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Interview with Beeb Birtles
By Jan Fabyankovic - 08/18/2008 - 11:39 AM EDT

According to Beeb Birtles (known as Beeb) who is a founding member of the Australian group, Little River Band, he enjoyed tremendous success while sharing his passion for music with the world. Two hit singles, "Itís A Long Way There" and "Iíll Always Call Your Name" found their way up the American charts.

In 1977 they released the album, Diamantina Cocktail, which earned them a first gold record in the United States. This album included "Help Is On Its Way", written by Glenn Shorrock and "Happy Anniversary", written by David Briggs and Beeb.

Their second world tour scored a top ten hit for five consecutive years with songs such as "Reminiscing", "Lady", "Lonesome Loser", and "Cool Change". On October 24th, 1983, Beeb left the band due to musical differences and other reasons.

In early 2000 Beeb's first solo CD, Driven By Dreams, was released on the Sonic Sorbet label. Out of all the songs that Beeb has written since his departure from Little River Band, he chose those closest to his heart and more suited to his voice for this recording project. If you'd like to check it out, sound clips from Beeb's solo CD are available on my page at the Sonic Sorbet web site.

Q/A Interview

Jan: How long does it usually take you to write a song once you start it?

Beeb: It varies. Itís unusual to finish a song in one session unless youíre writing something youíre so passionate about that you complete it at once.

Jan: Do you focus on one song at a time or work on a few at a time?

Beeb: I usually have more than one song going and it can depend on how many co-writers youíre working with.

Jan: Did you have a songwriting mentor and/or muse?

Beeb: I donít have a mentor as such but I do have my favorite songwriters.

Jan: What usually comes first: hook, title, melody, lyrics etc...?

Beeb: I keep a page of ďpossible song titlesĒ. Why I do that is because in talking with people, they will often say a phrase that catches my ears. I will remember it and write it down in my ďpossible song titlesĒ list.

Jan: Do you co-write/collaborate? If so, do you usually collaborate with the same songwriters or with different ones?

Beeb: I co-write all the time with various people who cross my path.

I write by myself too but I write more songs with other people.

Jan: What's your best song so far?

Beeb: In many interviews I consistently say that ďLight of DayĒ is my most complete song musically and lyrically. I still love it to this day!

Jan: What's your style in writing? Do you write fast as the lines just flow out or do you write slower with many re-writes to make sure your piece is perfect?

Beeb: I tend to labor over lyrics because I always want them to be so perfect.

Jan: Any advice for new or partially new songwriters?

Beeb: Usually your first initial idea will always be your best one.

Jan: Did songwriting always come natural for you?

Beeb: When I first started teaching myself how to play chords on a guitar, I started hearing melodies forming in my head.

Jan: In your opinion, how has the music industry changed through the years?

Beeb: Where once, it was run by people who were passionate about music, now, itís run by corporations who only care about the money.

Jan: Do you have a daily/weekly writing schedule?

Beeb: I used to be very disciplined but as Iíve gotten older, I only write when the mood strikes me.

Jan: How do you deal with rejection when pitching your songs?

Beeb: I burst into tears right there in front of that person, and thatís precisely the reason why I donít pitch my own songs.

Jan: When composing music, do you ever wonder if another song is influencing you?

Beeb: If thatís the case, I stop working on my song immediately.

Jan: Do you study various songwriters' work?

Beeb: Never.

Jan: What the best advice you were given as a songwriter?

Beeb: KISS, keep it simple, stupid!

Jan: What attracted you to music?

Beeb: Listening to the radio.

Jan: Do you feel your ideas sometimes come from another source?

Beeb: Most definitely and itís very special when that happens.

Jan: Does songwriting get easier through the years?

Beeb: Not really. The challenge of wanting to write that next great song is what keeps me going.

Jan: Do you feel that people know you through your music?

Beeb: Yes, because I totally bare my soul through my lyrics.

Jan: How would you like to be remembered?

Beeb: I would like to be remembered for having contributed something worthwhile to peopleís lives through the lyrics of my songs.

Jan: How is writing for your own CD different than writing for another performing artist's CD?

Beeb: When writing for yourself, you connect more personally with the lyrics and that comes through the music when recording your own CD.

Jan: What are your future songwriting goals and/or dreams?

Beeb: I will be absolutely thrilled when other artists record my songs.

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