LMNOP’s new record, whatNOP dONW7, will be released on July 16th and is fantastic. Raw, pure, and poetic.
Sweet Sweet Music spoke to Stephen Fievet about the fear of digital recording technology, the urge to create, and his new $ 15 guitar amp.
How did this record come together?
A cheap dusty amplifier was the initial stimulus. A cool guy at a yard sale sold me his guitar amp for $15. I figured it would sound like crap. But it has a real kickass sound. That amp helped me overcame my fear of digital recording technology. Now I don’t give a damn if I understand it or not. And I also don’t care if things get dusty or broken during the process. Things work best when I randomly hit buttons and twist knobs without really knowing what I’m doing.
The meaning of success has changed over the years. What would success look like for the new record?
You are right about that. People once considered success to be specific things like money and fame (some are still in this limiting mindset). But I don’t think that’s the case as much now. Success is your mind. If you feel good about something you’ve created, in my opinion, you have achieved success. So the new one’s already a success in that respect.
How great is the urge to stay creative? To keep writing songs and lyrics?
I don’t understand the urge to create but it apparently is compulsive. Melodies and arrangements randomly appear in my head and for some reason, I feel compelled to capture them. I’ve got hundreds and hundreds of song ideas stored away for future reference. There’s no way I could ever use them all.
As an artist, you chose to show your emotions to the world. Is it always comfortable to do so?
It feels very comfortable. I rarely share very private thoughts with people I know. It’s much easier to share those thoughts in songs. When I was very young it meant a great deal to me when songwriters really spoke to me through their lyrics. So I attempt to do the same. Some songwriters helped me get through some very rough times with their honesty. I agree with you, lyrics are often taken for granted.
When was the last time you thought ‘I just wrote a hit!’?
That would probably be this year when I was working on “Things.” The damn thing got stuck in my head like glue. It seemed like it would make a good lead track. But it almost did not make it onto the album because the first mix was horrible. But when I asked Jason NeSmith (mastering engineer) to delete the song he said it really stuck with him too. So that caused me to remix and keep it.