For Bert Bacharch, it continues to compose and record music as much as it can. Most pop legends of the nineties aren’t releasing new music this year instead of looking at their trophy shelves, but a selection of one of the most famous lyricists in pop history, Nashville-based Daniel Tashian, has found a new partner and museum singer, songwriter and producer. Tashian, best known for his Grammy-winning work on Casey Masgravs’ “Golden Hour”, returned as the band’s frontman with their new duet project “Blue Umbrella”, but it’s undeniably Bachar’s historically recognizable melody playing five EPs.
The full collection was released July 31, but today is facing a featured local release from the “Midnight Watch” project. (Stay tuned to the music list below) Bacharach and Tashian L.A. He picked up the phone from his home in Nashville to discuss new songs, Bachar’s famous fine system, and how they were going to write together hundreds of miles away.
TASHIAN: How is it going there, Bert?
Bacharach: [Laughs.] It’s the same day as yesterday.
Different: You have a new song, “Midnight Watch,” released this week. What can you tell us about that? It’s been a very deep night, a lonely, “very short hour in the morning” feeling.
TASHIAN: The lyrics of this song really took on a new meaning for me during this lockdown, because I found myself too late, watching the news or looking at Instagram, Twitter and all these things. And was All We are waiting for life to show some resemblance to the type of midnight clock we knew. And so it somehow sorted out the theme song for loneliness.
Bacharach: It didn’t start that way, but it did. It was very private, looking at a woman, waiting for her to return. You can tell now, and now we’re in that form of a midnight clock.
TASHIAN: I have always been fascinated by the work of Edward Hopper. And recently an Edward Hopper painting in New York and “Dinner at Dinner at Nighthawks” and all of that stuff about the paintings he has found social distance in his paintings. And right now it’s highly relevant or fun.
You started working together the day after the big win at Daniel Grammy for Cassie’s record. Did his people call your people, or how did it happen?
Bacharach: It was one of those accidents, a beautiful accident that didn’t happen. No one said, “Hey, you and Daniel should write something.” Daniel had just been able to create a demo of a song for Melody Federer, the singer I was working with, and we met. And then he won a Grammy and felt good and came home. I don’t know what kind of person I’m talking to (almost going to be). But the more time it takes, the more I like working with Daniel. It is very special.
Bert, you’ve probably heard of Casey Mushgrav’s album and been fascinated by it.
Bacharach: Oh yes, very so. A beautiful album. And then he moved to L.A., probably two more days of the year, a glimpse of the Grammy Album win of the year.
TASHIAN: Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either. “Blue Umbrella” is the first thing I did with you. I remember you were so inspired where you took that lyric.
Bacharach: What I get with Daniel is a complete service provider. When I wrote with Carroll (Bayer Seger), he wrote the lyrics and I wrote the music. With Elvis (Costello) we somehow met each other. But what Daniel brings to the table is the triple threat. He is musically brilliant. He is very lyrically brilliant. And he’s a really good singer. And there was no arrogance involved. You come up with a chord; I come up with a jir. If it doesn’t work, there’s no offense. “I like my chords more than your chords”? There is no such thing here. Daniel sent me a lot of what I was working on starting with almost the whole lyric: “What do you think about this?” And I will work on it, but it was understood through his songs. All rhyme patterns in all senses. They are in the right place. A batch of songs he sent is musicalized himself. Not that there is no melody on them yet, but they are moving in the direction I could go with the musical instrument.
TASHIAN: That’s good. I mean, just writing words is a new experience for me. I have to be honest. I’m more involved in the way I usually pick against their music. But Bert is very good at it. Now, maybe I can sing a note that might work in the context of what we got but chances are, we don’t need it. I remember holding on to a song, I was tempted to throw a little ad-lib there, and Bert was like, “You know, I don’t think we need any ad-lib here.” And to me, that’s the economy. This is a great way to view the composition, because if your melody is really good, you don’t need any ad-lib.
Bacharach: Economy is a very good thing. I mean, I always believe that less is better. And if your system is OK …
TASHIAN: Bert, do you think people think the same and breathlessly about you and the economy? People might think, well, it’s not economic, because every instrument is playing to every member of the orchestra, from the French horns to the acoul. But I think what you do has a great economy.
Bacharach: Thanks. You know, it feels very normal to me. I don’t like to get overburdened by anyone. I always wonder, are we overloading? Will the strings come soon? Should the string exist at all? I check out lots of options.
TASHIAN: With it I tried to find musicians who I thought would really play with a lot of sensitivity to this element and be open to your direction and my direction. There was a great comment on one of the songs we were playing. It sounded pretty good, and then Bert turned to talkback and said, “I think we need more romance from the rhythm department.” I still hear a lot of these words in my head when I work on things because it’s such a big side. Bert, you have this way of keeping in mind the kind of mood we’re trying to create, which in my opinion is the most important thing about record production, putting everyone in the right mindset.
Bacharach: It helps if they all come together at the same time. That’s the key I’ve always tried, whether it’s going to England with Silla Black to “alphabetize” on Abbey Road… I wanted to get a hundred percent of everyone who went to that studio. There is no overlay, nothing like “we won’t bring the strings later” and try to get everyone close to one hundred percent. I must have tortured him. Because it was really me that I had faith in, whether it was 37 for Dion (Warwick) ‘s first record … The thing with Silla Black, she kept looking at me like “you’re a crazy man.” What are you doing to me? ”And it was all live and I must have worked with him about 40 times.
TASHIAN: Okay, we didn’t do it with me. If you wanted me I would do it.
Bacharach: We didn’t need to. And also, did you know that before you paste in so many things and before things fly you grew up (once) you really want to take it really well but playing a guitar was a bad note and you’d just say, “Well, We’ll do it better or do it again. “” The thing with Silla Black, I didn’t know she wasn’t in the control room even after I went to England. I keep saying, “I need one more to fix this” and this guy tells me, “You had to take this 4, Bert.” And it was George Martin. [Laughs.]
TASHIAN: Yes. The older guy is usually the younger of the two to try to adopt the technology. But in this case, it was Bert saying, “Hey, we can write songs on FaceTime. Let’s do these. “And that kind of got me hooked, you wanted to do it. It’s a great bright place with me, working on things with you and I always learn something. When did we start the lockdown – six months ago?” [Laughs.] How long is it? – Everyone was saying that people who co-write would start co-writing in Zoom and FaceTime. And I was like, “I don’t know. I think I need to have an idea of where that person is in the room for what I’m doing.” And now the same musicians (from EP) will put their part in their own studios, so we can record that way.
What kind of new record are you doing now that the EP is already over?
Bacharach: Who knows? It can continue this EP or any other project.
TASHIAN: An F-ining A-side, B-side and C-side. And maybe we want to go to the beach.
Daniel, when you first met Bert, it must have been awesome – unless your confidence level really continues to rise, it’s going to be the day after the album’s win of the year.
TASHIAN: It is a thrilling moment that I will never forget. I would rather not celebrate with anyone else. And you, Bert, had some really clever things for me to do, which was to continue, not to sit back a bit and feel like you did something, because you just got to see what the next one was. And I thought that was really good advice for me at the moment.
Bert advised Daniel not to rest on his laurels – it sounds too much like you. Because you don’t have to work right now, and yet you’re being driven. Do you still have to push yourself to do it, still?
Bacharach: If only I had stayed home … working with Daniel. We have a purpose I am not writing with anyone else at the moment. So I hope Daniel never leaves me. You know what I mean?
TASHIAN: [Laughs.] Oh no. Yes. I’m not going anywhere. I also think, the thing you realized as an epidemic is that you got back to your basics, the things that were with you and brought you comfort and brought me and I Bert and I think and I hope it’s okay if I Talking about it, music is a great source of comfort and solace in unprecedented times. And I am really grateful for your cooperation with me to make it work. I feel for people who can live in their own home and probably have no artistic pursuit.
Bacharach: I think we can put some music out there that goes to someone’s heart. I was having dinner with Howard Gordon last night. He is one of the two show runners of “Homeland” and is living on the streets, and while “24.” He has been friends ever since. He is one of the few people in this house, he and his wife; Everyone wears masks. And Howard was saying how much the “Bells of St. Augustine” affected him. One of his brother’s friends died and they broke up. So he sent her “Bells” and it made her feel better. So it’s a very satisfying thing if you can make people better by what you put there.
I think it’s also necessary for your health, we’re kind of connected to the keyboard, whatever the guitar is, and you brought something or you didn’t bring anything on that particular day or at that particular time, you touched the base of the house. And this is where you can find plenty of peace. And don’t turn on the news. I advise not to watch before going to bed at night, because dreams are a very heavy responsibility.
Well, thank you both for being with us.
Bacharach: I enjoyed talking to you. Stay safe.
TASHIAN: Okay, Bert, I’ll give you a lightning bolt in a moment.
Bacharach: All right. [Not wanting to wait.] When can we work?