'Love Not War Stories' SONG ONE 

SONG ONE- "Love Not War"

This song was born from a song-of-the-week group, and I started with an acoustic demo that sounded rather different than the final version. It was a little too straight. My long time partner in crime Greg Maragos (aka "the Secret Weapon") and Mr. Patrick Berkery (aka "Cadillac Pat") came over one night & helped get the feel & arrangement together, then laid down a kickass rhytm track. I tried to keep things as live as possible with many of the songs and what you hear is…

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'Love Not War Stories' SONG TWO 

SONG TWO- "The Buddha's Belly"

So, I had to look back to figure out the exact story about this song... What I did recall was that it was on a trip to Cleveland with Beth Lennon where I made some joke about "scratching the Buddha's back" since I was feeling kinda portly, and she came up with the best/most important line in the song "everybody wants to rub the Buddha's belly, but nobody's scratching the Buddha's back". And a Hillis/Lennon co-write was born. This was another song-of-the-week offering, and I…

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'Love Not War Stories' SONG THREE 

SONG THREE- "Don't Drown The Wind"

This was another one from the song-of-the-week group (I'm seeing a pattern here..). The lyric to be included that week was "drown the wind" so I went rather literal with it, although I figured I'd try to make a hopeful song, in my little existential pop way.

I recorded an acoustic demo to hand in to the group, then filed it away & promptly forgot about the song. It wasn't til a couple months later when I was getting near the tail end of recording the EP that I realized…

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'Love Not War Stories' SONG FOUR 

SONG FOUR- "A Boy Downtown"

Me, Me, Me!!! Enough about me, let's talk about me! Okay, so I have always aspired to one day write & record a song start to finish all by myself & put it on a record. I've done countless demos that way, but I finally was able to realize my dream with "A Boy Downtown".

So, it occurred to me after the fact that five of the seven songs on this EP were born from weekly songwriting groups and this one is no different. The phrase that pays for the week was "a boy downtown" and I was…

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'Love Not War Stories' SONG FIVE 

SONG FIVE- "Suicide Doors"

Here's yet another song that was inspired by a weekly songwriting group, this was actually written in the back of a car (with suicide doors, I might add) on the way home from a trip to Boston. Beth Lennon was driving & I was sprawled out in the back of our Honda Element, I wrote the song somewhere along I-95 in Connecticut, then made a quick demo on my laptop & emailed it in just before the weekly deadline via wifi from a New Jersey Turnpike service area.

The rhythm track was…

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'Love Not War Stories' SONG SIX 

SONG SIX- "Mayor Of Midnight"

Me, myself and I and Brad...

Continuing with the theme of "songs that were inspired by weekly songwriting groups", this one also started out in such a way. I believe the lyric of the week was "decoder ring" and I started writing a song about a guy who lived in his own little fantasy world where he was kind of like a grown up kid pretending to be a spy.

As fate would have it, while I was writing the song Beth Lennon was in her Retro Roadmap HQ room down the hall and could hear…

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'Love Not War Stories' SONG SEVEN 

SONG SEVEN- "Too Many Songs"

Here's the last installment of my random musings about the writing & recording of my new "Love Not War" EP. Hope you have enjoyed the stories!

So, track seven on the EP (I know that's a rather lot of songs to call it an EP, but it clocks in at a tidy 22 minutes all told) is a song that I wrote with the esteemed Mr. Dan Bern. The first time Dan & I got together to write at his place in L.A. we had really good luck, so the next time I was out west I inquired about a second…

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