Here’s the story behind all of the songs on the record. So chuck the record on*, have a listen from start to finish, and read along… Enjoy!
I wrote this song after seeing My Disco one night, although funnily enough, ended up sounding nothing like that. Initially it was going to start with me bashing out really big chords on the guitar, but by adding the dynamic shift it ended up sounding more like a song by Brand New or Weezer or something. The whole thing took me about an hour to write and record a demo, it basically wrote itself; the chords and lyrics just seemed to fall into place. I actually submitted the original demo of this song as an assessment for a song writing class that I took at uni, and got a mark back of 20/20 for it. Not bad, right?
This was actually one of the first songs that we ever wrote as a band. Originally it wasn’t going to go to the loud part at the end and we were going to have it as a ballad to close our sets with, but we just couldn’t resist the urge to just smash out a really loud ending. We layered LOTS of guitars in this song, all different inversions of chords and different effects pedals. I had a lot of trouble writing lyrics to this song and literally finished them off on the way to the recording studio, and the vocal take that you hear was the first full take that I did. Dean loves the lyrics and melody in this song, which was really nice to hear from him. Of course this song is about a girl, just like all the great pop songs are, amirite?
I remember this song actually took us a really long time to write, in fact I think it took longer than any other song on the record. We had lots of trouble communicating with each other about what part was what, which parts to consider a “verse” and a “chorus”, since there isn’t really a standard “structure” to the song. Initially I was going to be the only one singing in this one, but then Dean sent me a demo he’d recorded with his backing vocals in it, and we both knew that they had to go on there. They ended up being the most hooky parts of the whole song, great job Deano!
We wrote this song in the studio. I’d just bought a new delay pedal, the Boss RV3, and wanted to to play around with it, so once we’d set up all of the microphones and drums and amps and we were getting some good sounds, we got drunk and high and jammed all night. This was the only riff that I could remember in the morning, so we recorded it exactly as we remembered it from the previous night. It’s probably my favorite song on the record; at first we were quite worried that this wouldn’t sound enough like “us”, but then thought “fuck it, let’s do something different for a change”.
This was the second song that I demo’d for the record. I’d been listening to lots of blues/punk, like the King Brothers and John Spencer Blues Explosion, and wanted to add a more party/blues/punk feel to the new songs; something a lot more “fun” for us to play, rather than just being angry ALL of the time. It was hard to convince Dean to let it go on the record, but in the end I’m pretty sure we were both (me, at least!) really happy it made it on there. It’s a hell of a lot of fun to play at gigs. The guitar solo was really hard for me to nail at first, so Dean helped me re-write it to make it a bit easier. Really should have stuck at those guitar lessons.
Again, this song took us hardly any time to write at all. It was another one of those lovely moments when Dean just started playing that beat out of nowhere and we instantly knew we had a song in it. I’d always wanted to write a song with big, sustained chords, much like the chorus in “Do You Feel the Same?” by Silverchair. The lyrics took a long time to write for this one; like “Shame”, I ended up finishing them off right before recording and in the end I still wasn’t all that happy with them, but to this day I still can’t think of a way to improve them at all. Perfect imperfection, I suppose you’d call it.
We’d just got back from a tour of Perth and I was soaring. We’d had a really, really good time, the shows were awesome and we partied harder than I think we ever have. When I got home I instantly had, what I call, the “emotional hangover”, and got kind of depressed for a while. I really needed to get those shitty feelings out, so I picked up my cheap little acoustic guitar and just started singing and strumming the first things that came to my head. With the exception of swapping around two of the verses, this song is almost exactly the same as when I wrote it from the beginning. I really wanted to show Dean how much this band and our friendship means to me, so I wrote him a song, with no intentions of it ever making it onto the record, or any record at all for that matter. Dean loved it when he first heard the song (and laughed at me when I said the line “…which is probably for the best”, an emotional blow I still haven’t fully recovered from) and we decided it’d be a good summary of the record. When it came time to record it, I literally sat in the live from at New Market Studios with a couple of microphones and played it 100% live. I didn’t even wear headphones! Also, in case you missed it, the guitar outro (not an organ, like some have assumed) is the same as the main riff to “In”. Originally we were going to have “In” as the first song on the record. Make sense?
8. We’re Your Band (Bonus Track)
This song was written for our very close friend Gianna Rizzo**, who takes all of our amazing looking photos. It was her birthday and we had nothing to give to her, so we wrote this song for her. It took us one four-hour session at our old rehearsal room to write and demo it. I literally wrote all of the lyrics while Dean was setting up the vocal mic.
The song ended up having such a great, positive vibe to it that we not only decided to include it in our sets and the finale, and as a bonus track on the record, but to use the title of the song as the title of the record. We were originally going to call the record “Brothers”, but of course those bastards in the Black Keys stole our idea and in the end, we felt that “We’re Your Band” had a much more inclusive feel; rather than being all about just the two of us, we wanted to include all of our friends, almost like they are a part of the band. Because they are, after all, the reason why we’re doing this thing at all.
* If you don’t have a copy of our record, go here and stream it or download it: http://greengreengreenband.bandcamp.com/album/were-your-band-2
** Email her, she’s a total babe and will do you a solid with photo shoots: gianna.rizzo[at]gmail[dot]com