Originally I was going to write about a song I recorded with that mad sonic professor known as Milanese, but since the tune is still on the operation table and it’s nowhere close to being patched up I chose “Miss Pacman” instead. This 12″ is my debut single as a solo artist, and it will be out on DJ Shir Khan’s Exploited label on July 14th, so hopefully by the time you read these words you will also be able to listen to the song.
My creativity is driven by compulsion. I create because I have a deep urge to do it and when I am not performing or recording I feel depressed or to say the least unhappy. I suppose it’s like this because I interact with life on an emotional level, so apart from storing up images, ideas, pictures and random free associations, I also store up emotional imprints. And once I reach that certain point, where there is no more free space left on my internal slate I wipe it clean by writing and recording.
5 Out of 10
The process of writing a song always starts with the beat. I always tell producers that it takes about 5-10 beats to find the right one for me to write to. I wouldn’t say that I’m picky with the instrumentals, but I certainly look for beats that I feel, specifically the ones which create a strong emotional picture in me, and it takes a while to find those. In a way I write the movie to the soundtrack. I create the story to go along with the mood of a song.
Once I find the right beat I try to clear my mind and allow the pictures to well up naturally. At this point I also turn up the sound system and just start mumbling to myself to get a feel of the track rhythmically and harmonically. I also start throwing out random phrases until I find the first line of the song, which captures one of the polaroids floating through my mind. Once I get the first line I just allow the words to flow without forcing them, trusting that they will make sense once they hit the paper, and somehow they always do. The term blackout is a good way to describe this because in some way this state of mind is the equivalent of a trance. And I cannot overemphasize how important it is to have the right beat to be able to do this. If you only like the beat and you don’t feel it you start forcing the song and by doing so you never hit that peak point. Once I peak I write something like 3-4 verses, a chorus and a c-part. And that’s pretty much how a song is born.
The idea for this song came from a quote taken from Kristian Wilson, the Vice President of Nintendo that I randomly found somewhere on Myspace: “Computer games don’t affect kids; I mean if Pac-Man affected us as kids, we’d all be running around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills and listening to repetitive electronic music.” The thing is I always wanted to write a song about clubbing and this was the exact image I needed to make it happen. Big ups to whomever it was that dug this up and put it on their profile!!!
Even before I found the right instrumental I already had an idea for the “main character” of the song – a blue pill popping party girl by the name of Miss Pacman. At this point it was also clear to me that my solo LP will be about love and relationships, a sort of Wong Kar Wai version of the Kieslowski Three Colors film series, so I knew the basic frame I was working with to focus the songs thematically. The song had to be about love or sex.
Weeks later I received a batch of beats from Boris Meinhold of Micatone and they all happened to be on this Neon Ed Bangeresque sort of tip – like an answer to a prayer. I skipped through all of them to see which one had that special something, that feeling to push me to start writing and the instrumental with Eva Be singing on the chorus (“You can’t leave without doing this”) was the one. Originally the song was arranged for the dance floor and didn’t have too much space for vocals so I rearranged it with Boris into a standard verse-chorus-verse song structure.