Singled Out: NTNT's The Attitude
I got the idea for the music while lucidly watching movies in my old apartment. I was exhausted at the time and had been working 100 hour weeks between the band and my full time job, so when I had time to sleep, I was usually too pumped full of caffeine and adrenaline to actually get any. I used to watch movies and sort of just layed there, occasionally catching little glimpses of dreams floating into my reality. I had just finished watching Mrs. Doubtfire and had put on Party Monster when the idea sort of came to me. As I was drifting in and out I had this lucid dream of macaulay culkins face with some sort of colored tv snow stuff behind him and the little rainy sounding synth melody was running out of his eyes like tears. I snapped into reality, as I often found myself doing when ever starting to dream, and realized I had a sweet hook and ran and recorded it as fast as I could. The surrounding instrumentals filled in from there. The bridge, with all the wailing vocal harmonies is actually a glance back at a song I had written when I was 17 or so, which was about 10 minutes long and ten minutes too long. I had tried the same idea of having a bunch of crazy moaning vocals over this really ambient guitar part, but alas, I could not sing. I felt like if I could pull it off it would work out in this song. So with a little more experience under my belt, I gave it another go. I'd like to think it worked out nicely.
Lyrically, the song is about the erosion of innocence that happens and the shell that forms around our innermost thoughts and feelings as we move through life and in and out of relationships, lose loved ones and feel embarrassment or pain, and it is the story of mine:
When I was 19 (I am now 26) I had this girlfriend, and she was completely insane, and I loved her more than I have loved most things in my life. When we were 21 or 22 I broke up with her because I was afraid I had put my career as a musician at risk by committing so much time to her and because I had become anxious for personal growth, and because although I loved her, she was completely emotionally f**ked up. It was an extremely painful decision and i remember when I did it, we were in the living room of my parents house where we both lived at the time. No one was home but us. I remember I was sitting down and she was standing up and I just shut off all emotion and mechanically let the words come out of my mouth.
It wasn't the beginning of "The Attitude" But it was one of the first times in life when I realized I had slowly been developing this ability to escape from my often painful and emotionally overwhelming reality, by simply shutting it all off.
I don't really know how to explain the transition but somewhere along the lines of being newly single, needing things from people, and needing to escape my emotions, I learned that I could snap into this reality where I wasn't affected. I started leaning on my social skills, drinking, parties and bedding women in attempt to overly engage my mind to the point where I wasn't feeling what I didn't want to feel.
When alone, I felt terrible most of the time and in the company of others I would sometimes snap into this attitude or fake outlook on life I had invented, honestly so that I could stop acting like a depressed, self loathing loser and actually make friends with the people I wanted to be friends with.
It got me what I wanted. Because I could emotionally detach, I had no fear. Fearlessness gave me the ability to go after the things I wanted. When I needed something I could just snap into this Attitude and I was in the zone.
The song is about the contrast of giving up something to get something else.
"You get addicted to the attitude, and what you did you better cut it out" - like when you start to get hooked on something, and you know you better stop quick, but you don't.
"I guess I knew it by the way I moved, I guess I feel it by the things i lose" -
I had moved away from my home and left a band that although probably had minimal pay off in the long run due to the style and work ethic, I loved. I'd left a girl that to this day pops into my head and ruins whatever relationship I attempt to involve myself in.
"what you feel is headed all in all to hell and I don't even give a damn"
Shutting off your feelings in order to not fear the guilt involved with hurting some one
"You want it all, you've got to sort it out" is about taking responsibility for your life. If you want to really achieve your dreams you must become organized. somewhat of a hybrid of The Attitude and "The Human Heart"
In the bridge I talk about how those of us who have given up our lives for our passions ("The dead in sound...") will live and die by our love and passions. ("... will march the ground.")
The Attitude is probably some weird inward way of processing life lessons as they come to me. I'm probably trying to find some romantic meaning tied to making irrational, emotionally driven decisions, because the urge to do so is inside of me.
Maybe people are just liars by nature, and we're all addicted to fueling our self-obsession.
Maybe the attitude is just all of us learning self control over a long period of time and me not knowing how else to express it.
I don't really know.
It just felt good to write it.