Pop-Punks You Know The Drill recently released their sophomore EP, ‘Selfhood,’ via Scylla Records. Vocalist Benji Yapp is now happy to discuss his relationship with lyrics…
How do you write them? What is your process either as a band or individually? Have you ever suffered from writer’s block and if so, how did you overcome it? A lot of my lyrical ideas will often come from phrases and sentences I hear in every day conversation. From there I’ll make note of it and then see if it could be relevant to the song or if it needs to be reworded to make it fit. I write a lot of the lyrics on my own, although I do often hit writers block, which is when I go to the boys to see what they think, which often sparks creativity when more ideas are being thrown around.
What is the lyric you’re proudest of and why? I think it might be “Trapped within these four walls, I fear they’ll become my tomb I’m cemented in, it never occurred to roll down the window and breathe the air I found.” I really like that it sounds super metaphorical, when all I really wanted to say was “I feel like we’ve been in this van forever, I feel so trapped, oh look I can roll the window down and get some fresh air”.
What themes and topics do you like to cover and why? Emotions are always a big one for me. There is so much you can write about emotion and you aren’t really too limited with it either as it’s such a preferential topic. I also enjoy writing from the perspective of someone I know who may be going through something, trying to empathise and put myself in their shoes, to try and understand how that person might be feeling.
Has anyone ever misheard, perhaps to comedic effect, or misunderstood the intention of your lyrics? In Homesick there’s a part where Luke shouts “four walls!”. And I know some of our fans have had a lot of fun making a meme out of that.
Which of your own lyrics best sums up your band? Throwing it way back to the first song we ever put out “I’m just a kid with no ambition, but I’m trying to make it right”.
If you had to have any lyric tattooed on you, if you don’t already, what would you pick? If I had to have my own lyrics on me it’d be “I’m not made of stone”. But if someone else’s probably “This is home” by blink-182.
What lyric do you wish you’d written and why? “We are the glass on the stain glass window, trying to comprehend the cathedral” by Enter Shikari from Shirin Yoku. It’s such a clever way of saying “We are so small and insignificant as we try and understand the wonders of the universe!’. Love it.
Who are your favourite lyricists or even writers for content such as film, TV or even poetry? What are some of the lines that best connect with you? Do you take influence from that? Rou from Enter Shikari has an amazing way with words. I also really love Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys as he could be so honest and open with his words. “I know perfectly well I’m not where I should be, I’ve been very aware you’ve been patient with me” from You Still Believe In Me is such a crazy cool way to open a song. The self awareness is just brilliant too. I definitely take a lot of influence from Brian Wilson when it comes to writing lyrics, Pet Sounds is a masterpiece.
What are the worst lyrics you’ve ever heard? “Oi oi to me, oi oi to you, 1,2,3, GO! GO! GO!”. Definitely up there with some of the worst and somehow, best lyrics of all time from a certain Peter 118.
Finally, please sign of with some lyrical words of wisdom… Try every single idea as you never know what will work, read your lyrics aloud in spoken word to make sure they make sense and just be as honest as you can!