posted on September 25, 2010 at 1:07 pm

make love and war

turn up in a taxi at the studio

go inside the usual assortment of characters ‘anging about

long hair joints drinks some girls record company geezas

i bought my lunch on the way here

its a veggie burger n chips

i get introduced to some people

the band is all arguing with each other

not like this

not like that

no i played it this way

yes but now i play it that way

in a small courtyard i eat my v burger n chips

yeah good its warm n peaceful out here

i’m working on another record

everyone asks me for my opinion

but no one can follow it

my understanding of music cannot be understood

my explanation cannot be explained

i got a different in n take on music to all of these lot

they all need my songs but they dont respect the process behind them

and i’m always too tired to put up a fight i cant win

and i cant win coz theres no right or wrong

i got my way of doing things that works for me

others ‘ve got theirs n never sometimes the twain will mark

i go inside n tinkle round on the piano

a C chord i start to arpeggiate it

modulating a little out

i start trying out different bass notes

ooh that works

i get a little bass pattern going against that C

when the bass goes to a certain note

the arpeggio needs to change to a slightly different set of notes

i take care of that n begin getting my chord progression sorted out

no ones taking much notice of what i’m doing …good…

no pressure when yer actually composing stuff

it takes only five minutes and i gotta great bunch of chords together

i just keep clunking about n till i find what i want

yeah thats a good chord progression

it has to be unusual it has to be poignant

it has to be at least a little bit strange

the bass notes work against the chords nicely

its quite poppy but in a sad sad way

but then it ends on a triumphant kinda feeling

so its confusing what you feel

and in that confusion lies pleasure

the emotions pulled this way n that

put thru their paces in a  procession of chords

its unusual to feel so many feelings

but thats what it does

good music i mean

the kinda music i myself like

like you cant decide what its made you feel

and in that decision is the magic

so i go on playing the piano

it gets miked up

i record my chord prog against a click track

this is harder than it looks

it takes a while to figure out the real tempo the song should be

and what kinda click i want

even when its sorted the song feels like it wants to race here

and lag there

but the click rightly or wrongly forces the whole thing to be even

eventually i get it all down

my hands like arthritis

my brain is smoking after nailing all that (for me) tricky stuff

i sit back n listen

wow the steinway sounds grande

piano is such a complete instrument in itself

after dinner i pick up the bass

and the part comes naturally to me as expected

my fingers figure it out

i sit there waiting for my fingers to get it

to nail it

the fingers slur n slide about semi-autonomously

the bass riff just appears outta nowhere too

it fits nicely against the piano

as if it was “meant” to be like that….

dear readers

ran out of steam on this one

will put up a new post soon


34 Responses to “music blog 13/13”

  1. avatar
    Lady Di | 25 September 2010 at 1:56 pm #

    Ladies and Gentlemen! Move over Sir Larry, Terence, there’s a fine young actor poised to take your place. Anyone who saw Van Park would have to agree. Yeah, JPY was good, but SK stole the show. A magnificent performance by our multi-talented, humble hero. Not only can he act, but what a dancer as well. SK, you cut some groovy moves up there. I can picture you and NK tripping the light fantastic when the kids have gone to bed.

    You were showing a bit of leg there in one scene – not that there’s anything wrong with that. I certainly enjoyed it! I’ve a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot more acting by you in the years to come. You’re a natural. I knew that after the Bondi play.
    Watch this space folks.

  2. avatar
    Jonny Hollywood | 25 September 2010 at 2:01 pm #

    make love and world war 3…

  3. avatar
    dwellingwell | 25 September 2010 at 2:07 pm #

    Reminds me of a deserved sarcastic comment : “All is fair in love and War”. I prefer Love these days. Anyways. I would like to chime in about Modulation. . This friend of my was telling me how he heard an interview with this lady(he couldn’t remember her name) who wrote more Hits that the Beatles. She was saying how her secret was modulation.If done right, the listener is barely aware of it . It breaks up the tune and makes it so the listener is less likely to get bored. . . Gong were great at that. Some Pop bands do it very well (Supergrass etc) The track ” 25 O’Clock” by the Dukes of Stratosphear has some good modulations. Monochrome set were good at it too.

  4. avatar
    Therese | 25 September 2010 at 2:10 pm #

    Hey Mr Natural, the Actor extroadinaire!
    Loved the play, you’ve got a natural gift for acting, you looked so at ease and could tell u were really enjoying it, the role was made just for u, couldn’t have had anyone else. The music was very groovy, and there were a lot of very funny things happening. Glad you explained what was going on with u at the end, that was a scream, and the flashing lights, must have been quite hot! It went too quickly, now waiting for Van Park Part 2. Loved the dancing, you’re a very good dancer, good timing with the music and the yoga came in handy afew times too. JPY was very good, but the olde hippy stole the show. Think the show should go on the road. You’re very lucky with career choices – musician, poet, composer, author, actor ….. get sick of one and choose another. Congrats on a stellar performance, love to c it again. Awaiting news of the next play.
    Lovely to meet the beautiful doodles, they certainly have grown. Eve seems to be a natural leader, and good to see Aurora back to good health and being happy.
    You and nk have done a very good job with the girls and they had good manners thanks to you both.
    It was good to see you again and very much looking forward to the upcoming gigs.
    Have a happy weekend.

    Peace & love

  5. avatar
    Jasperina | 25 September 2010 at 3:42 pm #

    Have just taken a break from throwing bowls on the wheel. The creative thinking process you describe in your music is similar to the artmaking one for me. Hearing that inner conversation of yours resonated strongly with me. There is no right and wrong way…what a metaphor for life! I teach ceramics, drawing and printing so I’m continually pondering and playing with ways to impart this creative thread to others.

  6. avatar
    hellbound heart | 25 September 2010 at 3:59 pm #

    a pinch of this, a dash of that, a sprinkle of something else, add a few mystery ingredients and hey presto!

    love always……..

  7. avatar
    Melissa | 25 September 2010 at 4:03 pm #

    Hi Steve! 🙂 Van Park last night was fantastic, I’m so happy I was able to see this while I’m on my holidaze in Sydney. You should be very proud of yourself, you did a marvelous job (and you’re a pretty groovy dancer too, but you probably know that already!)

    I thought Cora James (who plays Gypsy Fire) was pretty damn fine too!!! She’s so cool 🙂

    Can’t wait for the melby gigs next month now 🙂

    take care xx

  8. avatar
    cazziem | 25 September 2010 at 4:56 pm #

    Oh to be a fly on the wall! Sounds as though it was somewhat draining SK, but productive never the less? Have to admit whether it’s been my poetry, cooking or tinkering about on my keyboard, when I get the end result the way I want it a lot of the time I haven’t a clue how I got there and replicating it is an almost impossibility!

    However, that said, does this mean we’ll be hearing something new soon???

  9. avatar
    captain mission | 25 September 2010 at 6:41 pm #

    yeah from merchant of venice beach to van park, wow, you got the acting chops down. what a great play, you definitely were the bees knees as neb. what a character.

    great blog today, i always read very carefully when you give your song writing secrets away, the creative process is such an incredible gift and you seem to have such an original or if not original, it certainly is rare, take on it. these insights are precious to anyone involved or aspiring to write or pursue a creative outlet so i’m grateful for them.

    i’m currently reading a brilliant book that i would say is a companion book to the ‘secret history of the world’ it’s called ‘the complete guide to the soul’ and takes off where secret history finished. i think you will really dig it steve, lots of connections with your processes and some of your earlier posts on creativity spirit and the universe.
    me thinks you are initiated in some of these principles.

  10. avatar
    BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 25 September 2010 at 7:00 pm #

    Thank u so much for that intriguing look in2 the mind of a Time Being. I guess i was a bit confused, after reading NCA (by the way i have a excellent pic of u , Peter, and Marty sharing a page or two on stage at House of Blues here in Chicago…want it?), i was under the impression that often the guys would piece 2gether a chord run or two…maybe and entrance/exit, and u would take parts of that/their concept(s)…leave to be alone so the soul can reach full empowerment and return in time…some time…or even a little amount of time and have the structure almost complete to the creative piece. As u continue ur endeavors in2 “all media” i am amazed at the writings, the art, well and of course being a father…but a u stated in a post not so long ago. You are a songwriter- best one in my opinion for 30+ years . You have adapted, evolved and intrigued the masses here on the this site and across the universe. My only complaint…or should i say sad loss, was not witnessing P=A performed live here in the states, my beloved Chicago. The finest example of perfection that ANY band could ever possibly achieve P=A !!!!. The closing: “old flame-chaos-film” is the shit, the real genius that i put up against anything written by any1- and they lose all the time. Im very biased on my opinion and will always remain unchanged. Your a song writer…you will leave ur imprint on society and the future with ur many fantastic endeavors but…the music will stand the real test of time, and the 5 ladies of course. Hell, we still hum and sing “unguarded moment” and that was , what like 50 or 60 years ago…right??? Iv been writing since 12 yrs old and (crap) that was over 30+ years ago. Iv tried different techniques and always found the lyrical structure the staring point-than bass/percussion- entrance and exit, and all my chord changes, runs and riffs being my completion. wish i could email couple of these finished paintings that i have dedicated some time to. just to get a simple feedback or laughingly hostile disapproval-(STEVE PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS-THAT COULD AND WOULD NEVER HAPPEN).
    Anyways-thanks for a peak into ur creative process, im printing and gonna give it a little go when i can find ANY time to myself.

    Darrin K.

  11. avatar
    jaime r.. | 25 September 2010 at 8:32 pm #

    Enjoy the fuss and the noise.. make the most and the best of it…. the church are something that many bands cant suss out.. and its all there.. in the noise.. in the chaos.. made outta love most definite.. take it and make it.. and treat it lovingly and delicate.. it is an art and a dance.. enjoy it.. this isnt just amusement.. there is a reason we are all here..

  12. avatar
    Freddie | 25 September 2010 at 10:08 pm #

    What do you mean “ran out of steam”? That was a real nice one!

    Well moondoggie, I figure that songs are a process because if God revealed all that to you at once, you’d probably go blind. There’s been accounts of several fellows going blind throughout history by trying to see too much! A blind prophet, there’s an oxymoron for ya!

  13. avatar
    M E M | 25 September 2010 at 11:03 pm #

    kinda sounds like a painterly process to me- artists are lucky if we understand each other at all – yet tried and true it all breaks on through in the end – to the other side – yea -break on through – break on through – MEM

  14. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 26 September 2010 at 6:57 am #

    If the music industry was based on merit Steve Kilbey and the other three members of The Church would have mansions in Australia, England and the United States (New York or California or Florida.)

    • avatar
      BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 26 September 2010 at 9:01 am #

      I am in total agreement with you. Except the locations. Chicago is THE ONLY CITY in these great states that has it all. All the beautiful seasons, Music (we have the legendary Cabaret Metro-my first church concert in 1984 and its still as intimate today as than, Dining,worlds best skyline, real pizza and hot dogs actually made here, and of course: THE STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS !!!!

      TOP THAT !!!!
      Darrin K.

      Also, the greatest indie band ever– Dispatch- would be allowed to put their differences aside and reform to continue the amazing sound of Chad-Pete-Braddigan. Hell…their farewell show (the Last Dispatch), a free concert, drew over 110K fans from all over the world-I was there and iv seen nothing like it EVER. They have it on a DVD documentry, its easy to find. Than couple years later -sold out 3 consecutive nights at MSG 360 degrees for the children of Africa.

  15. avatar
    Steven Krut | 26 September 2010 at 10:52 am #

    I’m fascinated by the creative process and love it whenever you provide a story about writing a song or being in the studio. And, of course, I’m always very eager to hear what it is you’ve come up with. Peace.

  16. avatar
    Cocoamo | 26 September 2010 at 11:37 am #

    Hey Steve

    I am so envious of those who are there to see your play–at any rate, congratulations on what sounds like another successful display of your unbelievable talent!

    How wonderful to get a glimpse of your songwriting process. I have never doubted that this falls under the 1% inspiration 99% perspiration heading. Much work, skill, experience, and silicone thumb (whatever you call the ability people have to extract magic from technology). Craftsmanship plus creativity equals excellence–spellbinding, mesmerizing, mindblowing–

    I took a course in proofreading once. They said you can never proofread your own writing because when you read a sentence you wrote yourself, you see not only the words that had been written, but also all the thoughts and emotions you experienced that were distilled by those words. I often wonder if the same is true of your listening to your own music?

    I suppose that is a mystery that will remain unanswered.

    I will say this – I don’t like to know the secrets of magic tricks. I prefer to be dumfounded, delighted, and amazed by the sleight of hand. When it comes to your music, I keep myself a little in the dark on what instruments were used, who played them, etc., and prefer just to be swept away. Still, it is so cool to hear a little about how it all happens.

    With all my heart, best wishes for continued success (and solutions to the challenges) in all parts of your life…

    Your friend in Pennsylvania (now in Cocoa Beach)

  17. avatar
    davem | 26 September 2010 at 4:49 pm #

    I was really enjoying that.
    Hope you’re ok.

  18. avatar
    dwellingwell | 26 September 2010 at 8:12 pm #

    They just gotta write some tunes for Lady Gaga to get one of them mansions on the hill.True north has gone south. I met Ray Manzerek once at a book signing on Haight Street. I asked him :”Ray, would you consider the Doors to be the 1st Nietzschean Pop band? ” He perked up and smiled and said :”Oh yes most definitly” The 80’s had a bit of that going on. In this clip they even mention him “Watch out for a surprise, it’s Nietzsche’s biggest price and if it comforts you, discover it’s a small world too” The Church were in that headspace to me.”Sisters” and “Is this where you live” etc. Amazing period in Music. The wasteland has grown a lot since then

    • avatar
      ASSMIDGET | 26 September 2010 at 8:36 pm #

      “so its confusing what you feel
      and in that confusion lies pleasure” SK

      “You know that I love you, boy
      Hot like Mexico, rejoice
      At this point I gotta choose
      Nothing to lose” GaGa

      Lady Gaga’s meat dress will be made into jerky

  19. avatar
    princey | 26 September 2010 at 8:57 pm #

    Hi sk, love the blog and congrats to THE CHURCH for the ARIA Hall Of Fame induction :)clapclapclap, but of course it’s happening in Sydney this time arrrgh!
    Bought my ticket to the DingDong gig today, can’t wait!
    love Amanda

  20. avatar
    randompan | 26 September 2010 at 11:59 pm #

    kilbo, that was a funny quote ” an industry we’re happy to be
    part of”. good stuff that one….

    • avatar
      eekie | 27 September 2010 at 7:34 pm #

      I bet quite a few of us (at least those with decent memories) got a snicker out of that one. Pretty slick there, Steve. 😉

  21. avatar
    BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 27 September 2010 at 12:21 am #

    CONGRATS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    On your so to be induction in the ARIA Hall of Fame 2010 !!!!!!
    Peter, Marty, Tim and yourself are truly worthy of such a prestigious honor.
    Now, We here in the states need to get our acts together and REALLY obtain the information and process to have you be elected in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.

    Again … CONGRATS !!!!!!!
    Have a great day- this news must put a smile across those new pearly whites!

    As Always,

    Also, all the fans of “the church” worlwide will be greatly interested in seeing the ceremony live, or a taped production. So-please let us all know what we need to do.


  22. avatar
    veleska1970 | 27 September 2010 at 12:51 am #

    hey, i just heard that the church are being inducted into the aria hall of fame next month. congratulations!!

    lotza love….

  23. avatar
    thehoneybeesdream | 27 September 2010 at 3:50 am #

    fascist of fortunces hammered in to one saye i

  24. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 27 September 2010 at 4:14 am #

    Dear Broken Toys and Heros.

    Good public relations for Chicago. Dart for Mayor !! Sk would like a guy that busts people for killing dogs, cats, horses and other companion animals. He would love the Chicago Diner’s savory vegan food too !

    • avatar
      BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 27 September 2010 at 9:04 am #


      About a month ago SK complimented and suggested a fantastic fiction novel called “Powder” by Kevin Sampson. I have read this book many times,(before Steve even mentioned it) and just completed it again. You can research the storyline, but simply put: Fictional art/rock band from England who start obscure and blaze to stardom based off one song (sound a tad familiar?). Along the way all the sex, drugs, sex, and detailed behind dealings of a rock band are beautifully potrayed and each character is memorable , especially Keva Mcclusky (singer/songwriter). If u have not read this book, i would like to send it to u free of charge as long as u agree to read and review it, than use this fantastic community to forward it on to some1 else to continue the process. No, its not as good as NCA, but thats more bio. Kinda a chain-letter for rock and roll. Let me know what u think. Thanks for the kind words regarding my city, the mayor of this city-now, then, or in the future means nothing to us/me – hell a famous council member lives acroos the alley from me and he is a fucknuckle(as Steve would say). Its the citizens that keep this city thriving on along with the arts, music, sports, and culture. The most visually stunning environment to witness- daily.

      As Always,
      Darrin K.

  25. avatar
    Andreas | 27 September 2010 at 7:18 am #

    Hi SK, congrats on the ARIA hall of fame induction!!! Very well deserved !!!
    You’re number 1.

  26. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 27 September 2010 at 8:02 am #

    Accolades, Laudation, Approbation and Commendation for The Church. Finally, the best band (way better than Radiohead) get some appreciation.

    I only know three realities.

    Being vegan/vegetarian is a spiritual, moral and ecological imperative.
    The Church are the greatest band in the world.
    Jeff Beck is the greatest electric guitarist ever.

    • avatar
      BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 28 September 2010 at 9:59 am #

      My favorite guitarist will always be Alan Holdsworth- Yeah thats crazy coming from me who was a hard-core punk guitarist back in mid 80’s while managing record stores and partying with the likes of to many industry types and metal/punk heads.

      Beck is great (i agree to that)


  27. avatar
    Therese | 27 September 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    Congrats to you and the band for the long overdue induction into the Aria Hall of Fame. Was reading the paper yesterday morn having breakfast and luckily the cup of tea didn’t go all over me when I read it and yelled Yes, Hurray!!!!! So glad it’s going to be televised, and that Julia Z is hosting it. What a nite it’s gonna be, clear a space on your bookshelf.
    Reckon it’s been your year for a change, so many good things are happening and for sure there’s more to come in the pipeline. I raise a toast to you and the band, CHEERS!!!

    Peace & love

  28. avatar
    dwellingwell | 27 September 2010 at 7:26 pm #

    If anyone can get me in touch with Lady gaga on here that would be fantastic. I just wrote some lyrics for her and would like to get them to her.

    I think of Zeno and the time of the Oracle
    When the Sunset slower than was ever known
    that kindled seance in the element of Godz
    When fire threw shadow and the mystery shown

  29. avatar
    anafreelovesgaga | 13 October 2010 at 4:19 pm #

    Anyway, I think Gaga is the best. I recorded myself singing her songs, give me some advice!
    Hope people like it, lol.

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