Lights Finally Fading….

One of our goals this year is to consistently get some new tunes out, some of which have been in the repertoire for years but haven’t had a chance to get out to everyone. “Good Friends” was written with the original line up, but we weren’t able to get a solid version of it together until this year. It took months of messing around, recording, re-recording, mixing etc. We’re getting better at turning these songs out quicker, but it’s tough to try to make things perfect, not rush, and deal with busy schedules despite few shows going on right now.

Now That It’s Over” was written around the same time as “Bleeding Heart” but went through a number of necessary transformations to get to the final version we have out now. Very melodramatic heart break, bolstered by feelings of loneliness and low self esteem helped manifest the words in this cheery track. I was just feeling like an absolute loser, and remember sitting up at night with a guitar coming up with the chord pattern and corresponding melodic lyrical lines to go with it. It was kind of therapeutic I guess get it out there, but it was just a really downer ballad type of a song. I remember drunkenly playing it for my brother in a really somber tone, tears welling as I thought of the feelings that motivated me to write it and convinced that playing the song out would just sound like such a pity party on stage that would get people to pay their tab and leave for the night rather than stick around to hear what else the sad sap on stage has to say. Luckily I ran into a bigger issue before we played it out.

When doing any kind of writing, it’s so tough to try to not copy. I get very self conscious that my work is not my own and really try to rack my brain to figure out where the idea or ideas came from. There’s a fine line writing music or anything for that matter similar to the art or work that inspire or influence you. Comedians talk about this all the time, having to fight off the the subconscious stealing of jokes or ideas from other comics. Hearing an idea or concept, even in passing, and claiming it as your own and either finding out it’s not or being accused of stealing is brutal, even if it’s sounds good or wasn’t seemingly intentional. In Keith Richards book Life he talks about how Mick Jagger would spend all night coked out in clubs and come in the next day with a new song idea, that were just rips of what he’d heard the night before. Needless to say, I turned on the radio one day and “Girl Crush” came on (I know, embarrassing) and I realized, yep that’s exactly how I had the melody (even more embarrassing). It was completely accidental, but regardless I knew I either need to change the whole tune or start the process over; once that idea is in your head it’s tough to break out of that mold.

I’m not sure how we went about tackling it, besides just changing the tempo, feel, rhythm, on everything to a completely different vibe. It sounded a little bit more R&B in the verses, and much heavier in the chorus which words were added to. The new bridge we put together was done a bit on the fly in the recording. I used to throw a solo in over the verse, but figured changing it up a bit would make it more interesting, and that certainly came through with the way Nick changed the drum beat, giving it more of a Police feel. Overall the part sounds really cool in there combined with the synth work Cappy layered over it.

Another big change to this was having Telli take over the vocals, as the earliest version was before she was with us. We had to do some lyrical scrubbing to make it more fitting, but she completely took this song to another level and I think her vocal work on it is the focal point as it should be. We went in to Satellite and spent a few hours with our good friend Emerson getting the vocals down. It’s really impressive to watch her work in person: she figures out harmonies instantly, she knows when she’s off and how to correct it, and when she needs to belt over and over to get the perfect take she keep doing it. I was exhausted watching it; she’s really done an amazing job on this track and if you aren’t convinced really listen to that last chorus.

-Ross, guitarist


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