Q & A with
Randell Kirsch and Christian Love
We first brought Christian Love to you through a spotlight on his band 5 Alarm. As you know Christian is also a member of the Beach Boys and plays alongside bassist, Randell Kirsch. As they travel from one tour stop to the next, they spend a good amount of time working on some outside musical projects. Both hail from Southern California and also have something else in common. So what is it? Well Randell and Christian are using their experiences in life to write songs together. Over the years while touring they have created at least a CD’s worth of songs and still continue to pound even more out. One of their most recent concoctions is a song titled, “Lost My Head.” It is currently in the mixing/mastering process and should be ready for everyone to hear soon. We’ll have it for you when it’s ready.
We decided that it would be fun to find out more about this quietly emerging talent. While the Beach Boys were on a recent Midwest tour stretch, we caught up with Randell and Christian to talk about their songwriting experiences over the phone. What is the message behind “Lost My Head,” how do Christian and Randell feel about working together on these outside projects, and what albums are already out there where you can hear some of their musical masterpieces? Well these questions and more were answered so let’s dive right in.
FTV: Are you ready?
Christian: Ready, on your mark, get set…
FTV: Have you written music together before?
R & C: I think we’ve written about twelve songs and then have started another batch. You heard it from the source. We probably have enough songs for a CD’s worth of material.
FTV: Do you both play a part in writing the lyrics and the music or does one work more on one area than the other?
Randell: It depends. We work well together and have an even share in both the lyrics and music. I think it plays out just fine that way. We write our lyrics ourselves. Christian is really easy going.
FTV: Where do you get the inspiration for writing a song?
R & C: It can come from almost anywhere. The other day Christian came over to show me something on the guitar. We have a small tape recorder that we save ideas on and used that. I liken it to a little wind that just blows in a song; it comes in, drops off the song then moves on. Sometimes the songs come two or three at a time. .
FTV: What message do you want to convey with “Lost My Head?”
Randell: Christian actually wrote most of the verses. I can’t remember them. It’s about love.
FTV: Oh it’s about Christian?
Christian: That’s pretty good you guys, not bad. The message is that if you’re going to have your heart being at the center of things, you kind of have to lose your head.
FTV: Do you plan to write more music together?
R & C: Depends on which way the wind blows. We want to write some more music together. We have to finish up the ones we’ve written. It can take a while.
Like Christian said, we’re working on trying to finish up everything we started because we’ll write a song, or two, or three…start to record it, then more ideas will come and we’ll tape those on a little cassette recorder. It’s like a conveyer belt where the car isn’t finished yet.
FTV: So pieces are done, just not the whole song?
R & C: Right, we want to finish what was started. We have a couple songs out on CD actually, a couple compilations.
FTV: Which CD’s are those?
R & C: There’s a publication called “Endless Summer Quarterly,” it’s a Beach Boys related magazine. A couple years ago they got in touch with me to contribute to a Carl Wilson CD they were doing. Then I thought about doing that with Christian, so I asked him and that was the first thing we did together. Then there was one other since then for the same magazine. The CD for Carl Wilson is called “Under God.”
FTV: How would you describe the style of music for your new song?
R & C: It’s kind of folkish. It’s vocal harmony based. There is one dance song.
FTV: What song is that?
R & C: What did we end up calling that? Oh “Big Electricity.” Just trying to get a “plug.” We’re trying to plug this song Big Electricity because it’s almost current. It’s shocking. (just a little taste of Randell and Christian’s word games we thought we’d put it out on the news wire…)
FTV: You’re in Knoxville, Tennessee currently. Are you guys touring in November or do you have off for that month?
Christian: November 7, 2008 we’re playing an acoustic show up in northern California in Santa Rosa with 5-Alarm. It’s a benefit for my friend’s wife who has leukemia, Shannon Boaz.
FTV: What computer equipment and/or programs do you use for production of your songs?
Randell: Pro Tools. We like it.
FTV: Who’s the master of that?
R & C: Either one or us. I’ve been the Pro Tools monkey before.
FTV: Once a song is recorded what other processes must it go through in order for it to be ready?
R & C: You have to mix it, then you have to master it, then it’s ready to be put up on a CD or the web.
FTV: What does mastering involve?
R & C: When you master something then you know that’s the way you want it to sound. So after you finish mixing it, you listen to it and decide I want more guitar on this, or more bass.
FTV: Do you want to create a CD or will you put the songs out individually?
R & C: That’s what we’re working on right now. We want our songs to be downloadable. I don’t know if people really buy CD’s anymore. There seems to be a double market. We may just put it up on the web.
FTV: Do you usually write songs on the road, how does it all start?
R & C: We love to get together with a couple guitars and just start playing so we like to go down that road. We wrote a couple on the bus in England. (on a recent tour)
FTV: Can we put up a short sample of it for our readers to listen to?
R & C: When it’s finished yes. We’ll send it over to you once it’s done.
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