Knowing When It's Ready

How easy (or hard) is it to say that a song is complete; that no more tinkering with the arrangement or re-recording certain elements are necessary? How do you know when the song is done, especially if you are doing something a little different as you did with the "Notorious," the "Thank You" or the "Red Carpet Massacre" albums? This question was inspired by the fact that you scrapped the entire "Reportage" album. I can only imagine that you felt the songs weren't worthy of being released. P.S. Will we ever hear some of the Reportage songs. possibly as b-sides or rarities? Bruce

“That’s a very good question Bruce, which is, of course, almost impossible to answer because knowing when a song is ready can only ever be based upon instinct and personal taste. Sometimes one can look in hindsight and wonder why one didn’t take a song in a different direction, change lyrics or perhaps even arrangement. However the process has to stop somewhere and somebody has to take responsibility for those decisions. It obviously depends what you’re trying to achieve with each piece of music but if you have a clear vision it’s definitely easier to know exactly when to stop. Regarding REPORTAGE, they were multiple reasons why we chose to shelve the record at that time, the main one being our excitement at the discovery of a new direction, with Timbaland which we wished to explore further. It was this that led to the RED CARPET MASSACRE album being a more complete and unique experience. The songs from REPORTAGE simply did not seem to fit with the new material. That said, I think the album has held up quite well so I believe we all agree it would be good to finish the material and release it some time in the future. NR”