Billy Joel lost 'fun' of writing music

Billy Joel stopped finding writing new music "fun" and resisted attempts to get back into the recording studio because it was "painful".

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Billy Joel stopped enjoying writing
Billy Joel stopped enjoying writing

Billy Joel stopped finding writing new music "fun".

The 74-year-old singer released 'Turn the Lights Back On', his first single in 17 years, earlier this week and he's explained he took so long to bring out new material because he had fallen out of love with the recording process and found penning lyrics "painful".

Speaking with his co-writer Freddy Wexler on 'Audacy Check In', he said: “It was fun. Music is fun. Rock n’ roll was fun. It was all about having fun — and I kind of lost that and I turned the lights off because it wasn’t fun anymore.”

Billy explained over the last 17 years, other people had encouraged him to get back into the studio but he "always resisted it".

He added: “I studiously avoided it because songwriting had become painful. I have this high bar. I said to myself, ‘If I don’t reach that bar, I beat myself up and I punched myself and I hate myself.’ So, I stopped doing it because I got tired of feeling like that.”

But when he heard what Freddy was working on two years ago, the 'Piano Man' hitmaker's love for creating new music began to return.

He said: “The melody, the chords, the chord progression, even the time signature was something that struck me immediately, and that’s how I relate to music.

"This particular lyric in this song, I’ve had these thoughts, I could have written these lyrics verbatim. I’ve chewed on these words and I’ve thought of these words, and I’ve said these words before. It was all kind of falling into place — and who am I to fight that?”

Billy is set to perform the track at the Grammy Awards this weekend, marking his first time playing at the ceremony in 22 years.

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