ArtistAloud Artist Speak – Composing with Modern Mafia

So there are a hundred different ways one can go about creating a song. The processes that come into play are different with every artist, and what you are about to read is the convoluted manner in which we make our music. We believe that the Artist’s personality comes across in any activity/composition that the artist does, which is why listening to someone’s original music is a true reflection of the kind of artist/musician/person they are. As much as we hate to admit it, we (at Modern Mafia) are a bunch of random, happy, ADD afflicted individuals; and we believe that as much as we try and hide it, it comes across in our music. Anyway, we’ll get to that later. First, how we go about composing.

The beginning of a composition is the most varied part. As you’ve probably heard/read artists say, a song can start off from anywhere. All you need is one good idea to set the process going. This can be absolutely anything from a riff the guitarist makes at home to a melody the vocalist thought up while riding his bike (You get the idea). Any instrument used in the band can start off a song; what generally defines a band is what they decide to do with the idea. For example, we were working on completing the song ‘Daylight’ and Ishaan was trying to compose a layer for the chorus of the song. He came up with a beautiful riff, which sounded great on it’s own, but didn’t somehow mix well with the rest of the track. We liked the riff so much that we decided to base a new song around it, and the new song is the last track off our EP (FX or nothing).

But what is the next step after the initial idea is in place? Well, we see what direction we want to take the song in and we apply that theme to what we already have. This is the part most difficult to put into words, because the process has no fixed method. What we try to do is apply our musical sentiments to the idea and make the song ours. While that sounds extremely cliche, it is the part that defines a bands sound. It is basically the transfer of ideas from an individual in the band to the entire band. Often, we get stuck here and end up wasting a valuable amount of time figuring out what to do and trying to plan the next part of the song. At these times, we just plan what we’ve composed till then and just take the song further with the flow. Sometimes, the best  sections of a song fall into place in this manner.

Once we have the basic pattern of the song clear in our minds, we record a rough version of it and take this back home. We each individually listen to the song over and over again and try to fill in what’s missing or correct any part we don’t like. This is the honing/fine-tuning part of the process, and can take anything from a couple of hours to a couple of weeks and is an invaluable part of the process. After all the corrections and the changes, we keep repeating this part of the process until we are satisfied with the outcome, and voila! Song is composed and ready!

From our EP (Random Sheep), the first and the last tracks are the ones that we have made completely in this manner. The middle two tracks are the happy pop-punk songs, and the other two show our chaotic, ADD styled side. Although we have separate styles in our EP, one can always hear the connect between every song, and this is the most important part of composition. The music must flow not only within a single song, but also from one song to another.

Anyway, thank you for bearing with our views on composing and life in general! Check our music out at the following links, cheers!

(link to EP on AA) – http://www.artistaloud.com/artists/Modern-Mafia/94327

(link to Facebook) – https://www.facebook.com/#!/modernmafiaindia

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