A look inside the songwriting process with Andrew Bird.

Andrew Bird on stage fright, the Lusitania and his latest, Break It Yourself 

A look inside the songwriting process with Andrew Bird.

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The lyrics I wrote in New Orleans while I was working on [Martin] Dosh's record, and I wrote them really fast because he just needed something for me to sing. It's based on a childhood experience. My mother tells me that at 15 months, I exiled all of my stuffed animals from my crib. I wanted nothing to do with these false comforts. So I drew that out a little further. And that's not actually a steel drum; it's something I do with my violin.

Really? How do you get it to make that sound?

I have a filter that's a handmade pedal that makes the violin sound more metallic. You hear it a lot on the record. People think it's either a guitar solo or a steel drum. It's just pizzicato, but yeah, and sometimes the whistling with it will give the illusion of a steel drum.

Which of your new songs are you most excited to perform on this tour?

A lot of them I'm excited to play because, with a few exceptions, they weren't produced or constructed, and so what you hear is what happened [when recording]. Something happens, I've noticed, when we do "Eyeoneye," and it happened on the recording, too, where it just gets this jolt of kind of raw power, I guess. And I've never really felt like that on a song before, and I like it.

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