Luke Spiller Of The Struts: How I Wrote That Song

Luke Spiller Of The Struts: How I Wrote That Song

We are our own worst critics. Luke Spiller knows this as well as anyone. Despite churning out a successful run of crossover hits with The Struts for more than a decade, he’s still never sure if a song will land until he lets other people hear it.

“That’s one thing I’ve learned,” he says in this episode of How I Wrote That Song, “that you simply do not know. The only thing you can do… is keep pushing and pushing, and then something is gonna surface, that you might not even recognize the quality within it, until you really start to show it around and people react to it and get drawn into that.”

Take their earliest hit, “Could Have Been Me.” The track is from the Struts’ debut album Everybody Wants, and it elevated the band from UK club favorites to global rockstars. But Luke explains, “I remember when we finished it. I was outside having a cig with Ads (guitarist Adam Slack) and I was like, ‘Is this any good? …I mean, it’s alright.’ And that’s the funny thing with some of these singles. When they happen towards the end of your creative process of creating an album, by then sometimes you can be overtired, over traveled, and you really just don’t know what’s good anymore. ‘Could Have Been Me’ was one of those ones for sure. My hands were up in the air, like, ‘It’s a great song, but I don’t know.’”

It ended up not only being a hit, but Luke jokes that it’s “the song that keeps on giving.” High-profile placement in sporting events, commercials and movies exposed the band to an entirely new audience. In 2021, the song was covered by Halsey for the Sing 2 soundtrack – a children’s movie – and he noticed that “all of these little kids were showing up with their parents” to the Struts’ concerts.

“I thought to myself, have I got to tone the show down now?” he says with a laugh. “But then I thought, f— it, and I did what I did and didn’t dumb it down. And you see the kids’ faces, and they absolutely love it.”

Hear more stories behind the band’s most popular songs, plus Luke’s thoughts on musical ad-libs, collaborations and more, in this week’s How I Wrote That Song.

Tyler Hubbard on ‘Dancin’ In The Country’

Tyler Hubbard on ‘Dancin’ In The Country’

For our latest installment of our How I Wrote That Song series, we sat down and talked with Tyler Hubbard. With 20 No.1 singles on country radio, countless awards, and sold-out tours, Tyler Hubbard has already had an incredibly successful career as a songwriter and as one-half of the multi-platinum duo Florida Georgia Line. The group played their last show for the foreseeable future last year. But Hubbard has wasted no time in establishing himself as a solo star who is able to stand on his own.

His solo debut, Tyler Hubbard, is out now. His debut solo single “5 Foot 9,” was a number one radio hit. And it was certified Platinum by the RIAA, and has almost 385M global streams. Tyler Hubbard also features his current single, “Dancin’ In The Country,” which he discusses with us in this interview.

Lzzy Hale: How I Wrote That Song

Lzzy Hale: How I Wrote That Song

Lzzy Hale has been writing and performing with her band Halestorm for over half of her life. Over the past two decades, she’s released gold and platinum-selling albums with plenty of chart-toppers at rock radio, all while shattering the status quo with her powerhouse vocals and bold lyrics.

In this installment of How I Wrote That Song, WMMR’s Sara asks Lzzy about her biggest hits, going back to when Halestorm came out swinging in 2009 with the single “I Get Off.” Despite the saucy title, the song’s first draft was actually about how the band won over a few hardened record executives in the audience at a live showcase. When Lzzy developed the lyrics further with a writing collective called The Girls, she explains: “I was telling them this story [about the show] and one of them – and this is why I love writing with women, because our sense of humor is the same – was like, ‘Oh, so you got off on them enjoying what you do’… and we took over this piano, in the lobby of this hotel, and were singing ‘I get off on you, getting off on me,’ just totally annoying everybody around us.”

She adds with a laugh, “It originally didn’t start from sex, but it definitely grew its own legs!”

Sara and Lzzy also discuss the Grammy-nominated song “Uncomfortable” and a new track called “Terrible Things.” Along the way, they touch on her unexpected radio hit with Daughtry this year, swapping gender perspectives in song lyrics, and how activism plays a role in her writing process.

Note: This interview was originally recorded in March 2023.

Jon Pardi: How I Wrote That Song

Jon Pardi: How I Wrote That Song

“Tequila Little Time” is a great song, and it makes a great drink name – but you’ll never guess what Jon Pardi said he’d add to it. Andie Summers caught him he was working on his farm – but make no mistake about it – he was prepared for our conversation. Jon’s house wifi is really spotty (I know this from previously attempted interviews with him) so he set up an Adirondack chair in the middle of a field, and away we went.

While talking to us (and working on his farm), Jon had his hands full prepping to launch his Mr. Saturday Night tour. He had just come out of the studio where he was recording a Christmas album that he says won’t be the usual “boring” Christmas songs. Instead, Jon says it’ll be more like “Christmas with a drink.” And it was just days before his first baby was born (Presley Fawn was born February 18, 2023).

Jon Pardi’s music is country to the core. The way his voice blends with a steel guitar brings the quintessential classic “country” sound into the 2020s. That sound is apparent in his first number one song, 2015’s “Head Over Boots.” 2019’s “Heartache Medication” was a song that he became really animated about in our conversation.  (which he becomes really animated about in our conversation), and the song that sounds like it belongs on a Happy Hour menu: Tequila Little Time (2021). Get the scoop on these songs and more in How I Wrote That Song. Watch the interview below.

Ann Wilson: How I Wrote That Song

Ann Wilson: How I Wrote That Song

In the lead episode of Season 3 of How I Wrote That Song, one of the most enduring voices in rock and roll looks back on her hits and the moments that inspired them. Ann Wilson’s storied career in Heart has yielded so many memorable tracks, with each of them taking the band down a different sonic path. They stand as a testament to the multifaceted songwriting skills of her and her sister Nancy Wilson, who founded the band together fifty years ago.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer tells Sara Parker of WMMR how one of Heart’s earliest hits, “Barracuda,” came together organically: “I didn’t have to think too much about it. Just let my emotions flow… I had a problem with somebody who had insulted me and my sister, and I was really angry. And so (the words) just went down on the page.”

That song showcased the grittier side of Heart, but there’s a gentler side to the music as well. “Dog and Butterfly,” released a couple years later, held a softer tone. “That was the thing about Heart,” Ann explains. “It could go all places. It wasn’t just a heavy, grinding rock band. It could do that, for sure, and have it be real, but also Nancy and I came out of a folk background. We came from a house with parents who listened to all kinds of stuff, Ray Charles, and opera… all kinds of music. So it wasn’t much of a stretch for us to write something like ‘Dog and Butterfly’.”

Ann also talks about the challenges and rewards that come with collaborating with other songwriters, her latest solo album, and Heart’s recent GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement recognition. Stream the interview in its entirety (below).

(Note: This interview was recorded in November 2022.)

Mooski Went From The Marines To ‘Track Star’

Mooski Went From The Marines To ‘Track Star’

The How I Wrote That Song limited series gives music fans a front-row seat for conversations with songwriters behind some of the biggest hits of yesterday and today. You’ll learn the stories behind the songs from the people who wrote them. New episodes will be released every other Monday through December 12. How I Wrote That Song is produced in partnership with Beasley Media Group, XPERI (HD Radio), and BMI.

Mooski is one of hip-hop and R&B’s most exciting new acts. After finishing serving four years in the Marines, he began focusing on his music career. And with “Track Star” — a song about a woman who won’t commit to a relationship — it looks like he’s on his way to stardom.

“Track Star” is a huge hit – talk about how you wrote it.

So I just got out of the Marine Corps and it had been like a few months. This was at the top top of 2020. I had just worked a 12-hour shift at my job, I was on my way back home. I was listening to instrumental (tracks) and stuff. My whole setup was: work Monday to Friday and then on Saturday and Sunday, I’m in the studio, so I’m just trying to catch a vibe. So, I found this instrumental and I just lock into it, man.

So, I’m driving and the vibe is just coming to me, I don’t even want to write anything down. I was just vibing and recording it on my Snapchat, trying to write the song.

So what were you going through? I’m guessing that you were going through it with somebody at that time to be inspired to write these lyrics of somebody who just can’t commit. You make the metaphor. She’s like a track star. She just takes off.

Yeah, yeah, for sure. You know what I’m saying? It’s just something is definitely pulled from a real place. You know, it is something that I’ve been through before or something I’ve seen before. You know what I mean? So I just really wanted to really want it to be transparent, completely transparent and swallow all pride and just put everything out there so people can really connect to it. I want this song to be like one of those things that clicked because it is things that you say in your head that you never really let come out of your mouth. And so it really connected with everyone.