JTG: With songwriting, usually I start with a title and I try to write around that title. Sometimes I will do stream of consciousness writing, where you close your eyes, visualize a scene, and try to describe it in a way that fits your melody. Or sometimes I will start with a drum beat, because that gives me a feel, a groove. Those are really important. To me, if you don't have a groove or a feel, you are flying blind.
Fred: A band is not just a group of musicians. It is a group of musicians at a certain moment in their lives. John, Paul, George and Ringo in 1964 would have sounded completely different than John, Paul, George, and Ringo in 1978.
But there is also that musical DNA thing that musicians have. Everybody's place within the note is how they define themselves as musicians. Some drummers rush the beat. I rush the beat. I am on top of the beat all the time. Some drummers, like Ringo or John Bonham, they lay back.