Pocket Buddha handmade country-punk is percolated with an inventive array of diverse instruments and compelling arrangements. “Aeroplane” is a swaggering acoustic shuffle led by Darien Woodlief that features mandolins, banjos, and the bop of a Rhodes keyboard. Woodlief uses the repetition of “thinking about an airplane” in his narrative to muse on the potential for change through escapism that urges through each moment.
Pick up a copy of “Aeroplane” here.
SC: I love the repetition in “Aeroplane”—can you tell me a little about how you view the use of repetition in this song?
DW: I could hear the band singing the long “Aeroplaaaaaaane” in my head almost immediately so that's where that came from—the repeating in the verses—well, maybe that was lazy, I don't know. It just came out like that!
the banjo sound without the banjo work. So, yeah—banjo for lazy guitar players. I ordered one from Gold Tone and this progression literally jumped out of it the first time I picked it up. Then Ken Mixon suggested the variation of the melody that is the 3rd line of the verse. I was in the thick of the grad school deluge and the idea of escape via flight or checking out mentally was very appealing at this time.
SC: Tell me about your normal writing practice. Do you write every day on a schedule? Do you wait for inspiration?
DW: Well, to be honest, I don't have a normal writing practice. I've gone through phases. I just finished grad school and there was so much reading and writing involved that it seemed I didn't have a great deal of energy to devote to writing. My writing has always been inspired by my collaborators. I wasn't really actively writing when I met Julia Englund in my first year of grad school. She said "Hey, I sing and write songs, I'm going to send you one." I was so bummed out because she seemed so casual and self-deprecating about it that I couldn't fathom it being good. But I was blown away by her voice and her words. So we ended up, along with the aforementioned Ken Mixon, writing a number of songs together. She then moved away and I eventually met up with Ali Arant, who also sent me songs that blew me away. I told her I was producing her record and I did. We co-wrote a number of songs for that record and some since then. At one point a few years ago, hungry for inspiration, I started a songwriters group that gave a biweekly topic and everyone had to upload a song about that topic or using that phrase. So I got a number of tunes out of that, which lasted about four or five months before life intruded.
SC: How does your community of songwriter peers influence your work?
DW: Oh man, as a musician I am blessed to be surrounded by amazing songwriting and musical peers. The ones I've mentioned that had the pleasure to write with and the ones I've been fortunate enough to play with, like Kelley Mclachlan from Post-Timey String Band and the Prairie Willows and Mario McClean. And others, like Todd Mathis and Chris Compton, whose songwriting I'd put up against anyone, not just locally. These guys inspire me and scare the shit out of me, both of which can be useful tools for a musician. to edit.
The Sound Connector is an online magazine for songwriters. We feature songwriting challenges, monthly interviews, and the opportunity to discover new songwriters. We are interested in all things related to the craft of songwriting.
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