Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Breaking Down "Smash Smash Bang" Part 1.

So, we are going to officially release "Smash Smash Bang" this week. It has been a long, long time coming for five songs. Haha. But that's how we work. Expect the big announcement sometime soon.

Anyway.

I thought it might be nice to break down the EP song by song this week -- tell a little bit of how each song was made, what we were thinking about while we were writing it, etc. Not that I think anyone particularly cares about any of this. Mostly I do stuff like this to help myself remember down the line. I was going to start doing this yesterday but I got lazy because it was Monday. Awesome.

The first song on the EP is called "Blackout Baby," and that is where I will start. I thought up the general vibe of the song in the shower. I was thinking of these sharp, violent hits punctuating really quiet, spacious sections. In my head it was a lot more reflexive and bouncy than the song actually turned out.

Sometimes in the studio it will just be me and Stine -- "Turn the Lights Out" was done with just the two of us, for example. But I like it much better when Sentence is there with us too, and that was the case with "Blackout Baby." I always start trying to make things too pretty and major-chordy, but the bottom line is that I am not that good of a musician or songwriter, and it is very hard to write like that and have it not sound like Blink 182 or something. Not to hate on Blink 182. But, you know. Sentence always helps steer it into more raw, aggressive territory, which I think goes much better with how we write.

The music started out with me playing the Rhodes part as the basic melody and framework for the chords. I also played the rhythm guitar. I didn't really play the guitar so much though. Mostly just smacked it. Haha. Stine wrote the music for the second half of the verses, where everything opens up, and he played the arpeggio guitar part for that. He also played the fuzz bass.

Originally, Stine programmed the drums. And these drums that he programmed had a floor-tom sound that, when they hit during the verses, literally shook his apartment. When he emailed me and Sentence the beat to write to he named it whatever frequency the "Brown Note" supposedly is. For the unaware, the "Brown Note" is the frequency that will make you doo-doo in your pants when you hear it. Because we are classy like that.

Stine ended up bringing the mighty Andrew Mclean (who plays drums in our band) to rerecord the drums, though. And Andrew killed it, because that's what he does. Stine has a great little drum set-up in the vocal booth of the studio and actually gets a really great sound out of it, which is a testament to how good of an engineer Stine is. Stine also brought Rodman (who plays guitar in our band) in to fill out the hook sections with some more guitar. When we played the song live Rodman was filling in the gaps in the hook with feedback-y, screaming guitar, and Stine wanted it for the actual song too. So Rodman came in and killed it, because that's what he does.

As far as the writing of the song went, I'm not in to telling people what a song is about -- that's not the point of muuuuuuuuuusic, maaaaaaaaaan.

I will post the lyrics though so people can better figure out what they think it means, if they give a shit at all. Haha. I'm feeling self-conscious today.

Here they are:

There's no picture going to do it any justice.
No Polaroid, 35 millimeter, or a digital snap.
Kodachrome won't capture the moment.
You can't own it. There's no bringing it back.

In fact, you can save on all your video tape.
It's not the same the way the shot crops the frame. This is not just stop drop and aim.

We're taking it from the front to the back.
Side to side. It's time to drive.
Time to ride. So climb inside.
But I'm alive. Say it. I'm alive.
And Imma live every day like it was my first.

Isn't Brooklyn pretty?
The way she holds your fingers to the flames.
She's calling your name in the street but the street doesn't hear your name.

I don't want anybody to touch me.
I've gone where you can't go.
I've seen what you can't see.
I know what you don't know.
I've never been comfortable inside my skin.
But now that I'm inside I'm not going back again.

Blackout, baby.
There's no tomorrow.


Swear to god think I'm destroying something beautiful
Pictures speak a thousand words and I've been speechless with a burning on my lips
Eyes are open less than usual
Done explaining, from now on I'm hoping they just get my drift

Sometimes I wish this skin was mine, get in line, but I'm not into picking sides
Some birds are just too big to fly
Spin the bottle kiss the sky, it's live or die

All or nothing, taste of blood, the hands are shaking, I'm just trying to chase the sun
Now or never, a place to run, I'll pluck the strings, I'll fucking sing, I'll make shit up

Isn't Brooklyn ugly
how she holds your face in your mistakes
Yeah, it's great and the pay's lovely
Don't know what I have but there's nothing left that you can take from me

I've seen what you don't believe in
I was awake and you just slept
I've walked to the place the streets end
Smoke and fear on my breath

I've been what I thought I should be
I've ran through the city at night
I didn't look back once
I lived what I thought was life now

Blackout baby
No Tomorrow
There's no Tomorrow

I hear the music clearly, I taste the nicotene
I feel the buildings close in, I see the city scream
I hear you talk about me, I see your finger shake
I know the pain inside you, I hear the glasses break
I don't regret a second, there's honey in my veins
If there was no tomorrow, I'd keep it all the same
Please don't mistake my smile, cause this is not for you
This is not a place you've been, this is not what you thought you knew

Blackout baby
No Tomorrow
There's no Tomorrow

And, finally, here is the song:

<a href="http://music.metermaidsnyc.com/track/blackout-baby">Blackout Baby by Metermaids</a>

More tomorrow. Hope everyone is well.

Holler.

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