SonicScoop: “Songwriters: Meet Your Field Guide”

SonicScoop: “Songwriters: Meet Your Field Guide”

This is a great one, written by Matthew Wang. Congrats on your book, Music, Lyrics, and Life: A Field Guide For the Advancing Songwriter. Can you talk about some of your former songwriting students, some of whom are interviewed in the book? First off, I’m grateful that so many of them came out to be a part of the book—and that includes you, my friend. I really think of us as a team, and I spend a lot of time trying to find opportunities to connect former students to each other. There’s an Instagram account dedicated to the amazing stuff everybody’s doing, and there’s also a Facebook page where we share job opportunities, gear, etc…, but that one’s secret. Can songwriting be taught? Partially, yes. And to a specific subsection of the songwriting community, absolutely yes. Mke Errico connects through songwriting. (Photo Credit: Stan Horaczek) Of course, there are the people who walk into my class with an innate gift of how melody and structure flows, and for them, sometimes all I can do is encourage them to finish as much as possible, and to challenge them to stretch into areas they hadn’t considered. Which, frankly, is a lot. But the writers I can help most obviously are the ones who are maybe not as gifted naturally, but who make up for it by being hell-bent to be a songwriter. They’re early for class; they set up weekly office hours; they apply for all the internships; they co-write with everyone they possibly can; they wake up in the morning wondering how they can get better. I work hard to...
The Official Cocktail of “Music, Lyrics, and Life”—With Recipe

The Official Cocktail of “Music, Lyrics, and Life”—With Recipe

Master mixologist Lindsay Merbaum has custom-concocted a ‘booktail’ to aid in your digestion of “Music, Lyrics, and Life.” Here she is, now: “There’s no such thing as being alone while writing,” claims Mike Errico in his newly-released book, Music, Lyrics, and Life: A Field Guide for the Advancing Songwriter. As a reader and a creative, I certainly found pleasant company in Errico’s writing itself, along with doses of humor and the occasional kick in the butt: “Each fear that stops you from writing is a writing prompt,” the author aptly nudges the reader. Cheers to that, as well as gems like these: “What I’ve concluded is that notes are nice and all, but if you don’t have something to say that improves on silence, then don’t say it.” By now you might’ve realized this is more than a book about songwriting, though it is enormously helpful and insightful on that subject: “A song is a conversation between you and history,” Errico tells us when discussing song structure and musical patterns over time. Music, Lyrics, and Life is also a meditation on the creative process that doles out revelations and advice in the way of the very best teachers. There is a whole passage addressing the hypothetical challenge of a hypothetical student who questions the assumption tires must be round. In return, Errico interviews Jennifer Basl, a mechanical engineer at Goodyear whose job is to design tires. The subsequent conversation is fascinating. There are also interviews with people like Eric Bazilian, songwriter and founding member of the Hooters; Grammy-nominee Raul Midón; professor, author, Guggenheim Fellow, and cosmologist Janna Levin; actor...
“Music, Lyrics, and Life” Hits #1 on Amazon’s Songwriting Chart

“Music, Lyrics, and Life” Hits #1 on Amazon’s Songwriting Chart

Holy… Last week was the kind of start I could not have imagined. To be bouncing around in this company is unreal. And this came directly from you, because it’s not even out yet. My goal was to create the class I always wish I’d taken (I even teach it at the place I wish offered it), and I’ve tried to capture not just the ideas, but the spirit in the room. I’m humbled, and super-nervous, too. This is a whole new world. There’s more to come, but for now…thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. Music, Lyrics, and Life: A Field Guide for the Advancing Songwriter Release Date: November 1, 2021 Publisher: Backbeat Books PRE-ORDER HERE: Amazon  | Bookshop | Goodreads  |  Books Are Magic WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Music, Lyrics, and Life is the songwriting class you always wish you’d taken, taught by the professor you always wish you’d had. It’s a deep dive into the heart of questions asked by songwriters of all levels, from how to begin journaling to when you know that a song is finished. With humor and empathy, acclaimed singer-songwriter Mike Errico unravels both the mystery of songwriting, and the logistics of life as a songwriter. For years, this set of tools, prompts, and ideas has inspired students on campuses including Yale, Wesleyan, Berklee, Oberlin, and NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. Alongside his own lessons, Errico interviews the writers, producers, and A&R executives behind today’s biggest hits, and investigates the larger questions of creativity through lively conversations with a wide range of innovative thinkers: astrophysicist Janna Levin explains the importance of repetition, both in choruses and in...
Music, Lyrics, and Life: A book by Mike Errico

Music, Lyrics, and Life: A book by Mike Errico

The songwriting class you always wish you’d taken, taught by the professor you always wish you’d had. ORDER NOW: AMAZON | BOOKSHOP | BARNES & NOBLE | TARGET | BOOKS ARE MAGIC Music, Lyrics, and Life: A Field Guide for the Advancing Songwriter Publisher: Backbeat Books MUSIC, LYRICS, AND LIFE is the songwriting class you always wish you’d taken, taught by the professor you always wish you’d had. With humor and empathy, acclaimed singer-songwriter Mike Errico examines both the mystery of songwriting and the logistics of life as a songwriter. For years, this set of tools, prompts, and ideas has inspired students on campuses including Yale, Wesleyan, and New York University’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. Alongside his musical lessons, Errico investigates larger questions of creativity with a wide range of innovative thinkers: astrophysicist Janna Levin theorizes on choruses; painter John Currin tackles song form; actor Phil LaMarr counsels on cowriting; author George Saunders unpacks authenticity; and much more. The result is that Music, Lyrics, and Life ends up revealing as much about the art of songwriting as it does about who we are and where we may be going. MIKE ERRICO is a New York-based recording artist, writer, and lecturing professor. His opinions and insights have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and...
Tallboy Magazine: Special Four-Issue Collector’s Edition

Tallboy Magazine: Special Four-Issue Collector’s Edition

I have been putting Tallboy magazine out for years. It went digital for a while (we called them “blogs”), but that never felt right. This special four-issue, 164-page series was part of a crowdfunding campaign for my 2017 release, “Minor Fits.” In it, you’ll find short fiction (some of which I’ve told on stage); backstories about my most well-known songs; and confessions from the music industry—so it’s funny and full of idiots. Now that “Minor Fits” is out in the world, I’m offering the entire series on Bandcamp. I’ve put the same craft and quality into this that I’ve put into my music, and I hope you’ll check it out. Includes unlimited streaming of You Shook Me All Night Long (AC/DC cover) via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more. BUY TALLBOY MAGAZINE AT...
Tallboy Magazine: Alive and Well

Tallboy Magazine: Alive and Well

Backstory: As part of the Minor Fits crowdfunding campaign, I offered a four-issue special edition of Tallboy magazine, and now the offer is available to you, too.   Wait…what is it? It’s hand-crafted, artisanal literature in the old-school punk ‘zine tradition. (That’s fancy-talk for “stories I’ve told on stage, scans of lyrics directly from my notebooks, the history behind the songs, and more.”)   If you want in, you will receive FOUR issues by end of 2018 (two are already out, but we’ll catch you up), plus a free download of AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long,” from the Minor Fits sessions.   That URL again: https://mikeerrico.bandcamp.com/merch/subscription-to-tallboy-magazine-quarterly AND OF COURSE, THE MUSIC KEEPS COMING  (FYI: The largest selection of my work on ANY platform is on Bandcamp. This includes deluxe editions, unreleased live tracks, podcasts, singles, and all of that. That’s the motherlode.)and of course, you can:STREAM ON SPOTIFY (check out playlists, too) STREAM ON APPLE MUSIC (if you can figure it out, that...