An Interview with Spitehound

Talking yellow legal pads, writing whilst waiting, and “waking the artist”.

4/16/20243 min read

Sienna Garda: Do you need special pens, your phone, lucky socks, snacks, specific gear? 

Spitehound : I actually tend to prefer writing with materials I don’t care about throwing away! I’ve tried using nice journals in the past, but it makes me feel like things I write have to be good enough to belong in this precious book or whatever, and I find myself kinda forcing ideas. My typical setup is a mechanical pencil and one of those big yellow legal pads. I love all the extra margin room for brainstorming. And then more finalized things get tossed into the iPhone notes and voice memo dream team. 

SG: Do you ever re-purpose dreams, previously written lyrics, other people’s songs? 

Spitehound: I absolutely will reuse my own previously written lyrics if they found themselves in songs that didn’t end up working out. I have a big pile of lyric segments I adore that haven’t found their way into new songs yet, but their day will come. 

SG: Co-Writers—yes or no, and who? 

Spitehound: I don’t often co-write with people in the traditional meaning, but I will co-edit if that makes sense. I have a couple trusted folks I like to run songs by as they’re in the stages of being completed, and they give me their first impressions, thoughts, suggestions, et cetera. I have a hard time having somebody else literally writing a song with me, but I think it’s crucial for it to pass by at least a few ears besides mine before I can call it done. Often things will click in my head because I know what a song is about, but somebody else will be like “I had no clue what you were talking about until line X” or similar things that are harder to catch from my perspective.

SG: Do you write in the shower, on walks, your bedroom floor, in the car? 

Spitehound: I typically get ideas in places when I’m relaxed and my mind is wandering a bit, often while driving, taking walks, waiting at a show, things like that. Those become little song scraps in my phone notes or voice memos that get stitched together on my couch in my living room. I have a great coffee table that folds up into a little writing surface, it’s kinda a cornerstone of the operation. 

SG: Are you inspired by eavesdropping, historical figures, your own life and inner world? 

Spitehound: I’m super inspired by interactions between people, and tend to write a lot of songs about conversations I’ve had or moments I’ve shared with people that I felt were profound or relatable in some way or another. On my EP, Tourniquet, the songs Therapy, Moving Day, & Oxblood are all about conversations. I also love writing about myself and my feelings of course but try not to let too much of my material be focused on that.

SG: Do you write in the morning, evening, autumn, summer, at school? 

Spitehound: I write mostly in the evenings just due to logistics & work, however, I do try to sit down in the mornings and at least write for 20 minutes or so. Whether it’s just a sentence, one guitar line, doesn’t matter. I first heard this from one of my favorite guitar instructors in the world, Eric Haugen, as a way to “wake the artist”, so all day you’ll kinda be thinking about songwriting in the back of your mind. Whether that manifests via humming melody ideas, maybe finding a lyric idea, et cetera, it’s great to help me loosely be in a creative mindset all day.

This interview was lightly edited for context and clarity. Originally published in October 2023.