Singled Out: Blonde On Blonde's Friends In Danger

11/03/2011
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Today Jack from Blonde On Blonde tells us about their hit song "Friends In Danger". Here is the story:

In the time leading up to writing "Friends in Danger", Zara and I had been listening to a band called Malachai from the UK a lot, and had become somewhat obsessed with the lo-fi production and the simplistic nature of their music.

Our band had semi fallen apart about 6 months prior, with 2 of the band members leaving, one of them being our guitar player Matt Napier. Matt was a very instrumental part of the writing process from a production stand point. He was always great at telling what was working and what wasn't in the early stage of a song being written. "Friends in Danger" was my first attempt at writing again without Matt, and I was extremely nervous about creating music on my own.

I'd had the intro riff for "Friends in Danger" in my head for a few days, sat down at my computer and recorded it, and then saved it and walked away. I often feel that whenever I record an idea, it isn't very good, so I tend to leave it for a few days after I have forgotten about it, and listen to it with fresh ears.

When I opened up the project again, I thought about the simplicity of "Snowflake" by Malachai and how direct it was, and that was my main focus when I started adding parts to the song.

I had some drum loops that I chopped up in my recording software and looped it, and I played two chords and looped them over the drums. I added tamborine instead of hi hats for something a little different, and then had the basic blueprint for the track.

I had borrowed a micro Pog effect pedal from our guitarist (Duckboi), and decided to plug it in to record the main riff, which instantly was the sound I was looking for.

The first guitar part I came up with for the lead break after the first chorus and also the guitar solo was all one take, and they are still the parts heard on the finished version.

All the lyrics were written in 10 minutes, with absolutely no revising or editing. I often find it hard to describe situations or events the way I can hear it in my head, but it happened seamlessly all in one hit.

Like most songs written by guys in bands, this one is about a girl. It details the events of a relationship I was in when the song was written. The chorus detailing the night we first met, and also the personal battles she was dealing with at the time, and how it was affecting me and our relationship. It's written from a standpoint of disappointment and frustration more than anything else.

From the time I sat down at my computer with only the riff previously recorded, to the point the song was completely written and recorded took 2 hours. "Oh My Oh My" and "Friends in Danger" are the two songs that have been the easiest and quickest to write.

I put the song my iphone when it was done and drove straight around to Zara's house. I put it on and about 30 seconds into the song she said "Who is this!". I lied and told her it was a new "Malachi" song. She replied with "This is amazing. Can that band do no wrong?". After that I came clean and told her I had written it. She is often my harshest critic when it comes to song writing, so when she expressed how much she loved that song, I knew we were on to something.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself as you check out the video right here!

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