The idea for this song started with the line, "You'd never use it in anger, but you still want to know how to shoot it." That popped into my head one day, and I built the rest of the song from that.
I thought about who would say something like that and how that person would live, and I built the story around that. The line about the gun helped me tell the story, though I never really thought of it as a song about guns. A few people have told me their interpretations of the song, and those interpretations have all been a little different from one another. That makes me happy. I like a song to be open like that.
As far as the musical side of the song, I play the song a lot higher up on the guitar neck than most of the other songs on the record. I wanted to change things up a bit from the open chords I had been using for a lot of the other songs, so I use a capo and get pretty high up the neck at some points in the song. As far as the singing, consistently having to hit and hold that drawn out note at the end of the song helped me quit finally quit smoking for good.
John Valencia, my bandmate, wrote the piano parts. I think he did a great job of keeping them sparse but well-placed. Jimmy Valentine, our old drummer, did the cymbal swells, which I think are similarly sparse but well-placed. That was one of the few times we used mallets on drums for a song, and I like how that sounds.
Bethany from The Feverfew sings with me on the track, and I think she has a beautiful voice. To start with, we both sang the entire song. Matt Shane later decided whose vocal would go where when he mixed the song. Matt's also the one who threw the tremolo on the guitar. That was something I hadn't even thought of, but I loved as soon as I heard it. It was really exciting when we got the track back as a rough mix with that on it.
I'm really happy with how this song ended up, because when I listen to it I can distinctly hear how John, Jimmy, Bethany, and Matt all shaped it and made it way better than I could have ever made it on my own.
It's also one of the songs people download most from our web site. My friend even held earphones up to his wife's belly to play it for their little baby. That's something I never even considered might happen when I first started writing the song, so that was a really cool surprise. I hope the baby liked it!
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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