Shatter the Madness is a collection of songs and videos that gives voice to the beautifully broken, crazy, wonderful world in which we live. We hope you enjoy it. Let us know what you think.
Q: What is the significance of the four songs you have chosen?
Allen – They are pages torn from the fabric of our lives.
Tom – The opening scene is The House That Built Me, with the protagonist coming back home, knocking on the door. He discovers who he is and where he’s from. The next song in the narrative is Legacy. Once he’s back home, he can finally realize the sacrifices of his father. He can finally acknowledge the blessing of family, his heritage, and the legacy of love. In Good Man Gone Bad, our protagonist has found the love of his life and has put a downpayment on the American Dream, but he feels like the deck is stacked against him and it’s impossible to get ahead. He feels like doing the right thing is punished and doing the wrong thing is rewarded. Enter stage left – the heroine – the angel on his shoulder. She throws him a lifeline and rescues his from his moral dilemma. The climactic end of the narrative is Shatter the Madness. We find our protagonist defeated, drowning in despair. He has come to the end of himself, but he finally begins to understand that love – the love of a family, the love of a woman, the love of a child, the love of God – is the hammer. A hammer strong enough to scatter the sadness and shatter the madness of our isolation, loneliness, and depression. To help us feel again. Even if it’s to feel the pain. The pain lets you know that you’re alive.
Q: How long have you and Allen known each other? How did you meet?
Allen – Of course that’s not true. I couldn’t wait to get in a room with him to write. When we got in the room together, we knew we had something special.
Tom – Allen and I met in 2004 after admiring each other’s songs for a number of years. We finally got together in the Spring of 2004 and wrote the first of 40 compositions together. “Broken Me, Broken You” was the name of the first song we wrote together.
Q: What is your songwriting process with Allen? (i.e. what does a day in the studio look like when you two are writing a song together?)
Tom – A lot of writers start with music; Allen and I always start with the lyrics. The music comes later.
Allen – I think we both give each other permission to fail in a big way. No editing. And we both have the willingness to let go of anything at any point if it doesn’t serve the idea.
Tom – It’s like we are going deep sea fishing and we are fishing for marlin. They are the biggest fighters, in the deepest waters. You can go long stretches where you don’t catch a thing, and you come home empty-handed. But when you catch one, it’s a trophy.
Tom – The song is the master. We’re here to serve the song. Allen has said, ‘We’re not songwriters, we’re song rememberers,’ and I love that.
Tom – Essential tools for writing: Blackwing palomino pencils – freshly sharpened, journals with good paper, and strong black coffee.