Let’s go for that today.
The Clash, Tommy Gun, 1978:
I think you stay pretty open to what the shape of a song could be. Hopefully you’re going to be surprised and excited by what starts to emerge out of basically this raw material of chord progression and melody and lyrics. And I think if you’re not too married to steering the ship, if you just stay open to it, a really strong shape starts to emerge. And I guess in a band of six people, it’s kind of amazing that at some point we all start to see it. We all start to see simultaneously where this song is going and how it’s going to work. And then you just do your best to finish it – make it as good as it can be. But yeah, that song was like a collage or something. We worked on it off and on for several months. But I think fairly early on it took this shape that we just wanted to hone in on. I mean, I could use a really, really pretentious analogy, but I think it’s fitting: Inuit carvers pick up a piece of stone, and they start carving not knowing what animal is inside of it. And when they get to a certain point, it becomes obvious to them that, oh, they’re making a walrus, or this is a caribou or whatever. That’s kind of what I’m describing: you just get lost in the process, and eventually something starts to emerge. It’s like those Magic Eye posters. (Laughs)