Rausch are gearing up to release their sophomore album "Book II" on February 2nd and we asked guitarist Doug Rausch to tell us about the lead single "Greener Grass". Side note: the album features contributions from Mark Zonder (Fates Warning), Ryo Okumoto (Spock's Beard), and Shadow Gallery's Brendt Allman. Here is Doug with the story:
On February 2nd, Rausch will release its second full-length album BOOK II. Heavy-hitting contributions come from the likes of Mark Zonder (Fates Warning), Ryo Okumoto (Spock's Beard), and second Shadow Gallery mainstay, guitarist Brendt Allman. Picking up where the debut left off, it remains painfully vulnerable & autobiographical of the band's trials & tribulations along the way. Things are "even more deep and dark" this time, observes the returning Rich Mouser who (along with Bumblefoot) applauds the "Queen-on-steroids" diversity running throughout. Lead-off single "Greener Grass" is the first single and video, recently Doug (Rausch) told story behind the song.
"Greener Grass." The song that set out to kill all birds with one stone. The song that was to be the "quintessential" defining RAUSCH piece, incorporating virtually all key ingredients to our campaign. "It Happens" & "Bipolar" [from the self-titled RAUSCH debut] came close, but this time I wanted a song that did it all in under 6 minutes (and at 5:30, I'm pleased to report a mission accomplished [laughs]!). Key word 'song.' A colleague once used the word 'super-song,' which, out of the term's sheer pretentiousness I resisted at first; but to his point, as with archetypal examples "Bohemian Rhapsody" or "Carry on Wayward Son" (as reference only - not to start a comparison p*ssing contest), perhaps "Greener Grass" does offer a 'one-stop-shop' listening experience after all, when given the chance: [a stab at] catchy hooks/themes, cathartic relatable lyrics, & musical exploration/experimentation to gently nudge today's otherwise quick-fix audience forward a bit, always offering to bring everyone along for the ride...
As for the subject matter at hand, it was a series of many life experiences that cumulatively combined to become "Greener Grass" - no single incident is solely responsible. Songs have to nag at me for a time, under many varying circumstances, to prove their worthiness of full realization (there's a solid 50 or more floating around in my already over-crowded head at any given time, and they're all always vying for attention)... but this particular song's original seed - the inescapable concept of life's many struggles possibly being all for nothing ("all of this will pass but soon so will we") - that finally pushed it right to the front of the line. With nobody really knowing what happens when we die, there exists the very real possibility that we are all just forever stuck, and the metaphor proves true: the grass may never truly be greener. There's always a glimmer of hope, however, to be fair (the song is more of a "what if," as opposed to any kind of firm belief); in that very inability to prove that death will definitively suck, the song's culminating climax does give the obligatory fighting reason to go on - ultimately giving me great satisfaction in the work, [what I feel is] a fairly balanced representation of reality as we know it (if from an admittedly glass-half-empty perspective...).
In summary, this is not the 3-minute 'get-in-get-out' track that the current musical climate is programmed to expect, nor was that the goal. It takes a few listens. Don't worry, elsewhere on this record [RAUSCH: "BOOK II"] there are what I like to call the 'simple songs' - where as with any good Queen record (did I mention we love Queen?), the overall diversity rounds it all out - but I am of the firm conviction that music is at its finest when, just as with any well-crafted classical piece, all the elements ('heart AND brains!') join together and enhance one another all the more; I'm not Wagner, but I'm doing what I can. Music needs us all to do our part right now. Why not have-cake-and-eat-it-too while we're at it (mmm, cake, tied for 1 of the 3 greatest foods of all time)?
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