Chris DuBois is best known as a member of Brad Paisley’s inner circle, and a partner in his Sea Gayle Music publishing venture. He has been a part of 12 number ones, including songs for Darius Rucker, Brad Paisley, and Josh Turner.
How much time do you spend honing in on each specific word that you use? How much time do you spend on the details?
It depends on the song. Sometimes the songs just fall out and they feel right, but there are times they fall out and you know instinctively that they need work. It also depends on who I’m writing with. I’m a notoriously slow writer in that I’m very methodical and I sit and I think and I’m a lyricist. I’m not much of a melody guy. I spend most of my time thinking about the words so I can go as slow as my co-writer wants to work. If he wants to sit there in silence for thirty minutes, I’m totally cool with that. I’ll sit there thinking when I say what about this; usually I have a whole verse to throw out. I have other writers who want to sit there and play the whole time and work on melodies the whole time. Sometimes it makes me want to scream and bang my head against the wall. Other times it is very inspiring. It depends on how good of a singer the guy is. When you write with a fantastic singer they can make anything sound unbelievable and there are other guys you want to stick a cork in their mouth and say please shut up. There are times when I go back even after we think a song is finished and I know the second verse can be better or the bridge doesn’t phrase just right and we will go back in and try to fix it and make it better. Usually there is a deadline of sorts when you’re writing a song. Usually you’ve got a demos session coming up and when you have a demo session coming up, it means we are tracking a song on Thursday and doing a vocal on Friday, so we’ve got to get the lyrics right by Friday and usually once it’s on the demo you don’t want to go back and start tweaking with it.