Why did you select this song as your current single?
I never set out to write a single but once the tunes are written and recording is under way, certain songs naturally stand out, calling attention to themselves. Firefly is one of those tracks. The power of the groove, the melody and the gospel-like message give the song a strong universal appeal.
How does this single relate to the rest of the Album, EP or Mix-tape?
I made a conscious effort to achieve balance between lightness and darkness on the album Lo & Behold. For anyone who recognizes what’s happening in the world, it’s easy to tap into the dark side. I tried to capture some positive vibrations! Firefly is an inspirational song with an uplifting message.
What was the writing process for the song?
Like most of my songs, it was written guitar in hand with a pen and a notebook. I always try to capture as much as possible on the first session. In this instance, music and lyrics came pretty much together, which tends to be a good sign. I settled into the 6/8 shuffle feel right away. Everything flowed from the very first line, “Like a firefly aglow in the night never ceases to amaze…”
What does this song’s lyric mean to you?
It strings together magical moments that bring out the otherworldly essence of love. It’s not a romantic song in the boy meets girl tradition. It celebrates the eye-opening nature of love as a divine energy; its ability to empower and make you feel connected to everything that surrounds you. If it sounds somewhat surreal, it’s meant to. When I wrote, “like a chandelier hanging from the sky, it turns on when you least expect it,” I was visualizing a Magritte painting.
What would it be like to see you in person performing this song?
At the moment, it would be a solo rendition on acoustic guitar with muted power chords pulsing the triplet feel, chord stabs in the pre-choruses, and opened-tuning full chords ringing in the choruses. The song holds stripped down to the essentials, just the way I wrote it.
Could your fans summarize who you are as an artist by this song?
My initial reaction is of course not – I can’t be pinned down to one tune! But in some ways, the answer is yes. Internet radio fans have written to tell me that I don’t remind them of other artists. I take this as a sign that I have a fairly unique, recognizable sound and Firefly is as good a song as any I’ve written even if I do have more range. The best way to get the full picture is to listen to all 10 songs on Lo & Behold.
Is there a video planned and or completed and if so, what was the idea behind the video?
Jonathan Ellis directed and edited the clip. It was his song of choice, which surprised me only because it’s the longest track on the CD and meant more work for him! But I also know the value of inspiration and when you’re an indie artist working on a limited budget, it’s your most valuable resource! He searched for some public domain footage that would highlight some of the lyrics. We then shot over 30 ad-lib lip-syncing performances of me in different parts of Astoria, NY in a single day. During the editing, Jon decided to keep me in the picture throughout most of the video. I was initially somewhat reticent to be so exposed but I got over it. After all, this is my first video and the idea is to introduce the artist. Jon also convinced me to use some family footage from personal archives. As a result, my wife and daughter are in the clip and it’s become more than a commercial tool to promote a single; it’s now a priceless personal treasure regardless of how many times it’s viewed on YouTube. I appreciate that.
One last question, what is your motivation behind your music?
To quote a line from my next album, I’m constantly “mining for riches hidden within the junkyard of my mind.” I’m exploring what I’m capable of. Music is hard work but it keeps me grounded and inspired. I like the idea of creating something out of nothing, bringing a new song into this world and adding to the big picture. I am determined to capture some of my best work in recordings that will stand the test of time.