THE DEVICES OF 'CRIMSON DEVICES'
We had the chance to interview the very talented Alex Berka of Showpiece and he answered questions about the single 'Crimson Devices' and when a song is finally finished!
Let's get into it! Can you give us the behind the scenes on the writing of 'Crimson Devices'?
I started writing “Crimson Devices” in 2015 while in college. I remember being in the bus on the way to a class when the chorus popped into my head. I’m certain I internalized nothing from the lecture I was heading to; my mind was elsewhere. I think this came to me at a time when I was searching for something upbeat. Many of the song ideas I had were somber, boring, garish drivel with a veneer of insincere introspection. If it was going to be meaningless, it might as well be fun. This song I demoed twice over the years, and it’s changed fairly significantly from the first incarnation, lyrically (about 85% were replaced), instrumentally (originally written with a violin part), and structurally (believe it or not, it was almost a minute longer). I think this was also an instance where I lifted the chord progression in the verse from a dead-end idea and Frankenstein-ed it with the chorus, thus the key shift between parts. Though I certainly have my fun with intentional modulation, as you’ll find out.
Do you need music first to write or do you do the writing before the making of the tunes?
Neither. A song starts as a feeling or idea begging to be conveyed. 50/50 which direction it starts to manifest, and chances are good the first stuff gets rewritten anyway. But the hope is that, when the inspiration defeats itself and you have to carry on composing with conscious, toilsome writing, you don’t too badly convolute its initial beauty.
When do you know a song is finished?
Forgive me, because this is merely a matter of semantics, and you’ll surely catch me referring to “finishing” a song elsewhere, but I’m going to defer this question to whomever said “Art is never finished, merely abandoned.” I finally abandoned “Crimson Devices” after several years, and that’s the only reason you can hear it now. A song is finished when it is forgotten to history. As long as it continues to be played, it changes. That’s why you go to see your favorite band and that track you love doesn’t sound the way it did on the recording. I have different thoughts every time I hear something I’m working on, and if I were in a studio 24/7, the thing would never settle.
There is such an awesome vibe to your band? How do you maintain that as a unit?
Ten percent luck and twenty percent skill. The other seventy percent is anybody’s guess, but it almost certainly has nothing to do with savoir-faire.
Let our followers know all your details and what they should stay tuned for and be listening to already!
“Crimson Devices” is available now on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, and more. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook (@showpiece.band) for updates about future releases – of which 2021 will have a number.
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