Singled Out: Destrage's My Green Neighbour

03/04/2014
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Today Mat Di Gioia from the Italian metal band Destrage tells us about the song "My Green Neighbour" from their brand new album "Are You Kidding Me? No," which was released today. Here is the story:

My Green Neighbour was written around a single riff, that now is right after the solos section. On our partiture it was listed as "Morello". That was one of the first ideas of Are You Kidding Me? No.

It was pretty clear a cocky rock'n'roll song has to be written around it. One night the song was reopened and silently jamming alone with the guitar i came out with the verse. Actually i recorded on the computer camera some random variations of the same theme, playing without thinking too much about the grid, and then reordered the notes to create a loop that could be said to be a proper riff. The guitar part for the chorus came along with it, with the flow, and the pre-chorus was set by Ralph as a bridge between the two parts, just not to fall in the water, or in deep sh*t.

Since we love to complicate things we added the crazy part in the middle, with one goal: trying to make it as annoying as possible. Looking for the most disgusting harmonies.

F*** we are so lucky we live in 2014 and nobody burns you alive in the name of God if you rape harmonic standards. I wanted that section to sound so freaking bad. Like a bad trip. Like a broken Nintendo.Just to make it easier we created this apparent chaos that then is a bitch to learn and play all together without getting lost.

I still remember Paul calling and telling me "Man you've gone too far, why do we need this?" and me saying "Absolutely, we need it. Now I have to hang, my plane is taking off". Went to Berlin to party, came back, did a 3 days only-water-fasting with Fede and our friend Andrea (he will become one of the zombie in the videoclip) and realize i was right, that part needed to be in the song.

When the song was standing by itself we started arranging it and adding more details, as we always add something on the go, as well as writing the missing parts like outro and other things so the music was all-ready.
Paul came up with the vocal melody, he hummed it into his phone and sent it to me so that i could write the lyrics, trying to make this marriage between the lyrical content and the freaky metrics to make it unexpected and interesting, but still entertaining and fun (that's my opinion, maybe it sounds like random sh*t to you and i live in an alternate reality where punk is still alive and go hand in hand with free jazz and pink grapefruit is the number one fruit of the world and apples are uncool and they are not shining on every f***ing computer in this office).

The lyric originated from a dialogue i had with Gabriel on the van on the road to some venue. We were trying to understand why zombies are still everybody's first choice when it comes to monsters. We came to this conclusion: It is politically correct to shoot a zombie in the face. No shame, no guilt. A zombie is a soulless evil meat-eater and it will kill you if you hesitate to pull the trigger, but it used to be human. It still looks human in a way. That's why we like them so much. We still slaughter them in movies and popular series, even though they are stupid predictable slow f***s they just stay fresh time after time. Why? Because they used to be your annoying neighbour, your bully boss and that pretentious bitch who don't even bother to give you a look. They all preserve some humanity, so we can hate them way more than giant sharks, hairy tarantulas and cruel velociraptors. We can hate them for what they became, for they came back for the dead to crave for your brain. They are bad. No questions. We relate to them and so we are justified to hate their guts. They are what we are afraid to be. Anti-Humans. So by killing them we declare we are different, we are better. We kill our dark repulsive side. A blow in the face. Make it explode. Boom. Brain everywhere. We are no monsters, we won't pay to see gladiators kill each other in the arena any more. We know how to behave in this millennium We are advanced well mannered cannibals. We shoot zombies in the face.

The song was transformed again during the recording (something that is always painful and not quite effective in therms of time and budget schedule, but what the f***). The second verse was completely different from what it is now, it used to be some kind of mental funky doodling, just because. For the sake of it.

Paul's opposition was stronger this time, as he wanted the two verses to be quite alike, and, as much as it hurts, i must say i'm happy he won the battle.
That was just too much fuzziness in one song. You will never hear the first version, luckily.

At this point I wanna talk about the video coz I personally consider it as part of the song too. Just like other Destrage's videos, My Green Neighbour was done at The Jack Stupid Creative Collective. Which happens to be this very office with grapefruits on computers.

The initial idea was to make a lyric video, since we all like the words on this song. I think lyric videos are underrated, their creative potential is huge, and there's a lot that can be done besides what we usually see (some random backgrounds ripped from Google images with moving type stuck on top).
I wanted to film a sequence to have a moving background and design hand-drawn typography on that.

One night I went and see an improvisation theatre performance where my dear friend Andrea (zombie number 2, see fasting talked before) was acting. After the show we went for a drink and there comes another Andrea guy (zombie number 3). He was talking about this 7km obstacle race and since we like challenges we yelled "we can do this" and signed in.

To realize we could use the race for the lyric video took not more than two minutes. After a few phone calls the team was ready, and the thing was so smooth that coming out with the whole concept and lo-fi aesthetic, the outfit, the make up style, the color correction and the type design was just a consequence of our enthusiasm.

2 months of hard training followed to get in shape. The day of the race was a surprise to everyone. We didn't won the marathon, but for sure we won a place in many people's memory.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, check out the video here and learn more about the album right here!

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