Remember when albums had sides? Here's what would be the first side (and who knows, maybe it will have sides one day if the album makes it to vinyl). A rundown on the creative thought process behind the songs follows.
"Na Na Na"
I wrote this as a personal testament to an aging rocker who still loves the hard pop rock music from the eighties and thought it was a great track to set the tone for the album. "I guess I'm not twenty five any more. But I'm still gonna rock when I hit sixty four.". That kind of sums it up. It's a fun romp with layered guitars and yes, I still believe in guitar solos that actually add to a song. It's also a celebration of surviving cancer and a couple of major back surgeries and being back in the game.
"Be Here With Me"
A grown-up love song. There's nothing ground-breaking about the lyrics but I tried to make it real and not sappy. A nice syncopated guitar riff with some awesome background vocals provided by Travis Eby. It makes me think that this is what The Byrds would sound like if they used Marshall amps.
Written from the perspective of a lover who wants to save a broken soul and a darker relationship story than I think most people realize. It starts out with a simple, repeating guitar line and the dynamics intensify all the way through the song. I layered the keys on this one years ago and those are the only tracks from old recordings that I used on the album.
As close to punk pop as I'll get. The lyrics are about a dumped guy deciding to move on with his life but not before leaving a couple of stink bombs behind for his former main squeeze. I had a ton of fun creating this song. From the old Camel cigarette commercial clip at the start and end to the "Better Call Saul" Easter egg before the solo and the jilted lover phone call after the guitar lead, this one has some laughs. A simple, driving rock song. I hope it makes you operate your vehicle at unsafe speeds.
"Nothing Left of You"
I wrote this song when my collaborator's wife was losing her battle with cancer. I still have a hard time listening to it sometimes. The guitar line came to me one day when I was messing with a delay pedal. (A lot of my music comes to me when I'm "messing around". Most of my worst songs were written when I sat down and said 'yeah, I'm going to write something'".) There's a lot of imagery in the lyrics and this one is a favorite. Kudos to my daughter Ali Martine for providing a couple of haunting backup vocal moments.