Courtesy: Nathalie Le Pennec
It's now been more than seven months since the release of Bobby Mahoney and the Seventh Son's debut full-length album, Friends in Low Places. Despite the time, the songs remain fresh for much of the loyal fanbase.
One of the favorites for the crowd continues to be "Star-Crossed." Bobby and Jon discuss track No. 8 in the newest "Behind the Song."
Where did you draw inspiration for "Star-Crossed?"
BM: "I drew inspiration from 'Peter Pan,' 'West Side Story,' 'Romeo and Juliet' and 'Bonnie and Clyde.' A lot of fucked up love stories that were doomed to fail. These relationships were completely romanticized and ill-advised, but they were dumb and in love and followed their hearts (usually to their own demise)."
JA: "I didn't have much to say with the lyrics for this one, but very much its aura. We didn't really have a true bombastic, epic-in-sound track yet for the album at that point, and that's something I'm big on. So I would say I had a pretty big influence on the track sounding (audibly) how it does."
How did the song change since how you initially wrote it?
BM: "What ended up being the chorus, was originally the bridge and at Jon’s suggestion, I re-worked the song and it came out to how it is on the record. There was also a third verse that we cut in order to streamline the song, but we use it as a live intro to the song. I wish I didn’t have to cut it, but I’m glad we were able to repurpose it."
JA: "The song was originally three verses, a bridge and a chorus. He was going for something different, and I respect that, but when I heard the bridge, I knew that was the catch. That was the part I remembered from it. That was the part I could see thousands singing along to at once. I begged him to redo it with that as a chorus, throw in a solo and have this huge ending. I actually ended up composing the drums for this song, with two sticks I had laying around and a bedspread. I also wrote the lead for the song that Dan plays live."
What's your favorite element of the song?
BM: "I really enjoy the verses and the solo. The crowd usually sings the chorus, so I also enjoy that aspect of it."
JA: "Obviously the chorus is great, but my favorite part of the song is undoubtedly the solo. It tells a story, which I beg and push Bobby to do every single time he records one. It's actually my favorite part of the entire album."
This is one of the poppier songs on the album. Were you trying to write one like that?
BM: "Not really. When I sit down to write, I don’t go 'oh I’m going to write a pop song, or a love song' I just put the pen to the paper and let my mind wander until I find something that feels right."
JA: "I don't think it hurt that we wrote one. I wanted this enormous sounding anthem of sorts. I think, to a degree, that gets across."
How is it represented live?
BM: "Like I said, we use the cut third verse as the intro, and the crowd really gets into this song because of the easy, catchy chorus. It is always a fun, high-energy song to play live."
JA: "It's the only song that we play I use effects on. So that's pretty cool. Crowd really gets into this one, and I give a nice lead-in to Bobby's solo. Dan and Joe add a lot on backup vocals too."
Where does it stand on the album for you?
BM: "It is the only full 'love' song on the record, and the main character is referring to the same girl he is refers to in the end of 'Scoundrels.'"
JA: "I personally would have placed it after 'Deadbeat' on the album, but I get why it comes after 'Guilden Street.' It works."
Will this one stick around as you enter Another Deadbeat Tour?
BM: "I don’t see why not. I like it and the band likes it and the crowd likes it. Even Joe sings along."
JA: "Not my say, but I sure hope so. Maybe stagger it a bit to make it more special."
Mahoney also noted he recorded all the leads and solos for the song in one take, a rarity these days for musicians.
Friends in Low Places
Shot in the Dark