A good song is formulaic in nature. It requires a balance between technicality and simplicity, a dash of reality and a heap of passion. It takes more than a catchy chorus to land a song in the realm of repetition, however.
Where’s the hook?
A good song needs a good title. Simple, I know. Common sense, agreed. So, why waste a line of type? The answer is just as simple. The title acts as a song’s calling card, the first impression that will lead a listener to giving it a spin before another track. Given the level of responsibility placed on a select few words, one cannot help but wonder, “What exactly goes into crafting a title which will sell a song?”
What’s the influence?
“His Name Was Mayhem,” the opening track on Faceless Creatures, an EP released in January 2012 by Vineland’s own five-piece, post-hardcore band, Every Minute Can Kill, goes beyond clever word play and wit. A real life event, which borders on horror and humor, lent itself to the song’s title.
Who’s the inspiration?
A parking lot in Trenton, N.J. now functions as the stage on which Mayhem made his curtain call. “Parking for the venue was tight so I parked a few blocks away,” recalls Trevor Jennings, the 19-year-old vocalist of Every Minute Can Kill. “We [Jennings and his friends] were just about to leave my car when two strangers surrounded us and forced us to roll down the window…that’s when we met ‘Mayhem.’”
Mayhem went on to tell Jennings and his friends all about himself. He proudly revealed his “Mayhem” tattoo, which runs across his stomach and neighbors permanently inked swastikas. He checked Jennings’ car for “non-white races,” and “borrowed” money from the vocalist and his friends.
“We named ‘His Name Was Mayhem’ after him,” says Jennings with a laugh. “Good times.”
Not all songs can boast that their titles were built on the foundation of Mayhem but one thing is certain: Good times and good tunes remain a combination as classic as peanut butter and jelly.