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Song After Song: Skippy Spiral

It’s industrial, it’s dark, it’s got accordion, it’s danceable—it’s Skippy Spiral. The brilliant writer, musician, and clown is a Savannah staple by this point, but if you’re still not familiar you should be.

It’s no surprise that Spiral went to film school; his music wouldn’t be out of place scoring a Tim Burton film or a horror flick. But there’s an abundant love of synths, new wave, and even goth rock present in what he does that makes what he does something unbelievably special.

For our latest Song After Song, we asked Skippy Spiral to pick one song of his own and one song that he loves and break down both. His original song, “Everyone’s Already Dead,” can be found on his 2018 self-titled release (out now via Bandcamp).

Original Song: "Everyone’s Already Dead"

What stands out about the writing process?

How easy it was to write.

What’s the song about?

This song is about death, mortality, life after death/the unknown.

You mentioned it was easy to write How long of a process was it?

Not very long. It was the first thing I came up with on accordion.

What about this song makes it an important one for you personally?

It’s a big mood I have from time to time—that we’re all suffering from this delusion of life & existence. Also, how life & death go hand in hand. It hits deep on a personal level because I originally performed it as a duet with Niema Ross, who passed.

Generally speaking, who are some of the artists you look to for inspiration as a writer?

Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Danny Elfman, Mike Patton, Mark Mothersbaugh, Robert Smith, and David Bowie.

As a songwriter, do you tend to have a goal in mind musically that you sit down and work at? Or do you let songs happen organically?

Sometimes I’ll have an idea; a melody or lyrics swimming around. Other times it’s just experimenting and a lot of trial and error. Sometimes, it’s a combination of the two. Occasionally it’ll be really easy—like I’m possessed and a vessel, and it just flows right out. That’s kind of what happened with this song

Favorite Song: "No One Lives Forever" - Oingo Boingo

When did you first discover this song, and how?

I was 8 years old, and heard it at a Halloween party.

What stands out to you about it?

Its composition, melody, and tone.

How would you interpret it, lyrically speaking?

[It’s about having] an easy going attitude towards the inevitability of death; turning it into a celebration of sorts. Have fun. Enjoy life.

Dissect it musically; what’s most interesting to you in terms of production, writing, instrumentation, etc?

It has an upbeat tempo. It alternates between major and minor, kind of like the themes of life and death. There’s diversity in the instrumentation, too—guitar, horns, synth, and piano. The guitar makes a great howling sound in one of the recurring riffs.

Solid composition & orchestration; but then again, it’s Danny Elfman.

If you could make one connection between this song and yours, what would it be?

They’re both spooky and about death, but also in a fun and upbeat way.