“She” is probably the oldest song on the album. I wrote a first draft of the tune in 2010. But the lyrical idea had been around since high school. When I was in high school the rage, for kids like me, was the all ages circuit. Usually afternoon shows at the LSPU Hall where 5-6 bands would play alternative rock, metal, funk, punk, whatever. They would all play shows together. That kind of camaraderie on stage created a sort of camaraderie in the audience too. Everyone was accepted. So kids came from all walks of life. Where high school was all familiar faces, even if you didn’t know them, they were the faces and names you could know about if you simply asked another kid. But at these shows there were folks from other schools. People you had never seen before. I had been to dances before and all, but there was nothing that could have prepared 14 year old Jerry for the hip swaying the girls did to heavy music. I mean, girls couldn’t like heavy music could they?
The idea formed in my head sometime around then for a lyric. I wrote it down somewhere but never looked at it again. It disappeared from memory. In 2010 I was thinking about where my next album would take me and realized that many of the albums that initially pushed me towards a career in music were about to celebrate their 20th anniversaries. U2’s Achtung Baby, Pearl Jam’s Ten, Nirvana, My Bloody Valentine, Drop Nineteens, and the list goes on and on. So I dug out some of my old books. Chicken scratches. Mostly bad poetry pining for some girl or another, teen angst or blatant plagiarism of one of the aforementioned artists. But I did find a few forgotten gems. One of the pages had the idea that became “She” on it.
“She was always the first one on the dance floor. She never cared who was watching or what they thought”
Good job 14 year old Jerry.
The song became a retrospective look back. A love song to the unforgiving over-emotionality of youth. Every little tragedy was the end of the world. Every love was “The One”. But as I started to write this homage to that misguided youth I realized it wasn’t all that different today. I still have an automatic respect for the first girl on the dance floor. And anyone who knows me and my music knows how much I love to write about dancing.
I wanted the music to have a series of varying beats and/or pulses countering each other so that it would feel more like a sway than a full on dance. Something the girls at the Hall may have liked. But it also had to have heavy guitar sounds for the guys I used to hang out with. Drop-D tuning (Well actually DADGAD but the low D is still there) to hearken back to a band or two that always used it cause it was automatically heavier. And when recording we made sure to get room tones like being in the stairwell of the old Hall. Staccato lines interspersed with legato lines. Rhythmic mixing with lyrical melodies. It feels like thinking back to me as memories come in and fade out replaced by another one. But you can see if it feels that way for you.
Hope you enjoy it.
Chris Clarke- Drums/Percussion
Brad Madden- Bass
Danika Drover- Harmonies
Robert Kelly- Diving Bell
JS- All other sounds