well, we just resumed practicing on a regular schedule again. normally we rehearse in the evenings – i would say from 9pm to 3am usually. our studio is so cold it becomes almost unbearable. we need to buy space heaters that work.
i got an interesting comment to a post the other day and it got me thinking. the comment was from a dude that goes by the name of Afrakkah-Dukkah. haha, i like that name. he said he would “appreciate any trivia or stories about the songs, the song writing process or the recording process, (what instruments used, what recording equipment– I read an interview where you guys said you used all real instruments– really like to know how you pulled this off with the layering) or how you manage to reproduce this album sound live”. i thought it was cool that afrakkah was requesting specific info cos most people dont – they just read my babble. so, in honor of the dukkah i’m gonna try to drop some “musical” knowledge every now and then so you guys can see how we do things west indian girl style. im going to start by describing a new song we are working on called (working title) i hope i dont forget – personally i like calling the song i hope but who knows if either one of these will end up as the title. if you were at the last los angeles show you saw us open the set with this jam.
so…how did this song become a song you ask. well, this song started out when rob started playing this ambient sort of riff/texture. he asked mark and i to play something “dubby”. lewscious kicked in with a solid simple beat and i played something that was loose, sparse yet flowing. i think the bass line is pretty average but everyone else seems to love it and it sort of provided the meat to which the song revolves around. it reminded me of a gang of four meets U2 bass line when i first played it. i guess that’s where you can say i drew my inspiration from. normally i’m not thinking of another group’s sound but for some reason i kept thinking about 2 specific songs… weird. anyway, we jammed on that for a while and recorded it. then, at the next practice carter joined in and we played it forever. after a while when u play the same riff over and over u just need to go somewhere else with it — the change forces itself. so when we were in this jam rob and i and started experimenting with changing chords – just testing out what path would work. the part we were looking for turned into the “chorus”. this chorus has a real unusual structure to it because the chord change is actually starts on the same note that the verse starts on so when you hit it the song slowly changes gears rather than immediately jumping into a chorus. for a second after it hits you arent sure whether its the beginning of another verse or not. anyway, at first rob wasnt into the change because it seeped into a “chorus” but carter and i lobbied hard for this. finally after experimenting with other ways and notes we decided on the original way. the thing to note here is that there was something special or vibey about this change and that’s what makes it a classic west indian girl part. it just has this vibe to it. it was like butter. sweet and smooth. anyway, the chorus is highlighted by playing a D chord half way through it—- thats the chord that makes the chorus so gratifying for me. i love going to that D and hearing how it just steers the song in different direction.
so now we have 2 parts to this song that we would play over and over — eventually and naturally some vocal ideas started popping up. rob and mariqueen just started singing some great parts over the chorus. this song is perfect for mariqueen’s voice. we then started to restructure and restructure it. right now we play it by starting with rhodes, bass and drums….guitar comes in after 4 and then we bust into an instrumental chorus one time. i still think one time is too short but for now we go only once and then the verses kick in. we deliberately wanted to wait with vocals so we could establish a musical dreamy vibe. after another chorus we kind of got stuck. on our last tour we actually played the structure described above just to see how it would fair live. after the shows we realized we needed something else. this missing part was discovered in the same way we discovered the chorus..by just jamming. the strange thing about this new part is that carter and i are playing a chords progression completely different from the guitar chords rob is playing.. somehow this works – it’s all part of the west indian girl sound….it doesnt seem like it would make sense on paper but it does sonically. right now we lead into this new part with a tiny bridge and land on an A – lewscious then starts to pulse his kick drum and we break into an electro sort of french pop change. we jammed on this for a while and lyrics started coming out of robs’s mouth. so that’s where we are with this song as of right now. it is far from finished. the lyrics will probably be the last thing to get solidified. i’m not sure we all know what the current structure even is. i will let you know after the next practice.
on the stranger/funnier side of things we are now trying to figure out who is going to direct the video for what are you afraid of. presently we are getting video treatment ideas in from a bunch of directors and writers. they are all so different. some are interesting and some are complete pieces of dog shit. it is going to be a tough decision. i would rather do a video for hollywood myself. — F. TEN 4:36AM