Hip Tip From Richard Archer

“I used to take the piss out of the guy who said this to me, but he was right,” admits Richard Archer, guitarist for Britain’s smash “dub-hop” punkers, Hard-Fi. “He said, ‘Your best friend is the [garbage] bin.’ The thing is, you have to be free to try anything and everything without worrying about it. You might have someone sitting there saying, ‘No—that’s going to sound like rubbish.’ Don’t listen, because it doesn’t matter.

Whatever you’re doing might actually work, and, if it doesn’t, don’t be afraid to toss it in the bin and start over again. Maybe part of what you’re trying to do will end up in a new song at a later date, but don’t drive yourself crazy over it. If you’re busting your balls over something, and it’s not going anywhere, just chuck it. Also, never give anyone the chance to say ‘no.’ Never play someone a riff saying, ‘Oh, I’ve got to sort the drums out, or change some of the lyrics.’ You want to get everything as good as you possibly can get it. You have to be sure that you’re not just kidding yourself—you know, the old ‘it sounds good because it’s new’ trap—and you want the people you trust to give you feedback on the best you can do. Then, you’ll know if you’ve got something, or if you have to dig in and work harder.” —Bridget Oates