Randy Roger tries not to be too happy when writing songs

from Austin 360 on

For the past decade, the Randy Rogers Band has witnessed regional music's evolution through a windshield. "The Texas scene (especially) exploded over the past five years," frontman Randy Rogers says. "Like any other scene, I think there's some great talent."

The hard-touring outfit's recent "Burning the Day" traces its own journey up the ranks with measures muscular ("Interstate") and meditative ("Steal You Away"). Austin resident Rogers supports the collection with an acoustic set tonight at Antone's.


American-Statesman: Perpetual motion seems to define the new album's tone.

Randy Rogers: I think that is a common lyrical theme in music. The album is about sad stuff a lot of the time, but I think there's some feel-good, positive stuff. I just try not to be too happy. That makes for bad songwriting.


(Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member) Dean Dillon has written some good ones. What did you learn writing (`Just Don't Tell Me the Truth') with him?

I'm just a huge Dean Dillon fan, and getting to write with him is a dream come true for me as a songwriter. That's my favorite song on the record. I really love that it's so simple. The sentiment, what the guy says is heartfelt. That's what I took away from Dean: the simplicity of songwriting. You don't have to bunch it up with a lot of useless lyrics and crazy chord progressions. Just say how it is. That's genius.


You've said you focused more on songwriting on this album.

I wrote more songs for this album than any other. Not that I was less dedicated before, but I was a little more focused this time. Life slowed down for me just a little bit, and I was able to practice songwriting more. That's what they say "makes perfect." I think my songs are getting better, and co-writing with people like Dean Dillon does teach you.


Where do you find most songs?

They come to me in day-to-day life. My iPhone is full of song ideas.


Many writers believe there's a spiritual aspect to the process. Agree?

I do think there is a bit of (spirituality) in how those ideas come to you. Every time someone utters something that's catchy, I'm just so thankful. I get the iPhone out and type it in. If I sit down to write and I'm blank, I look at that and see those ideas that came from real life and other people, and think there's spirituality in that for sure.


What's the creative dynamic within the band?

We don't write much on the road. It's kind of impossible to do, but each guy writes songs and we all bring them to the table. Playing them for each other is the really fun part of making a record. It either gets liked or spiked! (He laughs.)

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