Singled Out: John Amadon's Let's Walk Without Talking
Many of the songs on "Seven Stars" are either directly about or strongly informed by an obsession I developed with a woman I hardly knew. Over the course of a few years I spoke only a handful of words to her, while seeing her almost daily and thinking about her nearly all the time. "Let's Walk Without Talking" is a very passionate song that really captures the intensity of the feelings I was experiencing. But what makes it more than a love song is that it also describes a sort of descent into madness-a huge swirl of emotions that don't necessarily connect or add up, but make you feel alive.
The sessions for "Let's Walk Without Talking" were some of the most rewarding we had for the record. It's the one song on "Seven Stars" that was heavily collaborative in the studio in terms of arrangement and production. The first to come in was my good friend William Slater of The Grails. He really tapped into the vibe and meaning of the song during the long day he spent tracking with us. I gave him carte blanche to try whatever he wanted, and he began by scrapping the existing intro and replacing it with a stunning organ section accompanied by a single ascending guitar line that gives the song both a solemnity and beauty that really catches your attention right off the top. He then went on to lay down several lead guitar parts that simply couldn't have been played any better. By the end of the day William had totally reshaped the song and truly taken it to another level. I was excited to get Scott McPherson in to replace the scratch drums we had laid down.
Scott McPherson is one of the very best, and he too brought some special stuff to his day with "Let's Walk Without Talking". After we outlined the basic drum arrangement for the song, he said he was hungry, so I went out to grab him some food. Maybe a half-hour later I returned to find they had begun tracking without me. While I was out, Scott and engineer Justin Thorpe came up with a great idea for bringing the drums in with the vocals that involved matting the floor tom and playing it with mallets in such a way as to make it sound like a very punchy kick drum. Alongside William's dramatic organ part, this new drum intro they came up with gives the song great dynamics as the whole band comes in after two heavy snare cracks. As for the rest of his drumming that day, it had the tastefulness and restraint that he's known for. Being great is pretty routine for Scott.
More than any other song on the record, "Let's Walk Without Talking" reflects the emotions and state of mind that were driving me at the time. That, combined with the numerous moments of really inspired creative spontaneity in the sessions definitely make it one of my favorite songs on "Seven Stars".
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album right here!