THE SECRET WEAPONS OF SOUTHSIDE CAFÉ (PART 1)
All band and artists have them, the secret weapons they use to write songs or make their music as good as possible. Southside Café is no exception. However, with the ambition to promote transparency and friendliness all over the world, we have decided to uncover our most important and secret weapons.
The secret weapon of today is this small guitar. It has the size of a ukulele. I bought it years ago for my oldest son in the hope that he would embark a successful career as a heavy metal guitarist. To my great disappointment, he decided to play bass instead, with the result that the guitar got lying unused in the house, collecting dust… until the day when a song popped up in my head and I picked it up almost by mistake.
The secret of this guitar is that it is crap. It cannot be properly tuned. The strings are totally worn out. You can't play anything advanced on it. In fact, you can only play the simplest of chords. And that’s actually a good thing. As a songwriter, I have to focus on the basic structure of the song. Moreover, since I cannot hide behind some cool guitar-licks, the guitar makes it alarmingly clear if the melody is weak or unfinished. But on the other hand: when the song starts to sound good on this poor thing, you know that the material is strong.
Another advantage of this guitar is that it is easy to take along on travels. I actually wrote the first draft to "(I´m not willing to) Save the world tonight" on this guitar in a hotel room in Bangkok some years ago. Our upcoming single, "Life on Mars", took shape during a weekend stay in Berlin.
Writing this, I realise that the guitar is not crap at all. It´s actually a great instrument and a mojo for Southside Café. All songwriters should have at least one really bad guitar...