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Donald Fagen

| April 7, 2011 | 0 Comments

Preventing our songs from becoming novelty songs were something Walter and I discussed, relative to Steely Dan albums. Essentially the question is, “How funny do you want to be?” We try not to let the songs become too much of a pastiche or parody. We don’t want to turn into Weird Al, or even Frank Zappa. I think the songs work on several levels, and I don’t want to lose any of those levels. I think we have succumbed to parody-type stuff on occasion, and I think it hurts the song. I want them to work on a first-degree level. Sometimes we have really funny lines, and we actually take them out and replace them with something that’s still funny but more subtle. If something’s too funny, you get listening fatigue; it starts to lose its meaning if it’s too powerful.

From Performing Songwriter Issue 92, March/April 2006

Category: In Their Own Words

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