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James Mercer: “Everyone was too cool to care”

July 23, 2014

Mr. Mercer, how do you write a song?

It depends on what the song needs or wants. I try to interpret what the music is already saying. I listen to the music and try to figure out what emotions are being expressed by that music. Often times it’ll remind me of something I’ve been thinking about and I’ll go down that route. If that doesn’t work, I think it’s cool to just try to come up with some sort of hypothetical scenario that gives that emotional feeling that’s being expressed by the music. There are different ways of doing it, but generally it is trying to get the feeling down on paper of what the music is already saying.

How does it make you feel when people say you are one of the best songwriters of your generation?

It actually makes me feel self-conscious. I’m happy to be considered…

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