TREVOR: This was the first song we jammed for the new record in July ‘09. I was pushing myself to find a new voice, something more direct, less mysterious. The words were inspired by some real-life experiences obviously, and a Tom Waits song from Grapefruit Moon where he sings “I Hope I Don’t Fall in Love With You”. I find that idea of being brave but powerless against your feelings hilarious and tragic.
There was some intense ‘debate’ (i.e. arguing) in the band between Max and Robbie about how the guitar should sound. Robbie’s guitar part changed the tune a lot by accenting different parts of the melody. We’re still not sure if the chorus effect he used is ultra-hip or ridiculously unfashionable. It really reminds me of classic American indie from the 80s-90s, REM, Guided by Voices etc. stuff we were really into throughout making this record.
We enhanced the effect by recording Robbie’s part in stereo. We mic’ed up two amps in the ballroom to decide which one sounded better and wound up liking the doubled sound. Robbie did the bassline at the very end. We sat down one night and mapped one out together note by note until it felt right.
I also did a pretty huge backing vocal arrangement but in the mix we decided not to feature it much.
ROBBIE: Mike Musmanno made an incredible “vocals-only” mix of this song that sounds like Queen. In the end though, the background vocals were only used very sparingly and the song has kind of a Replacements vibe. I was trying to get a guitar sound like the one on “Answering Machine”.
The lyrics are pretty funny. I love the line, “Over you, over you, to a large extent… / If not yet completely, then 95%”. Makes me smile every time.