Rhett & Link provided some genuinely good advice on the musical creative process in their latest Rhett & Link-only session on “Ear Biscuits.” While revisiting old songwriting experiences, the two uncovered some interesting tidbits and reflected on why certain melodies never made it to the public.
There’s a huge difference between being two guys coming up with ideas in their living room and being two guys with a production team and a serious work schedule to follow. As the former, Rhett & Link got much more of a chance to write without constraints. Bouncing ideas off one another, their musical works were born through a haphazard creative process that would often begin with no conception of any final product the two aimed to create.
Now, the duo works in a different way. “Over the past fourteen years, our process has changed significantly…one of the things that’s changed about the way we work is that we have a team of people, we have things scheduled out in advance,” Rhett explained. That’s what happens when you achieve a certain amount of fame and need to keep up with a level of output and quality that fans have come to expect from you.
Thus, songs that used to spawn from simply messing around now begin with a solid idea…then, like any creative people, Rhett & Link allow for the process to carry the concept to its ultimate outcome. For instance, their hit, “Rub Some Bacon On It,” started with the notion named in the title (a fan suggestion fitting with the five-word format the guys requested in a video). The whole idea for the music video then came from an unforeseen issue. “The bacon bot, which is the focal point of the entire music video…was only created because we didn’t like the way we sounded in the chorus,” Link recalled, so they used a robot voice to sing it for them and needed to find a way to make that tie in with the video accompaniment.
These days, the guys find their musical inspiration “from our brains, from sponsors, and from fans,” said Link. Their biggest tip when it comes to songwriting lies in their mess-ups. “You have to churn out a lot of stuff creatively to get something out of it that you actually want to share with people,” described Rhett. Unlike in video, where you plan it out, shoot it, and make some edits after, you can rework the same song a number of different times while still being productive.
By the end of this “Ear Biscuits,” Rhett & Link got nostalgic for their old writing process, deciding they should “rent a cabin…and write a whole album” sometime in the near future. Whether they’ll do it or not, Rhett did say he hoped “music will continue to be a cornerstone of what we create,” so look out for more original songs from the “Ear Biscuits” duo.