Throughout the year we shall be asking Oxford musicians to talk to us about the importance of lyrics in music. Each interviewee will be asked the same six questions in an attempt to discover which writers, poets and themes Oxford’s musicians find the most moving and inspiring. This time, it is our absolute pleasure to speak to Matt and Lucas from Spring Offensive who currently look like sure favourites to become Oxford’s breakthrough band of 2012. And deservedly so!
1. Who is your favourite lyricist of all time?
Matt: Nick Cave. I mean the man has written so many songs that he has cornered the market in that respect. As the saying goes, throw enough shit at the wall…
Lucas: Sage Francis. He fits more ideas into a single line than a lot people manage in an entire song.
2. Which lyrics make you smile or laugh the most?
Matt: Wild Beasts. What they are on about most of the time escapes me, but it is still both sexy and mesmerising.
Lucas: Future Of The Left or Mclusky. Even at his angriest Falco is still hilarious.
3. Which lyrics emotionally move you the most?
Matt: It has to be a combination of melody and chords as well to really work for me. A lot of the time lyrics sound so stupid in isolation. Like bad poetry or prose. I know it is obvious, but this is where the idea of a lyricist gets slightly tricky. If I am pushed for an answer I would say The Antlers, but it needs those walls of hospital clicks and squeels, guitars, keys and drums to have that real power.
Lucas: Elliott Smith. I got into him at exactly the right time in my adolescence. Every time I listen to him it reminds me of that.
4. Who is your favourite Oxford lyricist?
Matt and Lucas: Ollie from Ute and The Old Grinding Young.
5. How do you approach writing yourself?
Matt: I write the lyrics for most of the songs, but leave large gaping holes where I have got myself in a twist or run out of steam. Lucas is incredible at focussing threads of thought though. We work best when writing together, in the same room at the same time, but that is harder than it sounds. It doesn’t always work and with double the people comes double the frustration.
Lucas: Matt is the creative one, and I help him express it.
6. Which lyric(s) are you most proud of?
Matt and Lucas: The more we write together the better we get at it. We would go for the second half of verse 2 in ‘Worry Fill My Heart’,
“If I can’t pay my rent then I’m completely dependant,
I never thought that I would be so in line with convention,
How dare I even think that I could be any exception”
Don’t know why. Just expressed exactly how we felt.
Spring Offensive recently released ‘Worry Fill My Heart’ as a single and are currently on tour of the UK and Europe.