Sugarland's Incredible Machine Tour Week in Review: Kristian and Ellis Paul on songwriting

Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Kristian's old friend Ellis Paul opened three shows with us this weekend, and Sugarland TV sat down with the pair to talk about writing and the challenges of crafting a "simple song."

Have you tried your hand at songwriting? Who are some of YOUR favorite songwriters? Talk about your process, your inspirations, or post examples of your work in the comments!

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Video Credit: Valarie Allyn Bienas

  1. rachiianne avatar

    On Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 1:33 AM, rachiianne said:

    I really like this video! Seeing the whole process of the song making is great! To see how songs are made and where they came from!

  2. trophywife94 avatar

    On Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 7:59 PM, trophywife94 said:

    Nice one! Really love watchin' that song process growing.
    I do write songs myself, more lyrics than actual chords, but I really love it.
    My favorite song-writer would be Kelly Clarkson; her songs are so intense. If you only regard the song writing she did on "My December", or some of the pre-show or unreleased songs, it's epic. Y'all should really go ahead & check out some of her work.
    And, of course, you, Jennifer and Kristian, are one of my fave song-writers, too.
    Thanks for the video!

  3. the golux avatar

    On Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 5:09 AM, the golux said:

    Dear Kristian Bush and Ellis Paul,
    "I bent down over a clear running stream, and sang you this song that I heard up above...and you kept me alive with your sweet flowing love." (hee-hee. A little Heart for ya.) Add a screamin' guitar to that and...Damn! Oh, the ladies wooed my little rock and roll soul back in the day. And like some very, very good cheeses...they become more delicious with every passing day. (Can I getta Amen?) And Stevie, God love 'er, for getting a tom-boy like me in medieval dresses, and giving a witchy alto something to sing. The good old Stella that was my first guitar was a loaner from Eddie, who got her from his older brother, and way on back, and that group of guitar
    playing hippies was all guys. So I learned chords playing John Prine, and Cat Stevens, and Skynyrd, and Dr. Hook. And all the usual stuff. And you don't have to be a boy to relate to the beauty in some of those lyrics, or the style of the artist. ( "I was just 13, you might say I was a musical proverbial knee-high..." T.L.S.) But I won't lie, I was singing Rhiannon in my bedroom after midnight, burning candles and incense and swooping around like a mythical bird-girl. And that's how my magic happened. All of the mystery in me started to show itself, and I started taking notes. And strumming Stella. And something enigmatic and enchanting began to emerge. Something private and provocative that I couldn't get enough of. The seduction of the song, introducing itself. Ooh...it was heady stuff. It still is. But I really had forgotten all this. At best it was such a hazy memory that it had become unclear whether it was a period of my life, or a character from one of my mental novels. And they were just ditties, really; I didn't know any more about constructing a song then than I do now. I didn't want to learn, either, back then. I was searching and healing and the process was the point. That guitar and I were a pair, though. We only parted for classes, and that was painful enough. I don't exactly remember what happened to us, me and Stella. It seems like there was some sort of epiphany, after a couple of years in the music scene in Portland, being saturated by incredibly gifted and learned musicians. At some point I just thought, I kinda suck, and I don't really know anything about music, and I pursued other interests with greater fervor. Like Tequila.
    And piecing my soul back together. (Jose Quervo...the only man I almost married.)
    Yup. Then more work, life, liquor, and I'm gonna be generous and say 'relationships'
    and fade to now. Sobered up. Starting some grown-up-ish life things. Getting turned inside out by my stark-raving reality...and Sugarland shows up, and I start writing. Incessantly. It all comes pouring out. An old friend gives me her piano and I discover where my secret love has been sleeping all these years...the keys. Those glorious keys! Then I write a poem and send it to: Sugarland c/o Mercury Records, but really just out to the universe. Then I write a bazillion more poems. And fan-letters. And commentary. And then a song. Then some more poems. So,,,that brings us up to you guys, talking about song-writing and raising the question for me once again...have I got the music in me? Do I really have songs in there? What do I sound like to other people? And...my Seagull, that's Jonathan Livingston, (I know. There's a reason for my affinity for cheese, I expect.) is missing me. And I miss him. I'll have to catch you guys later. I think I'm late for a date.

  4. Sweetpeach avatar

    On Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 2:15 AM, Sweetpeach said:

    Its always cool to see a new video come out from Sugarland. There is always something going on in Sugarland.

  5. Scott avatar

    On Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 12:38 AM, Scott said:

    These behind the scenes videos are great! Can't wait to hear this "Simple Song" on the next album :)

  6. Chestnut Creek avatar

    On Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 10:09 PM, Chestnut Creek said:

    I love these peeks behind the curtain. Thank you so much for sharing ALL your talents with your fans, like this. Writing, performing, touring - you make it all look so easy, though it must truly be so unfathomably hard.

  7. BarbK avatar

    On Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 7:04 PM, BarbK said:

    Great video! Thanks for sharing it! It's always really interesting and fun to actually see a bit of the songwriting process. That sounds like one hell of a good tune Kristian and Ellis are shaping up together. Love it! Hope we get to hear and buy a final version someday. Oh, and yes, gotta love Tom Petty!

  8. SAStoner7984 avatar

    On Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 6:28 PM, SAStoner7984 said:

    I ABsolutely LOVE this! As they both say.. how can you find JUST what you want to say and get the point across in such few words... Tom Petty & John Lennon were truely AMAZING writers and I could NEVER ever get tired of listening to their songs! I'm so glad that you guys did this video so that hopefully one can see this and REALLY think about what goes into writing a good song that touches people... (I know I could NEVER do that.. I just love to take it in & listen!)
    Thanks again...

    *and by the way... I really love where this song is going... Are you going to record this? And if so what is it called?? ... Who is this lucky lady that you sing of?? ;)

    Much Love & Peace,
    ~Stephanie

  9. Melody avatar

    On Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 5:40 PM, Melody said:

    Isn't it funny how the "KISS" concept of "Keep It Simple Stupid" can become so complex? Kristian anytime you want to teach a songwriters class, I'll be first in line. Thanks for your insight.

  10. HeatherB avatar

    On Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 5:09 PM, HeatherB said:

    I love it when they post videos like this :)

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