Today Sepand Samzadeh of Days Between Stations tells us about the song "Eggshell Man" from their brand new album "Extremis". Here is the story:
This is a track featuring the late Peter Banks, Rick Wakeman, Billy Sherwood and Tony Levin, and is the seventh track in our concept album 'In Extremis'. The concept being, the story of a man at the point of death (the Latin definition of 'In Extremis') with his memories whirling around him. The album, in not so chronological order, follows the story of this man, and by the time Eggshell Man appears, the protagonists empire has crumbled. As much he tries to persevere, he keeps falling down. The title comes from the neurotic obsession Oscar and I had developed, by this time, to finish the album… my wife kept saying she was walking on eggshells around us. It is also loosely based off of the Humpty Dumpty fable, which Paul Whitehead depicted in his own fashion in the album artwork.
As the guitarist for Days Between Stations, I wanted to record an acoustic guitar track for the first time. In addition, I was excited to play a Persian lute, named a Tar, on this song. This instrument was part of my many influences growing up and I had always dreamed of introducing it as a Rock worthy instrument to a Western audience. The Persians use this instrument in the classical genre of their music, namely Sonati. Ali Nouri lent his talent on the tar solo on this track, and we really had a great deal of fun recording this with him. The song really fell into place organically.
This is the thunderous Rock track of the album, and definitely my favorite. Oscar hammers away using the Piano, Moog, Electric Piano and Mellotron along with the guitar rhythm and Billy Sherwood's ear shattering and earthquake inducing drums. Tony Levin and Rick Wakeman deliver jaw dropping performances, and I remember being choked up listening back to the track that Billy Sherwood had mixed us towards the end. This track is even more special because it was one of Peter Banks' last tracks. Peter was especially fond of working with us, he had so many great ideas and sometimes flipped an original concept we had on its ear. He would send us 20-30 guitar tracks at a time, giving the song a new dimension, direction and life. Even adding further to the uniqueness of the track, Yes alumni Rick Wakeman and Peter Banks play together for the first time, along with our friend Billy Sherwood. After Peter Banks recorded his parts we spoke over the phone and he was unsure if what he recorded was "it" (he mainly recorded guitar textures, and a few riffs during the tar solo). I told him that he gave the song a new life and we were really excited. He was very happy to hear that. I said, "Rick will have a go at it at the end with a solo, and then I will call you to see if anything else needs to be recorded". As fate would have it, our dear friend passed away.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album right here!