The Doobie Brothers’ Patrick Simmons recently spoke about the inspirational elements for musicians that help them create music. In his case, he referred to some aspects of the environment affecting him, colliding with Kurt Cobain‘s vision in his songs.
Creativity is quite personal, so even if a musician follows some guidelines, the music they create has different forms of inspiration from each other. An artist’s personal experience plays a huge role in them writing their songs, but some may prefer looking outwards into their surroundings for a muse.
Patrick Simmons recently stated that he has been looking outwards as well. The weather’s gloominess was specifically projected to some artists, but he and Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain were inspired more by the social issues that created a hierarchy in society.
He stated that the rebelliousness towards injustices inspired him and Kurt Cobain. This source of inspiration came from the environment during their eras and significantly impacted their songs. This relationship between the musician and the setting was crucial in creating the music.
Here is what he said about the creation process:
“I think the Northwest has not a sound, but a movement of music that I think there’s a relationship to the artists and the music and the way that they project it and perform it that’s a little bit more alternative. I don’t think you can put your finger on music coming out of that scene, exactly, but there’s a relationship to the music, the musicians, and the sound.
I’ve got to think some of that is influenced by their environment. You know, the very cloudy, foggy, rainy winters; there’s a certain solemnity or something that maybe goes along with that. That probably influences some of the themes in the music. Then, whatever lifestyle and experience that stems from, the Northwest is a blue-collar area, or at least it was.”
“It’s changed tremendously, with tech and so on, but probably in Kurt Cobain’s day and my time, it was more of loggers and construction, paper mills, and that kind of stuff. It’s more of a blue-collar, working-class feel for the lifestyle, and I suspect that comes through in the music to a certain degree. It’s not a total intellectual thing.
There’s a little backlash, too, to the more right-wing, straight, religious thing that goes along with living in those small towns and areas. Certainly, for Kurt Cobain and probably myself, there’s a rebelliousness that goes against the grain. Some of that, I think, is influenced by the environment.”
The Doobie Brothers were formed in 1970, released 12 studio albums so far, and sold over 22 million albums worldwide. The band is still active, but they released their latest studio album ‘Sibling Rivalry’ in 2000 and their latest live album, ‘The Very Best of the Doobie Brothers’ in 2007.