Article: On Lyric Writing, Part I
Written by Sorana Santos on Tuesday the 20th of April 2010
Let's clear this one up. Recently, a fan asked me where all the love songs, butterflies and flowers were in my lyrics. To save you from the answer he incurred I hereby inform you:
As you've probably guessed, I have a life/death fixation. I will here attempt to say why, (though when trying to fish answers out of the muddiness of our minds we cannot always see whether we have caught every last catch). There are many reasons for my morbid fascinations but I guess the first thing to say is that I once brought someone back from the brink. It wasn't pretty and it scared the both of us but we both made it home in the end. I myself am also lucky to be here, aren't we all.
Growing up the daughter of a Romanian and Spaniard felt very much like watching the interplay of light and dark. When I was little the Spanish mentality seemed to be one of positivity in adversity, of strength, courage, faith. By contrast the Romanian one seemed frought with an unquenchable negativity and confusion beyond compare. The attempted cure for this lay in turning to the occult for the answers that, truly, lay deep down in their hearts had they the courage to face them. At least on the surface, 'dark' seemed to win more often and I was brought up to embrace the occult and all the damned spooks who dwelt in it. (The things you do for a quiet life!) Still, I leaned a lot and my spectre spectatorship proved useful to me.
I would be lying if I said I didn't feel strange living in this world, I think a lot of people might. Without going into too much detail I feel as though we are really far away from our real selves. One of the ways in which I see this most is in our attitude to death, like we are striving to forget our own mortality. No. We have forgotten and what's more our materialistic world feeds our denial of it. We shield ourselves from the reality of death, mortality, getting old, suffering, or anything that might cause us any pain at all and we focus instead on the unattainable phantoms of immortal youth and devastating beauty. I will write more about this at a later date.
Some say my lyrics are morbid, some say tongue-in-cheek; I quite agree with both. I am drawn to the parallel life and death / light and dark of all things in our lives. The law of inconstancy in each of our lives means that everything has both a 'birth and a 'death' of sorts. Sometimes when I write about death I am just talking about these small beginnings and ends, the little lives and deaths that we experience daily whereas at other times I am just being plain morbid cos, well, it's more representative of reality. As for all the other sinister, mythical and occult characters, well, for me they represent the range of inherent characteristics we all posess; they are fun to play with, they are my imaginary friends.
I like death. It's concrete, absolute, determined and as such easier to write about and work with than say, love, whatever unrefined vagary that is. Butterflies? Butterflies are the pseudo-subject of my most hated song by Dolly Parton, an artist I otherwise quite like. Do we really need more songs exploring the superficial using superficial metaphors? I'd say the market was saturated with it and I have nothing more to add to it. But you, Zeniths and nadirs, you fixed points on my inner compass, you inspire me and I'm coming for you.