Singled Out: Tempt's Under My Skin

05/21/2014
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Tempt will be performing at the Rocklahoma festival this weekend and the celebrate we asked the band's principle songwriters Harrison Marcello and Zach Allen to tell us about the song "Under My Skin". Here is the story:

Zach: I remember Harrison originally playing me the chorus for Under My Skin in the key of E minor. The verse riff that he had come up with was cool, but both of us felt like it didn't really explode like we knew it should.

Harrison: Under My Skin was one of the first songs that Zach and I wrote together. I had come up with the chorus lyric and hook. I showed it to him during one of our writing sessions. Originally the song was in e minor, but there were a few issues with how high that sat in Zach's voice. We decided that it would be best to drop it a half step, and in order for us to preserve the pedaled tonic on the low E string in the verse riff we decided it would be cool to have a song in drop D.

Zach: Harrison had a catchy melody and lyric for the chorus. We wanted a song that people could easily sing and chant with us at our shows. The chorus lyrics are easy to remember even after the very first time hearing them; people really seem to catch on by the second chorus at our shows and sing along!

Harrison: In our first draft of Under My Skin we opened with the verse riff as the intro accompanied by a cool almost tribal like drum pattern. However, when we transposed the song to drop D the verse riff in the beginning came off as too heavy. The song is an upbeat rocker and we needed to convey that right from the start. We decided that we would lead with the chorus progression so the song would start off with a bang and draw you in.

Zach: The concept for the verse lyrics came to me when I was thinking about a girl I met during my freshman year of high school. I vividly remember seeing her for the first time and being blown away not only by her physical attractiveness, but the cool, "not-giving-a-sh*t" attitude she possessed. I knew right then that it was going to be extremely difficult to get her off of my mind,. She stood out in a sea of new faces: "Stopping, starting many years ago, you was a looker that I got to know"

This chick crawled "under my skin" and stayed there for way too long. Her playful teasing drove me to my knees! I refer to her in the bridge as "Miss Agony". I wanted everything and nothing to do with her at the same time. "Under My Skin" is a way for me to share my experience through a fun, catchy song. I wanted to write something that people could relate to, and I know tons of people who have gone through what I did. Oh, and I hope she hears the song.

Harrison: When it comes to writing lyrics Zach and I take a similar approach. One of us will usually have a concept for the song that often takes shape as a chorus first, We will then write the verse melody and lyrics together around that concept. We demo the songs in my home studio and this allows us to work on the instrumental and vocal arrangements. We then play the demo and show the song to Jimmi and Zak so that they can add their flavor to it.

Zach: When I was recording the vocals in the studio, I originally sang the verses an octave lower than I do now. Our producer Tag suggested that I double the melody with a high octave as well, and I'm really glad he did. It definitely gave the verses the energy they needed to get the message of the song across. In the recording, you will hear both the high and low octaves!

Harrison: We cut this track live at an amazing studio in Vermont called Guilford sound. Everything is live with no Pro Tools trickery. I used my Suhr Modern guitar and Friedman Amplification and a Fractal Audio Axefx II for all of the guitar sounds

Zach: The song was a blast to write and record, and I could not be more proud of the final product!

Harrison: Under My Skin is one of our favorite songs, and we hope you enjoy it!

The song has been released digitally on iTunes and Amazon and the band will be selling a special four-song Rocklahoma collector's EP sampler featuring the track at the festival this weekend. Stream the song and earn more right here!

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