Tuesday, 14 February 2006

Back in time

I’ve been meaning to switch around the samples of the band I was in, back in sixth form. This is an appropriate day to do it, because the song I’ve put up was written the day after Valentine’s in 1995, and it was written because of what happened.

Song: Torn In Two (MP3, 128kbps, 7.2MB, 7:53).

The song, basically, is about Dave having a crush on a girl in his music class, and her not being interested. He sent her a card, she sent him a note, and he was pretty cut up. He wrote some lyrics that night (first verse and chorus, if I remember right), the following morning he and Roger put together a chord sequence and basic vocal melody, then that afternoon I joined them to practice. After Roger had to leave, I added the second verse, and David and I put together the third. I took some of my inspiration from my own feelings at the time (yup, more unrequited crushing) and some from the note Dave received. There are harder things to take when you’re 17 than ‘I just want to be friends,’ but not all that many.

We practiced the song for about a week, then Dave called his guitar teacher and asked if, instead of a lesson, we could record it. Our then-drummer, James, couldn’t make it, so we had Nigel, the teacher, program a sequencer with a simple drum beat. Roger and Dave played together, with me singing a guide track, to get the keyboard track into the sequencer as well. Then Dave let it all out (and boy, did he let it out) on his lead guitar track – that’s all one take I think, or it might be two. I added the vocals, then we asked Nige to add a bass track for us. There’s a little ‘fill’ bit in the bassline where the fridge motor cut in and knocked the sequencer out for half a bar! A quick mix later and we had something. I can’t recall if Dave sent the girl in question a tape or not – he may well have!

I’m not sure if we were asked, or Dave asked, to perform Torn In Two at a school concert. The girl asked us not to, but by that point Dave had got over it a bit, so we did it anyway.

Six months later we had a new drummer, Chris, and returned to Nige’s studio to record four more tracks (among them, Survivor). We asked if we could add a new, live, drum track to Torn In Two. We found the tape, which had miraculously not been recorded over, but the sequencer program was gone: Roger had to re-record the keyboards. Nige programmed in a ‘click’ track for Chris to follow, since the sequencer timing data was still on the tape. I’m still amazed at just how well Chris was able to add drum fills building to some key parts in Dave’s solos.

I love this song. It’s my favourite of the ones we recorded. Now that I have my own guitar, it’s one of the songs I practice, although I’m only playing the chords in a semi-acoustic setup.

I’ve left Survivor up for the moment; I’ve re-encoded to 128kbps to save some space and download time.

No comments: