Kevin Barnes from Of Montreal shares his five tips for unlocking your songwriting dark side this Halloween...
1) The most important thing is to establish a "me vs. them" mentality. The stronger your persecution complex the better. It will make it easier to be morbidly cruel and heartless in your depiction of your subject.
2) When choosing a subject, make sure it's someone very close to you, who doesn't really deserve to be the victim of any vitriol. You need to have the element of surprise on your side.
3) Don't exercise any restraint or sympathy or decency - empathy will kill your pen!
4) Try to be as emotionally retarded as possible. You have to completely miss the big picture and only focus on some petty detail of your loved one's crime against you.
5) Perhaps most important of all, you must act completely taken aback when the subject of the song confronts you about it. Even though it will be ridiculously obvious that you wrote the song about them, you must act shocked that they'd think that it is and vehemently deny it, explaining that it was actually written about a fictional character. This tip is only important if you don't want to completely alienate yourself from your social circle. If you don't give a damn either way than you can skip this, although you should probably start reading Mark Twain's "Better Living Through Misanthropy" as soon as possible. ENDS