WHAT I FELT WHEN I WROTE IT | Michael Franti & Spearhead

After I make a record I gotta learn the songs I’ve recorded. In the studio, it’s usually a quick process. 1. Make a track. 2. Write the words. 3. Record the vocals. Then when it’s time to do shows I gotta go back and memorize 15 songs. Learning the words themselves can be a lot to memorize, but then doing it and playing guitar at the same time can really mess with my dexterity, left brain-right brain action. In this picture, it’s like I’m cramming for an exam right before I go on stage.

Once I can do it by feeling, without thinking about it, I can really put my heart into it and drop back into the emotion I felt when I wrote it.

But learning it can be a beast because truthfully I’m not that talented a singer or guitar player. I have to work hard at both of them. But I do know what it should feel like and that’s the most important piece. One good thing is that if I mess up a brand new song, no one in the audience knows how it was ‘supposed’ to be!!! Ha!!! That’s really staying human!!!

Photo: Renae Saxby