Lyrics this time. totally different. I haven’t spent any time working on the lyrics of any specific songs this time. I have titles for each one, general themes, subject matter ideas but just haven’t taken the time to work sitting down and writing them. as each guy adds his parts it gets closer and closer to time for me to get serious about discovering what the lyrics are going to be for these babies because eventually I’m going to have to sing all my final vocal takes.
[On ‘I wanna know ya’ from NIC I didn’t even bother writing lyrics. I just mumbled nonsense with an occasional word thrown in here or there because it sounded good like that on that dummy take and we didn’t want to take the risk of effing it up by re-recording it. and truly I just didn’t want to bother working out lyrics about a song about seeing a chick and wanting to hang with her. if you ever sit down and say to yourself ‘what the fuck is he saying in that song?’ don’t go crazy trying to figure it out. I’m not saying anything. I’m just screaming stream of consciousness gibberish.]
so these babies for the new album are getting to that point and I haven’t made that move yet to sitting down with paper and working out any lyrics. Just phrases are coming here and there. underneath it all is the whisper of the song telling me what it wants to be about, of what it’s truly saying at its core.
‘waiting for Godot’ – which we just finished tracking just now –- I recorded 6 different guitar parts that sound super-bad-ass — Vancouver will probably lay down another 6 I would imagine — is about how fucking miserable it is to live with all of life’s unanswerable questions and unfairness and how we’re just waiting to die to hopefully discover something/anything of real substance or truth besides all this pain suffering and mystery. This song is really out there. sonically. Slams.
‘Here it comes’ is my favorite if I had to choose. Or solaris. Here it comes is so romantic. A guy telling his girl we can make it. I know its hard and it seems so fucked and hopeless now, at this time, still, I know, it still sucks, life is still hard for us babe, but I swear to fucking God I can feel that its coming around. here it comes.
‘Solaris’ I wrote during watching that movie. I was so moved by that movie for some reason. So its like that. a guy is speaking to his girl who has passed on to the other side, out in solaris, now that she has found her new life, what’s it like, who is she now. do you still think about me?
‘After tomorrow’ is a suicide letter. You’ve tried hard to do what you had to and what you needed to and what you should do and could do and still it didn’t work out. there was always something that I couldn’t explain getting in my way. fate always working against me. so I’m out of here. after tomorrow I’ll be able to breathe again. I’m checking out.
‘Indian Princess’ I wrote just after hanging out and right after making love with this girl from India when I was visiting Nepal. There was this spiritual retreat a few of us were on from around the world. I wasn’t getting anything spiritual out of being there. I mean, nothing I couldn’t get from any other country. everyone seems to have their thing. some people have mecca and some people have Jesus and some people have the torah and some people have Nepal. But by the time I made this trip I was coming to realize that words and ideas and the guarantee of peace of mind was not was going to be my thing no matter where it came from. I was looking for magic. You want to talk to me about God and enlightenment then show me some God shit and some enlightened shit. but if its just going to be more words and ideas and practices and exercises…. well all that’s going to do is reconfirm my belief that we still don’t know shit. and this is exactly how I was starting to feel three days into this retreat in Nepal. The only thing that saved me from losing my mind were these very erotic and sensual nights spent with this Indian girl after our days were done. We just finished making a very soft and light and beautiful love, we were on the bed and naked and smiling and giddy and laughing and having fun like you do just after, and its really great and all and my whole body was so tingly and happy and I just picked up my guitar and started strumming this song to her and ‘oh my Indian Princess…’ were the first words out of my mouth so I kept it like that. I told her, I’m turning this into a song. and by the time the night was finished I had the basic song down. But only those words. she is still my friend and we will always have those memories we shared together no matter where each of us is in the world. she is quite the wicked little spoiled princess when she wants to be. never holds back with how she feels and what she says so I think this is going to be about that. about making love to her and her being a wicked bastard afterwards because I don’t know, maybe she knew we would never see each other again, maybe she knows I am going to be leaving soon or something, or maybe she’s just that way… I want to capture the contrast of her charm and beauty and her wickedness and arrogance being there at the same time. that was half her allure. And also how her love showed me more about spirituality than six days on the top of a mountain with a Guru meditating did.
‘all your heroes become villains’ is an instrumental and will start the album. It just has a lot soaring vocals through it but with no words or lyrics. It sets the theme. Most people suck and will almost always turn into some kind of a villain at some point. Maybe its just that each of us has the potential to be both hero and villain at all times. and maybe we need to be less shocked when someone we admire turns into a villain eventually… its in all of us. the divine and the wicked.
‘Morning in Venice’ is another instrumental, on the acoustic guitar, that is the intro to after tomorrow. I didn’t write it in Venice but in Florence, but I perfected it on a morning in Venice and that’s the moment when I titled it. and frankly it sounds better.
‘We are columbine’ is about how we are all fucking columbine and Osama bin laden and Palestine and Iraq and Saddam Hussein and terry schiavo and oj simpson and that poor missing girl in aruba and the bastard fuckheads who probably killed her. This song sounds like nothing we should be making. Sounds like metallica. Our fans will hate it. but heavy rock fans will dig it.
‘blind eye’ is ‘look, i know you’re an evil fuckhead monster and you’re breaking all these laws and ruining the world and killing millions of people and just basically the fucking anti-Christ on earth, but I also know that you’re a lot richer and more powerful than I am so I can’t do anything about it, so I’m going to mind my own business and let you do your shit even though you make me sick because that’s the only way we’re all going to survive. So you do your shit asshole. Leave me and my family out of it and I will turn a blind eye to you.
‘messed it up again’ is a song about Naomi. every album needs one. this one explores a rather simple theme. You took everything from me and won’t give it back. I am a loveless broken man who will never love again. I messed it up again. what’s new.
‘all of my love’ is a very pretty happy go lucky love song that really has no business on this album. You know when you see a girl and you feel not that much of a response? but then you may see some other girl and you feel this really strong response inside, like you just feel knocked out by her, heart beating fast and all that. so its about that. ‘there is something ‘bout her face…’ you just can’t explain that shit.
you know, these ideas, that’s the easy part. The hard part is turning that into poetry. Making it come through with lyrics. This one I really want to exceed my normal lyric writing. which I always find so trite and simple. I’d love to break free from that and really write some poetry on this new CD. that’s why I haven’t been forcing these lyrics at all.
Guitar tracking notes
four days straight, fourteen hours a day tracking guitars. I wake up, shower, put on the same clothes and head to the studio. All day and then into the night we marathon it so I can get done and the other guys can get in and do their thing and I can get back to beloved nyc. Mainly played a goldtop ‘81 Gibson les Paul standard for electric. Just kept retuning to the different tunings of each song. Ran it through a vox ac30 for phat clean and for killer fuzz dirt we would turn it all the way up till it was so hot that you couldn’t even touch it with your fingers. For slightly more tonal dirt we would go into a fender tone master. And for full on assault we would jack her into the mesa boogie F100. HUGE! For my acoustic parts I played a martin that was laying around the studio. Doubled tripled and quadrupled my rhythms on this album. Really pro. My playing was top notch. None of us could believe it. usually my rhythms take forever, but this time they just flew by. The sound is huge and that’s without hearing any lead guitar or keyboards or even lead or background vocals yet.