Singled Out: Alex Dezen's When You Give Up

Alex Dezen

The Damnwells' Alex Dezen just released his brand new album "II" and to celebrate we asked him to tell us the story behind the song "When You Give Up". Here is the story:

Sometimes I'll find a phrase out there in the world, something usually pretty harmless, and feel like it's itching to be a song. "When You Give Up" is a play on the phrase "when you grow up" that I found in The New Yorker. It was from a comic by Joe Dator of these two kids playing together, and the phrase "what do you want to be when you give up?" written underneath them. It just seemed so poignantly simple and dark and all the things I love about art. It had a witty sadness that I just couldn't stop thinking about. The phrase became the conceptual center around which I wrote the song, creating stories and scenarios that are basically about broken dreams and all the lofty places from which we can fall.

On the arrangement side, I really wanted this song to be a kind of jam, but a tight jam. A jam with the bones of a song. And because I played everything, that was fairly easy to do. It's a long tune. A lot of the songs on this record are long. I'm not trying to write modern, cookie-cutter pop songs. But pop has been lots of things before the anemic, house of mirrors it has become today. Pop used to be sprawling and messy and jammy, full of convulsions and swing. Like Bowie and Prince. That's the stuff I grew up listening to. I like my pop a little dirty.

This was actually the first song I completed for this album, so in a lot of ways it was kind of the jumping off point for the whole album. I felt like being able to stretch out both lyrically and musically on the first song gave me permission to explore more of the "other" on this album, more of the things I never got to do when I was making records with The Damnwells. It was the linchpin to the whole thing for me.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album right here!


Alex Dezen Music, DVDs, Books and more

Alex Dezen T-shirts and Posters

More Alex Dezen News

Share this article
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Pin it Share on Reddit email this article

Related Stories

Singled Out: Alex Dezen's When You Give Up

More Stories for Alex Dezen

Alex Dezen Music


News Reports
Day in Rock:
Tool's Maynard James Keenan Updates Fans On New Album- Marilyn Manson Has Bizarre Onstage Meltdown- Metallica Release Birthday Tribute To Cliff Burton- Muse- more

The Smashing Pumpkins Announce Reunion Tour- Corey Taylor Reveals Timeline For New Slipknot Album- Metallica To Receive Polar Music Prize- Muse Release 'Thought Contagion'- more

Led Zeppelin To Release 'Different' Archival Recordings- Photo Of Metallica's James Hetfield As Cop In Ted Bundy Movie- Iron Maiden Take Action Against Counterfeiters- more

Judas Priest Legend Battling Parkinson's Disease- Metallica's James Hetfield Lands Key Role In Ted Bundy Movie- Ozzy Osbourne Wants To Make New Album After Final Tour- more

Page Too:
Drake's Generous Money Giveaway All Part Of 'God's Plan'- Troy Gentry's Widow Sues Over Husband's Death- The Chainsmokers Release 'You Owe Me' Video- Demi Lovato Unplugs- more

Meek Mill Files Appeal Alleging Unreliable Police Testimony- Kendrick Lamar, The Killers Lead NBA All-Star Weekend- Frank Ocean- more

Ed Sheeran and Eminem Release 'River' Video- Kanye West Returns To Instagram With Special Message- Kodak Black Releases R&B Album 'Heartbreak Kodak'- Remy Ma- more

Elton John Making New 'Lion King' Music With Beyonce- Willie Nelson Fighting Back After Battling Flu- Victoria Beckham Addresses Spice Girls Reunion Speculation- more


Follow Us:

Contact Us - Privacy - Why we are antiMusic

Copyright© 1998 - 2018 Iconoclast Entertainment Group All rights reserved.

Please click here for legal restrictions and terms of use applicable to this site. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.