchen Peters explains the process she embarks upon when creating the cinematic and socially conscious songs that have become her calling card. In our in-depth conversation, the Nashville stalwart describes the writing of recent albums like Blackbirds and Dancing With The Beast, her classic hits for the likes of Martina McBride, Bonnie Raitt and Trisha Yearwood, and her collaborative partnership with Bryan Adams.
In this mini bonus podcast episode, Simon and Brian chat about the experience of attending the 64th Ivor Novello Awards ceremony in London on 23rd May as guests of the Ivors Academy, the independent trade body for songwriters and composers in the UK. This year?s winners included The 1975, Wiley, Deep Purple, Natasha Khan, Jonny Greenwood, Mariah Carey, Richard Ashcroft, and former podcast guest Dido (who received the award for Outstanding Song Collection).
In this very special episode, the one and only Sting talks about approaching his classic hits from a fresh perspective on his new record, My Songs. With his guitar to hand, the singular artist sits down at home in London with Simon and Brian to reveal the creative processes behind one of pop's most extraordinary catalogues.
Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Rhiannon Giddens joins us to discuss her new record, There Is No Other, made in collaboration with Francesco Turrisi. During the course of this in-depth conversation, Rhiannon describes the spontaneous process fuelling their work together, the historical resonance attached to songs like 'Mama's Cryin' Long' and 'At The Purchaser's Option', and how telling these stories informs her mission as an artist.
Singer-songwriter Gaz Coombes discusses the writing of songs from his excellent solo albums, World's Strongest Man and Matador, as well as hits with his former band, Supergrass. During the conversation, Gaz explains how he develops ideas in the studio and how he has expanded his songwriting palette to include the art of 'soundwriting'.
Britt Daniel of Spoon sits down with Simon and Brian in Liverpool to talk about the writing of songs like 'I Turn My Camera On', 'The Underdog', 'The Ghost of You Lingers' and 'New York Kiss', as well as songs from the band's addictive recent offering, Hot Thoughts. During the chat, Britt plays us an early voice memo of 'Can I Sit Next To You' and explains how he develops his ideas from handheld recorder to the finished article.
Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash discusses the writing of her stunning record She Remembers Everything and songs from her catalogue including 'Seven Year Ache', 'Seventh Avenue' and 'When The Master Calls The Roll'. In this inspiring conversation, Rosanne describes her relationship to prose writing, her collaborations with her husband John Leventhal, and encouragement she received from her father, the late, great, Johnny Cash.
Prefab Sprout's Paddy McAloon joins Simon and Brian to talk about the writing process behind his orchestral masterpiece I Trawl The Megahertz. In this in-depth conversation, Paddy explains the unusual situation that led to the record, how he experimented with radio dialogue, voiceover narration, and his ancient Atari computer to create its fascinating soundscapes. This episode represents Sodajerker's first ever repeat guest, with Paddy having appeared originally on episode 53.
Singer-songwriter Jamie Lawson talks about his songwriting process and hits to date, including the affecting 'Wasn't Expecting That'. Jamie also describes his time in Nashville and collaborations with songwriters like Ed Sheeran, Kim Richey and Ron Sexsmith. His next record The Years In Between is available from March 29, 2019.
In this fun conversation, Dido discusses the writing of her new album Still On My Mind and explains how she approaches the production process. In addition to talking about collaborations with brother Rollo, Brian Eno, Jon Brion and Max Martin, Dido describes the creation of global hits like 'Thank You' and 'White Flag', and the turn of events that led to being sampled on Eminem's 'Stan'.
Hozier joins Simon and Brian for a chat about the writing of his new album Wasteland, Baby! In addition to discussing songs like 'Movement', 'Almost (Sweet Music)' and his work with the great Mavis Staples on 'Nina Cried Power', the Irish singer-songwriter also revisits the writing of songs from his first album, such as 'In A Week' and the colossal hit, 'Take Me To Church'.
Celebrated record producer and songwriter Trevor Horn discusses his new album Trevor Horn Reimagines The Eighties and his work with ABC, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Grace Jones, Malcolm McLaren, Yes and Buggles. Trevor reveals how he started out in cabaret, why recording studios are still important, and the writing processes behind seminal hits like 'Video Killed the Radio Star', 'Close (to the Edit)', 'Slave to the Rhythm' and 'Owner of a Lonely Heart'.
Simon and Brian speak with one-woman hit factory Diane Warren, whose career-making songs have produced timeless collaborations with the likes of Celine Dion, Aerosmith, Cher, LeAnn Rimes and Toni Braxton. In this episode, Diane talks about her work ethic, her approach to 'method songwriting', and writing her latest Oscar contender 'I'll Fight', as performed by Jennifer Hudson for the Ruth Bader Ginsburg documentary, RBG.
Mike Posner, the singer-songwriter, poet, rapper and record producer behind global successes like 'I Took A Pill In Ibiza' and 'Cooler Than Me', discusses the writing of his biggest hits as well as the creative process behind his moving new album A Real Good Kid. Mike also talks about his work on songs for the likes of Justin Bieber, Nick Jonas and Maroon 5.
Simon and Brian visit synth maestro Howard Jones to talk about the writing behind two of his seminal solo albums, Human's Lib and Dream Into Action, newly remastered and expanded by Cherry Red Records. In addition to songs like 'What Is Love?', 'New Song', 'Hide and Seek', 'Things Can Only Get Better' and 'Like To Get To Know You Well', Howard talks about his classic synth setup, performing at Live Aid, and his work on Transform, a new electronic album due this year.
The great Elvis Costello sits down with Simon and Brian in Liverpool for an in-depth conversation about the writing of his fantastic new album Look Now including modern classics like 'Under Lime', 'Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter' and 'Stripping Paper'. During the chat, Elvis also reflects on his collaborations with Carole King, Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach and Allen Toussaint, and shares the stories behind songs like 'Oliver's Army', 'Shipbuilding', 'Everyday I Write The Book' and 'God Give Me Strength'.
Vocalist and songwriter Steve Perry joins Sodajerker in London to discuss the writing of his new album Traces as well as some of his classic hits with Journey like 'Open Arms' and 'Don't Stop Believin''. In this candid conversation, Steve talks openly about his complicated relationship with singing, the time he spent away from music, and the impetus that brought him back into the spotlight.
Legendary singer-songwriter David Crosby sits down with Simon and Brian in Manchester to discuss the writing of his stunning new album Here If You Listen as well as songs from his previous solo albums and the Crosby, Stills & Nash catalogue. In the conversation, Croz explains what he learned from songwriters like Joni Mitchell and how his collaborations with the Lighthouse and Sky Trails bands have led to one of the most productive periods of his extraordinary career.
With the release of the 'zeitgeist edition' of her hit album The Architect, Paloma Faith joins us to discuss songs like 'Loyal', 'Your Ex', 'Just Be', 'Crybaby', 'Kings and Queens' and past successes like 'Stone Cold Sober' and '30 Minute Love Affair'. Throughout the course of the conversation, Paloma reflects on the importance of collaboration, her passion for poems and lyrics, and the art of writing from experience.
Further to their interview with Chief Creative Advisor Nile Rodgers, Simon and Brian return to the legendary Abbey Road Studios to sit down with Mirek Stiles (Head of Audio Products) and Mark Robertson (Head of Brand & Marketing) for a chat about the past, present and future of the historic recording complex and the exciting innovations taking place there.
Simon and Brian fulfil another lifelong dream as they sit down with legendary songwriter, producer and guitarist Nile Rodgers at Abbey Road Studios. In this detailed conversation, Nile discusses songs from his new album It's About Time, breaks down his approach to the guitar, and reveals the DHM (deep hidden meaning) behind hits for Chic, Sister Sledge, Diana Ross and David Bowie.
In this bonus chat, Simon and Brian take a moment to reflect on the journey that led them to meeting with Paul McCartney, and the crazy week that preceded the experience.
In this special episode, legendary songwriter and Beatle Paul McCartney sits down with Simon and Brian at The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts to discuss songs from his new album Egypt Station. During the conversation, Paul describes the process of collaborating with Greg Kurstin and Ryan Tedder, how he develops and captures his ideas, his natural flair for melody, and his modular approach to putting different sections together.
Singer-songwriter Miles Kane joins Sodajerker to discuss songs from his new album Coup De Grace including 'Cry On My Guitar', 'Loaded' and 'Shavambacu'. In addition to recalling his early days with The Little Flames and The Rascals, Miles also talks about co-writing with Andy Partridge, Paul Weller, Jamie T, Lana Del Rey and Alex Turner, and discusses his work with the latter for The Last Shadow Puppets.
We sit down with James Skelly and Nick Power of The Coral at Liverpool's Parr Street Studios to discuss the writing of their new album Move Through The Dawn. In addition to reflecting on tuneful new offerings like 'She's A Runaway', 'Eyes Like Pearls' and 'Strangers In The Hollow', the pair remember their mentor Alan Wills and tell the stories behind hits like 'In The Morning', 'Pass It On' and 'Dreaming of You'.
Tom Ogden, Joe Donovan and Charlie Salt of Stockport's own Blossoms talk about the writing of their second album Cool Like You, including songs like 'I Can't Stand It', 'Unfaithful', 'There's A Reason Why (I Never Returned Your Calls)', 'How Long Will This Last' and 'Stranger Still'. The band reflect on the role of synthesisers on this record, how the group dynamic imbues the songs with specific qualities, and their relationship with producer and mentor James Skelly.
In this episode, Simon and Brian visit the London studio of Grammy and Ivor Novello-winning songwriter and producer Fraser T Smith. Fraser talks about the writing of songs like 'Set Fire to the Rain' (Adele), 'Break Your Heart' (Taio Cruz) and 'Broken Strings' (James Morrison) and reflects on his collaborative partnerships with the likes of Stormzy, Craig David and Dave. Fraser also describes his approach to learning by studying online and how he strives to make meaningful work that will resonate over time.
The delightful Fran Healy of Travis discusses the writing of classic songs like 'Driftwood', 'Writing to Reach You', 'Why Does It Always Rain On Me', 'Turn', 'Sing', 'Side' and 'Flowers in the Window'. In the course of the conversation, Fran reflects on the importance of never having a plan, how he make songs relatable, and his new film Almost Fashionable, a documentary about Travis.
Bassist and composer Stanley Clarke sits down with Simon and Brian to chat about his work on solo and Return to Forever tracks like 'Lopsy Lu', 'School Days', 'Hello Jeff' and 'The Magician'. Stanley describes his collaborations with the likes of Louis Johnson ('We Supply'), George Duke ('Let's Get Started') and Gregory Hines ('Bassically Taps') and details his approach to film scoring for movies like Passenger 57 and What's Love Got To Do With It.
Singer-songwriter, composer, arranger, playwright and author Rupert Holmes discusses songs from his lavish new box set Songs That Sound Like Movies: The Complete Epic Recordings from Cherry Red Records. The polymath and raconteur talks Simon and Brian through the writing of classic songs like 'Widescreen', 'Him', 'Timothy', 'Brass Knuckles', 'Studio Musician', 'Terminal', 'Partners in Crime', and of course 'Escape (The Piña Colada Song)'. Rupert also describes writing for Barbra Streisand, collaborating with Marvin Hamlisch, and the secret of managing his many projects.
Andrew W.K. sits down in London with Simon and Brian to talk about his new album You're Not Alone. In this wide-ranging conversation, Andrew describes how his philosophy, his knowledge of music and his instrumental skills inform his approach to writing and recording songs like 'Music Is Worth Living For', 'Party Mindset' and 'You're Not Alone'. The Party God also describes the processes behind some classics from his back catalogue including 'Party Hard' and 'Don't Call Me Andy'.
Singer-songwriter Nell Bryden describes the writing of her recent album Bloom including the songs 'Thought I Was Meant For You', 'Barcelona's Gone' and 'Dared the World and Won'. From the back catalogue, we also go in-depth on 'Sirens', 'Buildings and Treetops' and 'Wayfarer' while Nell reflects on confessional writing styles, using unfamiliar instruments, and the power of prose.
The brilliant Charlie Dore sits down with Simon and Brian to talk about the writing of her most recent album, Dark Matter. Charlie also talks in detail about her classic hit 'Pilot of the Airwaves', working on TV's Rainbow, co-writing songs like 'Ain't No Doubt' (Jimmy Nail), 'Rain, Tax (It's Inevitable)' (Céline Dion), and 'Strut' (Sheena Easton), and her time spent in the company of friends and colleagues like Eric Idle, George Harrison and Harry Nilsson.
To kick off 2018, Simon and Brian sit down with actress and singer-songwriter Rita Wilson to talk about her journey into songwriting, her recent eponymous album, collaborations with a range of world-class writers both in LA and Nashville, and her live music series: Liner Notes: Songwriters, Stories and Music with Rita Wilson and Friends.
This special episode features a sit down with legendary British songwriter Noel Gallagher who talks about his approach to writing the new High Flying Birds album Who Built The Moon? as well as classic Oasis songs like 'Cigarettes & Alcohol' and 'Don't Look Back in Anger'. In describing his work, Noel likens the discipline of songwriting to fishing, and, in that way only he can, expresses his distaste for artists who rely on songwriting teams.
In this episode, Simon and Brian visit the Ealing studios of celebrated UK producer and songwriter Naughty Boy (aka Shahid Khan) for a chat about the writing and production behind songs like 'Diamond Rings', 'Clown', 'Wonder', 'La La La' and 'Runnin' (Lose it All)'. Naughty Boy also talks about his long-standing writing partnership with Emeli Sandé, working with other luminaries like Beyoncé, and completing his next album.
We sit down with Emeli Sandé in her London studio to talk about her excellent new EP Kingdom Coming and a host of classic songs from throughout her career, including 'Clown', 'Heaven', 'Diamond Rings', 'Read All About It, Pt III', 'Hurts' and the transcendent smash 'Next To Me'. Emeli also talks about her songwriting collaborations with artists like Naughty Boy and Alicia Keys.
Singer-songwriter Jake Bugg joins Simon and Brian in London to talk about the writing of his new record Hearts That Strain and songs from throughout his career to date, including: 'How Soon The Dawn', 'Waiting', 'Southern Rain', 'The Man On Stage', 'Two Fingers', 'Slumville Sunrise' and 'Gimme The Love'. Jake also reflects on the co-writing process and his time working with people like Brendan Benson, Mike Crossey and Rick Rubin.
In this special episode, Yusuf aka Cat Stevens meets with Simon and Brian in London for a chat about the writing of his new record The Laughing Apple and classic songs from his back catalogue. Songs discussed include: 'Matthew & Son', 'The First Cut Is The Deepest', 'Wild World', 'Father and Son', 'Moonshadow', '(Remember The Days Of The) Old Schoolyard', 'Heaven/Where True Love Goes' and 'Mighty Peace'.
In this episode, Gary Numan joins Sodajerker in Liverpool for a conversation about the writing of his latest album Savage: Songs from a Broken World including 'My Name is Ruin' and 'Ghost Nation'. Gary also explains his precise approach to lyric writing, why he couldn't care less about analogue versus digital, and the stories behind classics like 'Listen to the Sirens', 'Are 'Friends' Electric?' and 'Cars'.
Ron and Russell Mael of Sparks sit down with Simon and Brian in London to discuss the writing of their terrific new album Hippopotamus. The brothers describe the processes behind the music and lyrics of songs like 'What The Hell Is It This Time?', 'Edith Piaf (Said It Better Than Me)' and 'Missionary Position' alongside classics from their catalogue like 'My Baby's Taking Me Home', 'When Do I Get To Sing 'My Way'' and 'This Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of Us'.
Multi-talented singer-songwriter and former Men At Work frontman Colin Hay talks with Simon and Brian about the writing of his excellent recent album Fierce Mercy. During the episode, Colin reflects on his writing partnership with Michael Giorgiades and tells the stories behind a cornucopia of stunning songs from his back catalogue like 'Down Under', 'Who Can It Be Now?', 'Overkill', 'Waiting For My Real Life To Begin', 'Oh California', 'Send Somebody' and 'If I Had Been A Better Man'.
Singer-songwriter Imelda May sits down with Simon and Brian in Liverpool for a chat about the writing of her recent album Life Love Flesh Blood including songs like 'Black Tears', 'Should've Been You', 'Leave Me Lonely' and 'The Girl I Used To Be'. Imelda also talks about her collaboration with producer T Bone Burnett, co-writing in Nashville, and songs from previous albums like 'Mayhem' and 'It's Good To Be Alive'.
Rising star Declan McKenna talks to Sodajerker about the writing of his fantastic debut album, What Do You Think About The Car?, including the songs 'Humongous', 'Isombard', 'Paracetamol' and 'Brazil'. Declan also reflects on the process of being socially and politically aware in his music.
In this special bonus episode, Simon and Brian answer your questions about the podcast and share some stories and insights from behind the scenes of the show.
Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and guitarist Jason Isbell joins Simon and Brian in London to mark the milestone of the 100th Sodajerker podcast. Jason talks about the writing of his incredible new record, The Nashville Sound, classic songs from his solo and Drive-By Truckers periods, how TV's Hoarders impacted upon the new album, and the songwriting significance of the humble weed vape.
Singer-songwriter Jack Savoretti sits down in Liverpool with Simon and Brian to talk about songs from his career to date and his most recent album, Sleep No More, including 'Catapult', 'Not Worthy', 'When We Were Lovers' and 'Deep Waters'. Jack reflects on the collaborative process, why 'demo' is a dirty word, and how his cultural heritage has influenced his songwriting.
Following the publication of his fascinating memoir Testimony, Robbie Robertson joins Simon and Brian to talk about his songwriting process across a range of projects, from his early work with Ronnie Hawkins, to classic songs for The Band like 'The Weight', 'The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down' and 'Ophelia'. Robbie also describes creative collaborations with Martin Scorsese and Eric Clapton ('It's In The Way That You Use It') and details the processes behind solo tracks like 'Somewhere Down the Crazy River' and 'This is Where I Get Off'.
Singer-songwriter Tom Odell joins us to discuss the writing of songs like 'Another Love', 'Hold Me', 'Wrong Crowd', 'Silhouette' and 'Somehow'. Tom talks about a range of strategies including writing on planes, co-writing with hitmakers like Rick Nowels and Eg White, and using pop's conventional limitations to your advantage.
In this episode, Robyn Hitchcock shares insights into his decades-old relationship with songwriting. Reflecting on the creative process behind such titles as 'Do Policemen Sing?', 'I Often Dream of Trains', 'My Wife and My Dead Wife', 'Balloon Man', 'Strawberries Dress' and 'Trouble in Your Blood', Robyn unpicks an array of Hitchcockian classics in his own inimitable style.