David Gray on Capturing the Moment

March 1, 2010

gp0310_riffs_dg_nrTunesmith David Gray rocketed to prominence with his tune “Babylon” back in 2000. His latest record, Draw the Line [Downtown], features ringing acoustics, celestial Nashville-tuned guitars, and the easy pop smarts that have become his trademark. —Matt Blackett











gp0310_riffs_dg2_nr“If a song is coming and the mood takes you,” says Gray, “that song is being born at that moment. Try to stay with it and finish it then, because it’s very difficult to recapture that space. It’s like a blacksmith hammering on a horseshoe. Once it’s cooled, you won’t really change the shape of it. You need to work on it while it’s still in its hot, malleable state. That happened on my latest record when we were trying to track the song “Breathe.” We weren’t getting anywhere, and I just started jamming on what would become the “Draw the Line” riff. I said, ‘This has something. Let’s just record it.’ When I listened back, I became obsessed by the song. It took a hold of me and all these lyrics came—I was up writing until five or six in the morning. We recorded it the next day and the song had a really fresh feel because it was done before it really knew itself. In the act of capturing it, the song was becoming what it should be, and I like that raw, unguarded sound.”

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