So, "Shades Off" is the third song on the EP.
I had the hook in my head for a long time. I would walk around saying it to myself -- it's especially fun to do walking around Manhattan in the summertime.
Stine had come into possession of a bad-ass bass courtesy of Clinton Curtis, and had spent a bunch of time fooling around with it, just recording different things here and there. And one time, when Sentence and I were at the studio, he played us a recording of him playing the grimiest and loudest fuzz-bass of all time, just noodling around. Naturally, our interest was peaked (I've mentioned that we dig us some fuzz-bass right?).
So we went through the recording and found two distinct parts that we thought would be rad to use in a song, and Stine rerecorded it. Stine also programmed the drums and played the organ part again. I laid down the guitar part on this song -- which I have always thought was cool, because the rest of the music is garage rock-y but the guitar part sounds like on some Prince-type ish to me. Haha.
Simple, simple beat. Four instruments, two real sections, no bridge, no nothing. Verse-Chorus-Verse stylee. "Shades Off" was the first song we recorded for the EP, and pretty much set the mood.
We actually performed it for the first time at a loft party at Mckibben, when we had B. Dolan and Jared Paul and Prayers for Atheists from Strange Famous Records down. Suffice to say, it went off. Without even setting anything up the kids were echoing the "HEY!" of the hook and everything. But we had a third verse still open on it.
Now, originally, we were going to ask Sleep of Old Dominion fame to rock the third verse. Sentence and Sleep are cool from way back (Sleep was on Sentence's album "There and Back"), and he is incredibly dope, and we thought he would sound great on the song. Our communications got crossed, though, and we sort of fell out of touch. Meanwhile, Sentence and I had both been big fans of Jared Paul for a long time. We didn't think to reach out initially because neither of us had ever had any contact with him. But after meeting him through the Brooklyn show, finding out how rad he is, and THEN seeing how fucking incredible Prayers for Atheists is, we realized that he was the right person to ask.
So we asked if he would be down, and he said he was, and he laid down a goose-bump inducing verse, and all was happy in the world. And then we brought Prayers for Atheists down to NYC for another show in July, and they tore it down, and we got to rock the full song live for the first time -- there is video evidence of it too.
Check it out:
Here are the lyrics (minus Jared's verse -- we didn't want to get anything wrong):
Forgive me if I don't act impressed. But I'm not a stranger to your apathy and stress.
I'm not going to dance if you decide to call my name out.
I know your tongue will curl and spit your venom with the same mouth.
I want to be famous. Want to be loved. Want to be validated.
I want to be different from these cats that are always agitated.
I want to believe in the pictures that you paint. But I know what's really real.
And I know what ain'ty ain't.
On some real shit, I'm a self-made hundred-aire.
Never had nothing to my name and I don't fucking care.
I come prepared for any cross examination.
The only thing you're going to test is my patience.
Find some other kids that are glowing like a television.
Everybody's gotta have a little somthing special in them.
With any luck you can pluck it out of their chest.
As for me, I've only got one request.
Take your shades off.
Let me see your eyes.
I want to believe the hype, want to be a part of it
Want to see behind the scenes, sink my teeth in the heart of it (believe that)
Maybe I'm just not the optimist
'Cause I can't fill my plate or pockets with empty promises
I get that vibe sometimes you think I'm new to this
Ain't made a lot of dough, but I've made a lot of moves and shit
Don't even want to take the time to hear how you're improving it
I've got what I've got and I'm cool with it
But you can get your words mashed up
Trying to make them sound pretty to get someone gassed up
Like everything you say sounds so glamorous and wild
I'm surprised by nothing, it comes with the lifestyle
You got something to sell, go ahead, try it
It doesn't mean a thing without some sucker to buy it
You'll find somebody wide-eyed and fired up, do your worst
Just do one thing for me first
Take your shades off.
Let me see your eyes.
And here is the song: