John Pfeifer- Vocals, guitars, bass guitar, synths, piano, lyrics, music;
Matt Scott- synths, drum loops, samples, accidental snares, music
Today in sub-genre: #1
Peak: #3 (188,291 songs currently in Alternative)
Peak in sub-genre: #1 (45,476 songs currently in Experimental)
January 03, 2015
MP3 5.8 MB, bitrate 160 kbps.
John Pfeifer / Matthew Scott © John Pfeifer / Matthew Scott
Story behind the song
Probably not one of our more toe-tapping, heel-kicking, "O, What a Beautiful Morning!" butt-shakers, possibly leaning towards depressing and disturbing, this was a song that had to be written, sort of as a post-facto exorcism. It was started in 2000 but went through a million rewrites/re-arrangements/remixes before we were confident that we'd made it as powerful and significant as we could, and as the concept inflexibly demanded. The song had it's birth in an attempt to record an album with countless levels of entertwining elements not just amongst the tunes on that album, but also from our "back catalog."
The title was derived from "On the Heights" ("opening.../On the Heights/Main St."): a contrast between lofty beauty and unfathomable decay. The melody for the verses is also a shared component between "Heights" and this: on the former, done instrumentally in 4/4 at 40-odd beats-per-minute, and here at 100 BPM in 6/4 (then after the chorus, we transpose, but keep -- Wait! Can't divulge all our secrets!! Let's just say, "We savor that coppery tang of polymodality" -- disintegrating college degree to the rescue!!)
After the "brutally honest" chorus, we allude to some lines -- with an inevitable wrenching twist from the original dreaminess into dark despair -- from one of our older currently-posted tunes (we smell contest...??).
So we suppose we put a lot of attention to detail into this one, from Matt's string arrangements to John's french horn section ("Orchestration and Instrumentation 301"..."), thru the de-guitarification of a Strat, the borrowing of the last piano part from yet another tune (unreleased, yet on that same album, mind you...), and all the other minutae accrued over almost a half-decade.
We gleefully invite you to keep a smile plastered on for 5 minutes -- Enjoy!
("...we will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it...")
you'll find me
your last nerve
twisted and frail...
Could you help me determine
how the fuck I wound up here
-- A billion miles from the mark,
paralyzed by countless fears ---
God help me please
from this disease...
in my customized hell...