Singled Out: I Am The Icarus
The secret to living is dying well has a bit of an interesting beginning. I actually wrote the bridge of the song first and the lyric "god is dead". I was living in North Hollywood at the time sleeping on the floor of a rehearsal space and everything I owned was sitting in the parking lot in my car. So I'm sitting there absentmindedly playing this riff and I just started singing "god is dead" and at the time it made me laugh. I was getting ready to move to San Diego, I had no money and no real reason to move except at the time it seemed to be my only option. When I got to San Diego I found a tiny little shoebox apartment near downtown and set up shop. When set up my computer to start demo tracking I came across a little clip I had recorded of it and decided to make a song out of it.
I was still dealing with the pain of a divorce and had entered this solipsistic world where I started to think I was truly alone. I was drinking heavily and experimenting with hallucinogenic drugs, I had no friends except for a stray cat in my neighborhood I had started feeding. The line "the crows call me back home" kind of came from the cat, because feeding the cat led to me feeding crows. You see, every morning I would wake up to these crows outside my window and it frustrated me to no end. One morning I got up and went outside with the intent to f**king kill these things. But when I turned the corner and saw them, I saw a certain beauty I hadn't seen in a long time. I started feeding them and in the morning their call reminded me I was still alive and I couldn't give up yet. "the crows call me back home" is actually referring to them pulling me out of my nightmares (I suffer from terrible nightmares) and back "home" to reality.
"There is no love, there's only pain, there is no hell, there's just this misery."
In retrospect it's almost comical how depressing it is and seems a bit tongue in cheek. The truth is at the time I really felt that way, and my goal with the lyrics for all five songs was to be honest, at times to a fault. People have been telling me my whole life that I'm gloomy, so in a way I guess I'm acknowledging that.
The secret is the only song of the five that Shaun Lopez and I didn't change from the original demo, except for a small intro that we cut. We ran into a bit of a problem when it came time to record the vocal because I was struggling with the chorus. We realized we should have tuned it at least a half step down but we had already tracked all the bass and rhythm guitar parts and it was late in production. When I play it live now I tune it a whole step down and problem solved, plus it sounds a bit heavier. Having Chris Robyn on drums was incredible and his playing brought a real power to this song that was lacking in the demo. I feel there's a certain tension in the chorus, it's almost claustrophobic and it freaks me out. Sometimes my music gives me the creeps. Is that weird?
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album - right here!
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