Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody has spoken about the marathon writing session that led to almost half of the album Eyes Open being written in one night. He also discussed how he didn’t expect the song Run to become as big of a hit as it did when it was written.
Lightbody made the comments on the newly launched Humans of Music Podcast, where former Rolling Stone editor Rod Yates interviews musicians about their lives. He told Yates: “Run was written at a time when I had nothing. I wasn’t thinking about writing a song that would end up being a big hit. I was just thinking about writing a song.”
He went on to describe the similar circumstances surrounding the group’s biggest hit, and the prolific writing session it came out of: “Chasing Cars was written in a night where I wrote nine other songs. So I wasn’t thinking about writing that either. I was just literally it was all just coming out – listening back and the next day, I was like, ‘oh, we’ve got something here.’ Actually, five of those songs ended up on Eyes Open. Our biggest record, and half of it was written in one night.”
Lightbody did say, however, that songwriting often can’t be forced: not every song he’s written came as quickly as those in that session, as he goes on to describe the difficulty of reconciling writing songs for Wildness and his own personal struggles: “Life on Earth was a drawn out process, that took five years to write that song. But it was for quite a few of those years that I was wasn’t fit for anything. It wasn’t like I was sitting every day trying to write the song I was. sitting every day probably in silence, staring at the screen or staring into space.”
Chasing Cars was recently revealed to be the most played radio song of the 21st Century so far – an impressive legacy for a song written along with nine others. Read our interview with Gary Lightbody where he talks about dealing with this legacy for Snow Patrol’s recent Reworked album, as well as recording guitar parts in hotel rooms, and the perils of improvising in front of 10,000 people.