Paul Barrere & Roger Cole - Interview - Stereo Stickman

Paul Barrere & Roger Cole Interview


Following the release of their track Lost In The Sound, we caught up with songwriters Paul Barrere and Roger Cole to find out a little more about their creative process and their thoughts on how the music industry has evolved over the years.

“Freedom is finding a place in your mind by taking a moment to leave it behind. There’s times when your well runs dry, to find inspiration you only must try.” – Lost In The Sound.

The new song is as charismatic and powerful as any of your previous releases, though any art that starts the conversation regarding the mistreating of Mother Nature holds particular value right now. The added touch of creative flair that shines brightly in the structure, the instrumentation, and the evolution through melodies, in this case, all makes for something particularly remarkable.

What was the inspiration behind the song, what was the writing process like, and did you plan the sound before you began – or simply get together and play and create whatever came to the surface?

Roger: 1st let me say thank you for the compliments I am glad you enjoyed the song. The song kind of came together in layers. We had just finished All That I Need and it was time to start thinking of what was next. I was playing around on an acoustic guitar in a strange tuning and came up with a few pieces’ kind of randomly thinking that one or more had the possibility of becoming a new song.

When Paul came in the studio that day I showed him the ideas he liked them all so we spent a day deciding on the order of the parts and the arrangement between the two acoustic parts. The next day we recorded them at the same time to make sure the feel was right and once we had that it inspired the next layer and that dictated the overall sound of the track. Once all the music came together we felt it was a good bed for a lyric concept that could really say something.

Paul: Roger and I have discussed this topic many times, the earth and man’s misuse of it. Without going into all the details, I think it’s pretty safe to say that we’ve created more problems for the earth than we’ve solved, mainly for the financial rewards. No matter which side of the climate debate you weigh in on that’s just a fact that’s indisputable.

We like to reflect our beliefs in our music sometimes in what we hope are ways that don’t offend, but rather promote conversations. Musically I have to hand it all to Roger. His vision of using sample and real drums, the acoustic and electric guitars, and the melodies and harmonies was incredible and he devoted hours and hours to putting the pieces together in a cohesive way.

How did the two of you meet, and when you first started creating music together, was there a natural sort of chemistry to the process in that things just seemed to click – or is the sound you have more like something you’ve worked on and discussed and tweaked until you found what you were looking for?

Paul: We met at a rehearsal studio that he was working at, and Little Feat was rehearsing at. The band was looking for a monitor engineer and he fit the bill perfectly, he’s done just about everything in this industry. When Little Feat started to record all its live shows and then thought of releasing them on our own label, it was Roger who captured the stereo files and mixed them. His knowledge of frequencies enabled him to separate sounds and bring them forward. That blew me away. We did some of the mixes together and eventually we started to do some of our own recording.

The chemistry has grown over time with us since we come from two different eras of music, I think personally that I’ve learned a lot from his point of view and hope I’ve had some influence on his style.

Roger: We always had a good time working together in the studio – we approach music from completely different sides of the spectrum, so it’s always a growing process when it comes to writing, and it never stops being fun seeing where the styles meet.

How important is live music to you both, and why?

Roger: Live music is very important to me. I feel it gives the audience a chance to experience the material with the artist instead of just by the artist, and really completes the process that was started in the studio.

Paul: As we embarked on this journey of writing and recording music together both of us have had a few medical problems that hinders some of the drive in me to go on the road for any period of time. The road is taxing at best, but I do see it’s advantage in marketing of music, most bands these days must travel to earn a living since the sale of recordings has dropped so far.

How have shifts in the way the music industry works affected you over recent years; have you found it harder or easier to reach new listeners with your music?

Roger: Yeah the music business never stops changing, every time you think you have a handle on it, it sends you back to reinvent the wheel again. It is easier to reach people, but definitely harder to keep their attention because of the complete saturation of advertising on social sites.

Paul: Through the internet it’s become a little easier to reach farther out across the globe to gain listeners, but, that said, there are so many bands these days using social media to promote their music, it makes it harder to crack into the main stream. Now you have YouTube stars, some last more than one song, but I think most fall by the wayside.

What can fans look out for over the coming months, does the upcoming EP have a similar overall concept to the new track, and will you be performing or releasing any additional material?

Roger: We try to keep each song as its own animal so they all have their own sound – and yes, there will be more material, and hopefully performances as well.

Paul: We do intend to record volume 2 and eventually have it as one recording. As to the direction, we’re looking into some harder rocking songs, but still being eclectic in our approach. If you look at the whole body of work, it is pretty diverse, from Political Freak Show, to You’re Annoying, to Grain of Sand and All That I Need, up to the title track …..

Is there anything else you’d like to mention that hasn’t been covered?

Paul: I just hope that folks will hit our website and have a listen to all our recordings on our music page. There’s something there for everyone, from hard edge to the humoresque, the lyrics are such that they need more than one listen to get all the meanings.

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A big thank you to Paul and Roger for taking the time to offer up such thoughtful answers. Read our review of Lost In The Sound. Find and follow the songwriters on Facebook and Twitter for updates. 

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

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