After we released “Friends in Low Places” in 2014, every few weeks we released a small article about each song, going through the inspiration, the songwriting process, and the recording of each tune. We really enjoyed doing this, so we are going to do it again for “The Outskirts”. Without further ado…
The first song on “The Outskirts”, and also the first radio single (release on 95.9 WRAT), “Done” is probably the heaviest song in our catalog to date. This song was Jon’s baby on the record. He brought the riff, the basic format of the song, and the title to us at a rehearsal in Joe Larkin’s studio all the way back in August of 2014. Originally, the song started with the fuzz bass, then eventually took a Zeppelin-esque turn and broke down to this free-form section before screaming back a la “Whole Lotta Love”. Eventually, we decided to down size it, while keeping the main riff and overall tone. Jon came back with a near complete arrangement, and I wrote the lyrics for the verses and the chorus, as Jon had the “No more lies…” outro.
Lyrically the song is a blunt look at the cycle of falling in love, heartbreak, rebounding, and so on and so forth. It is also a snapshot of the “hook-up” culture and casual sex that our generation has adopted. Its about being fed up with that cycle and culture, and struggling to find something more meaningful in text messages sent at 3am.
While it is our heaviest song, I think it is our most technical and toughest to play. Those Foo Fighters- style accents in the verses took a lot of practice to synch up and get right, between all of us, and especially while I was singing. The fuzz-bass intro w/ that slide in was a huge part of the song from day one, and that’s actually me playing bass on the recording for the intro- I was very picky about how long the slide-in was, and wanted to make sure it had the raw attitude and feel that we envisioned. We also spent a lot of time getting the guitars to sound “larger-than-life” which would sent the tone for all the guitars on the entire record. We used AC/DC’s “Rock or Bust” as a template for what we wanted the guitars to be- raw, loud, and powerful. All the guitar parts were recorded with Blackstar Amps, so we were able to get that “Marshall-y” sound with a bit of a modern kick.
One fun fact about the track was that at one point, we doubled my vocal track, and in Pro Tools, dropped one of them down an octave to get a bit more low-end and to make it grittier, but for a while that was all I could hear, and I hated it, and I refused to release the song until we took it out, and to this day, I am crazy enough to think I can still hear it- but that’s my own insanity. The recording process definitely takes a toll on my mind!
Stay tuned for the next installments of “Behind the Song”, and see you on the road!
Friends in Low Places