Roller Coaster Smoke
Lost-mania was at its peak during the recording of Delightfully Pleased, and of course we are all fans (except for Cory who hasn't watched it yet, but I'm sure he will eventually). We had the musical ideas down for the song long before we ever decided to make it about Lost, but it just seemed to make sense, considering we would stop practice to watch it if we practiced on Tuesday nights. Once we even hinted at the idea of making a song about our favorite television show, there was no going back. We pressed record on Garageband at practice to record the music, and within a few days Steve sent back the same file with his vocal ideas over top of it. It went from his head to my ears, and there was no way it was coming out once it was in. I really like the way he made the first verse the "Jack" verse and the second verse the "Locke" verse. "We'll live together, or we will die alone" seemed so obvious to sing in there, but how could it be anything else? It was perfect.
The second verse of the song had a few revisions, and Steve borrowed an idea for the "you don't control me, I'm on my feet again" line from a demo of an amazing song he sent me probably well over a year ago. The demo song that he sent me just wasn't right for this album, but I hope that we record it someday. Its very Kanye West "808s and Heartbreaks" style, which may have been strange to include in this collection of songs. The line in the demo was "you don't control me, you're not my manager", but "I'm on my feet again" made way more sense for a John Locke verse.
I really enjoy playing bass on this song, and I really like the way it turned out in the recording. I love the long single notes in the chorus, and I love moving my head the way that Beck's bass player moves his head when I play it. I also got to sing the "yeaaaaahhhhh" s in the post-chorus, which I think is really fun. I don't even cringe when I listen to it, I think it sounds pretty good.
It was cool doing some things in the song that the writers of Lost would've done if they wrote the song. Secret messages, flashbacks, and strange effects all seemed very appropriate, and we had a blast coming up with little things to add in the studio. Flashing back to the Rewind EP in the end of the song seemed like the perfect thing to do, not only because it sounded good, but also because we knew that long-time listeners of Punchline would really appreciate it. Working on this song with Jamie was fun too, because he was also a Lost fan. He knew what the heck was up.
Despite all the indirect Lost references in the song, we were careful not to make the song too specific to the point that a) we'd be sued, or b) a non Lost-viewer couldn't appreciate the song. I think that if Lost never existed, the song would still be cool and put very vivid visuals in your head when you listen to it. Plus, I think the main lead of the song is one of the catchiest things we've ever written. I hope that Roller Coaster Smoke plays at the Lost cast reunion 10 years from now.
Joe DeWitt made a pretty amazing music video for the song:
We also have fun playing it:
I didn't like the ending of Lost, by the way.
Into The Mouth
"Into The Mouth" was originally supposed to be nothing but a short interlude on the album right before "Whatever I Want, Whenever I Want". Put the four of us in a room with Jamie Woolford and Mike Ofca though, and an interlude soon becomes a highlight of the album. Largely inspired by Queen (obviously) and the punk rock bands we all grew up on (obviously), this is the song that I knew all our close friends would love.
Steve wrote the very strange and descriptive lyrics pretty much on the spot, and no one even questioned them. I thought it was very Propagandhi of us to say "politefully dead" and then burst into an all-out fast punk rock song. And not to be cocky about my bass-ing, but how damn good does my bass sound right after that? Cory was the master of the punk beat, and the fact that we even used the punk beat on the album says a lot (I think it does anyway). Cory also sings the highest part in the beginning harmonies....bet you didn't know that! Paul gets to rip it up during the verse a little bit as well. He is a great guitarist. Of course all of us were very excited about this song.
I thought that having the fastest/most punk song on the album come right before the most straight-up pop song on the album would be a cool dynamic. I also think that if we sell a couple hundred thousand copies of Delightfully Pleased and have money to make a big budget music video, you'll see the best music video of your lifetime to this song. Superheroes vs. Giant Hell Monsters. Sounds cool, right? So yeah, spread the word so we can make it!
Oh yeah, and of course this song goes along great with our album cover :)