It isn’t everyday you write and record a song. Well, it is if you’re Mathias Olson, who has decided to write one song a day for a year. To most writers, that kind of discipline is admirable and very, very supremely scary.
Anyone who has ever tried to write – a song, a novel, a blog post – knows how easy it is to put it off. To do it tomorrow… until tomorrow is a year later and that song, screenplay or book is never done. Perhaps we’ve even thought of writing once a day, everyday to create discipline for our artistic mess. But how many of us really do?
Mathias Olson, if you will remember, is a singer-songwriter out of Denver. We ran an article about him and his down to earth approach to music back in June. Now, at day 49 of his songwriting adventure, we catch up with him to see how it’s going and hear some truly wonderful new tunes.
The Urchins: What inspired you to write a song everyday?
Mathias: Well I’m not really sure. I was just sitting around one day when the thought came to me. I told Ashley (his wife) about it and she thought it would be a great idea. She didn’t want me to start until the first of the new year, but I knew if I didn’t start that day that I would never actually do it.
The Urchins: Writing a song a day sounds pretty tough. What have you struggled with?
Mathias: Well, writing a song a day is very tough. It’s also sort of taken the fun out of writing music for me. Before it was something I would only do when inspired or feeling pensive. Now, it feels forced (I guess it is). There are some days I get off of work and just want to relax, drink a few beers and play some Madden on Xbox or curl up on the couch with my wife and watch some tv shows. That last sentence seemed to run-on. My point is that it has become more of a chore than a fun project to do. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy with quite a few of the songs that have come out of the project so far, I just wish it didn’t take up so much of my life.
The Urchins: How would you say your process has evolved thus far doing this experiment?
Mathias: Well, my favorite songs seem to come out of thin air and mostly in the morning. I don’t know if it’s because my brain hasn’t been able to get bogged down or if it’s just that fresh start, but I feel if I wrote every song in the morning I would like every one. ha ha. Unfortunately I don’t have time every morning to write a song. The process of writing songs hasn’t yet evolved. I still write songs like I’ve always written songs. I take my time with each one and I do my best not to write songs that I myself wouldn’t listen to.
The Urchins: How do you stay inspired?
Mathias: You can’t stay inspired. I wish I had something more inspiring to say. I mean there’s infinite subjects to write about, but I always find myself gravitating toward certain themes: religion or lack of, love, sin, good, evil, fights you can’t win, progress, success….now I’m just ranting and rhyming looks like I might have another song in the making.
The Urchins: What do you do when you just don’t feel like writing a song?
Mathias: Well there’s nothing I can do about it except write a song. “Get it out of the way” is what I say on days like that.
The Urchins: What kind of reaction or feedback have you had?
Mathias: So far a lot of people have just said that they think it’s cool and a great idea. I don’t think anyway expects me to succeed or even write good songs. Interviews are strange talking about myself is strange.
The Urchins: What do you hope will come out of this project?
Mathias: 365 songs. Ha ha. I don’t know what I hope comes out of the project. Notoriety….maybe. A feeling of accomplishment. Not quitting something I’ve started. Even though everyday I think about stopping.
Check out Mathias’ blog to see all of his work!