By Jon Corn
From Jon Corn, Co-Writer
Writing “too late, too soon” with Cameron Lavi-Jones of King Youngblood was truly an unforgettable moment. Cam and I have been life-long friends and as we call it, godbrothers, for many, many years now. We have written multiple songs in-person together, but this experience was a first.
We wrote “too late, too soon” in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, all virtual through Zoom. I was in LA and he was in Seattle. But it didn’t really matter, because we have such chemistry that it felt like we were in the same room (minus the challenges of hearing the instrumentals in Pro tools). We’re the same age and both have similar musical influences, whether it be Dave Grohl with the Foo Fighters and Nirvana, Chris Cornell with Soundgarden, or Tom Morello with Rage Against the Machine. And we both come from musical backgrounds. I have been a drummer for all my life and have been writing lyrics for half of it.
When we begin writing a song, Cam will usually have the instrumentals already done or half-done, so we always jump right in to work on the lyrics and vocal melody. I mostly contribute to the lyrics and rhythmic side of the song. As a drummer, I write lyrics and think of all music in terms of rhythms, patterns, and grooves. I love playing around with syllables, extending phrases, and doing whatever possible to make people feel something. While I always think of music in terms of rhythms and drum beats, Cam necessarily does not, and that is why I think we work so well together. We approach songwriting from two different musical perspectives and it influences our process.
Like all songs we’ve written, we began “too late, too soon” with a long conversation just talking about our desired themes for the song and how we can best convey those values. We feel it’s vital to have a strong sense of the message before diving into the lyrics. I remember for this song in particular Cam already had the general vibe and lyrics of the chorus but nothing else. We wanted this song to be about those moments of change and growth everyone experiences as a person, especially young adults, and how to deal with it all when you don’t feel ready. And then from there we just started with the first verse and off we went.
We just threw lyrics back and forth to each other, workshopping them until we felt that line was right, and it was like that for all the verses and the rest of the chorus. There was no secret sauce. If we didn’t like how a lyric sounded but we liked its message, then we just kept thinking on how to say it differently. It was also important for us to paint a picture in the listener’s mind and be as descriptive as possible. We always want the listener to really connect to the song and be taken on a journey, and we wanted the journey to build throughout the song. This song was a true collaborative effort. I hope you really enjoy and share “too late, too soon.”
From Cameron Lavi-Jones, Co-Writer
My godbrother Jon Corn and I have an unspoken understanding – basically we always keep it real. Jon has challenges with his health that I see but don’t see because only Jon knows how to live with his challenges. None of those impact our friendship, sometimes I feel a little more protective in crowds with Jon, but that’s about it. The depth of this friendship transcends geography, physical capability, and professions. What you might not know is Jon is also a musician – a drummer and a damn good one. His musicality, wit with words and good heart makes him an excellent writing partner. We have fostered a number of great songs. But this one – too late too soon – this is a real gem forged by friendship and musicality and our not so secret sauce which is simply we truly love writing together. This song is Exhibit A of a lifetime of friendship about standing at the cross roads looking at the fact that we have changed, but into who.