Episode 16 – Scott Alan Interview | Song Writing | Self-Funding Albums

By June 25, 2014
Scott Alan

 

Today we have Jack White with us on the intro. Jack is a talented guy and ‘deps’ for our band from time to time. He also brought us in with this track from todays guest Scott Alan.

 

Scott Alan

This week we are immeasurably excited to have the wonderful Scott Alan on the show to talk about song writing. Scott is massive in the world of theatre because of his amazing story telling in songs.

 

Because of his talents some of theatres biggest names, like Kerri Ellis and Natalie Weiss, have willingly featured on his albums, amongst other big names in music. He has just released his new album on iTunes: Anything Worth Holding On To.

 

Here’s a link to his albums. Please go and have a listen!
Scott Alan iTunes Listing

 

His Story

Scotts career began with his first attempt at a song, Kiss The Air. Not bad for a first attempt… that’s our favourite of all!

 

As an artist, Scott self-funds album releases despite the high costs. One of his early albums had a lavish production with a large orchestra which hit a total cost of $80k! But in order to fund that Scott had to work day and night in several jobs, including Starbucks, to avoid getting into debt to do it. This took a year of hard graft!

 

The new album ended up with a different approach to funding. Initially, Scott had lined up a bunch of well known 80’s and 90’s pop singers to appear on the new album. It would potentially feature Taylor Dayne, Shanice, Trey Lorenze, Marc Broussard and En Vogues Terri Ellis to name a few. When it came to adding up the budget it was clear that the album would run into the hundreds of thousands, and so there was a swift change of direction. Scott ended up featuring on most of the tracks with one long-time friend as a guest, Shoshana Bean (Wicked, Hairspray).

 

The album ended up costing around $10k, which in todays terms is very little for a release. There hasn’t been any marketing at all, but with Scotts reputation around the globe it doesn’t take long for the word to get out. Scotts aim was to let it do its own thing and if it was meant to do well, it would.

 

Inspiration

The inspiration for the album came from Scott and his long bout of clinical depression. All 8 tracks contribute to the story of that difficult time period. It was important for the production process that there was no pitch correction or adjustments to the vocals. Let the cracks and imperfections remain, as that what was felt in that moment.

 

Scott Alan and Shoshana Bean

Scott Alan and Shoshana Bean

Scott Alan performed the title track, Anything Worth Holding On To, at his show the night before. He spoke of his depression when introducing the song, and intimated that music was therapy for him and helped him through the tough times. We’re sure music has done that for many others.

 

Connecting to the material

Scott loves to be in the moment, and doesn’t allow his singers to have words on stage. They often ask! But, in Scotts opinion, it takes some of the sincerity away from the performance. There can’t truly be an emotive response from the singer if it’s being read off a page.

 

We wrote a song together!!

So, we played a song writing game with Scott Alan. The rules are basically to decide on a name for the song first, and then write it at the top of the page. We came up with ‘You’ve Had Your Cake’. Then you have to write one line of lyric for the song, with the title as a lead, and then fold over the the sheet of paper and hand it to the next person. They can’t see what you have written, but then have to write a line from their perspective. Fold it over again and pass it to the next person. We went round each person twice. You then open out the sheet and see what is created! Here’s how ours looked. Listen to the podcast to get the true ‘vibe’.

Scott Alan Song

The result of our songwriting game!

If you want to find out more about Scott and his music then go to www.scottalan.net, or search him out on YouTube and iTunes.

 

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