June 19, 2014
Common spent most of his youth in Pensacola, FL where he found his brother’s guitar and began writing songs when he was 13. There, he founded and fronted Bunkhouse Jones, released two records, and toured small venues around the country. He built a reputation for writing gritty, honest songs. His band, Rainville released two albums to critical acclaim nationally and in Europe, and toured from 1999 to 2004. Common then explored different musical territory that surfaced on Good To Be Born (2006) and Why Birds Fly (2007). Backed by the Blinding Flashes of Light, a large group of musicians from Denver’s indie scene, Common released Beautiful Empty in 2011.
Consenses Interview with Sally Taylor:
What was your mood the day you got this picture? What were you feeling about the task of creating a song from an image?
I wasn’t in the mood to write.
What was your first thought or gut reaction to seeing this picture? What thought/sound/memory/lyric came first?
I didn’t feel any connection at first. I felt stumped and stymied.
Was there anything specific in the image you were drawn too?
The vastness of the space and the little lighthouse staring into it struck me.
What story did the photograph tell you?
none, really… more of a feeling.
How did you use the image to create this song? (aka. Did you pin it up in your studio? Only look at it briefly? etc)
Only looked at it twice, very briefly.
What was your process from getting the photo to the completed song?
I didn’t immediately get inspired by the photo. i just kept thinking about it, in my mind. And then a song fragment I wrote a million years ago (hyperbole – it was probably 10 years old) came to me. so i sat down, tried to remember it, did, and then finished the song.
What does your song mean to you? Tell me the story about it’s meaning as it relates to you.
I was on tour years and years and years ago and played a hotel that had a music venue in it in Flagstaff, AZ. I remember feeling tired, alone, jaded and road worn. there were two girls in the bar that night, drinking and talking after we finished. I remember looking at the dark haired one and imagining she and i having a conversation that flirted with disaster and each other. the song is about doing that… of course, I didn’t do that in the real world. it was more perfect in my head.
I felt that lighthouse that night.
Did you enjoy this project?
Is there anything else you want to say about your process or about the project as a whole?
It was fun. Thanks for reaching out!