The song that started it all. And the last preview before I finally release my album!

In 2006, several months after bonking my head and suffering a traumatic brain injury, an idea for a song popped into my head. I was walking back home from Peet's Coffee on Fillmore, and the words "too many demons and too few saints" materialized out of some ghetto within my grey matter and on getting home I grabbed my Steinberger and set to work. I had been watching Tom Petty At the Fillmore, so it's possible my riff idea was, um, inspired by Jammin' Me, but I didn't realize this until much later, so the riff stands, dammit.

I wrote the song quickly — lyrics, chords, arrangement — but, per usual, rewrote the lyrics about hundred times before finally asking my friend Toby Germano to sing the song. And it was this speed of composition (lyrics aside) that struck me. I had never written a song so fast and so easily before. Could I write another? Or was Demons and Saints a freak burst of creative energy, a simple coalescence and outburst of all the many hours, days, months and years I had spend thinking about writing songs but not actually doing it?

Many months later, I was at Hyde Street Studios working on Here Comes the Weather and, during a break, I asked Larkin Gayl about her songwriting. She, too, had gone for years without writing a thing, but absorbing music and musing on what she might someday create. Then — she described it as a flood bursting forth — the songs came. She had been through a tough breakup and the trauma had shattered whatever was holding back the music within her. My trauma was not quite as poetic, I simply fell against a tile wall in the bathroom... while peeing, I might add, but the result was similar: songs, songs, songs.

Since that day when "too many demons and too few saints" materialized in my mind, I have written more songs than in all the years that came before. I now understand what Neil Young meant when he talked about songwriting and described it, if I remember right, as a curse. I wish I could find the interview, but he described ideas for songs as intrusive (my word, not sure if it was his) and that they had interrupted countless moments in his life. Because when the muse called, he listened. He stopped what he was doing doing, reached for a guitar and quoted the muse as best he could — no matter the time, no matter the place. I'm not that bad, but I'm close.

What is this song about? Fairly simple: over time, we have more hard times than good, more sad memories than happy, more losses than gains. It's not true (I hope), but then, who cares? It's only rock and roll, but I like it. Hope you do, too.

<a href="">Demons &amp; Saints by Jeff Shattuck</a>


My future was once wide open
I had my plans, I had my dreams

I was not yet broken
I thought I had whatever I could need

But life changes
Throws you curves

Asks you to live
For better or for worse
You make mistakes
You do some things wrongYou try to turn back
But you're too far gone
And you've got...

Too many demons and too few saints
To count your blessings or ever cut bait
I know, I know they say it’s never too late
But I've got too many demons and too few saints

And I remember when I was new
I had my faith, my beliefs
I told lies I thought were true
Some days I even felt at peace

But life changes
You lose your guide
You want so much
You're never satisfied
You try to stop
You try to turn back
But you're too far down
The wrong path
And you've got...

And still life changes
Throws you curves
Asks you to live
For better or for worse

It takes a toll
Little by little
Before you know it
Rome burns while you fiddle
And you've got...