Singled Out: Jocelyn Arndt's Here To Stay
Jocelyn Arndt on the Lyrics of Here to Stay: Here to Stay is a song about relationships. I wrote the lyrics as a way to share my feelings about the makings of a "forever" kind of connection. The lyrics are quirky; they have some medical terms including amnesia and anesthesia which I added to give the song a sophisticated edge, even with its traditional, jazzy/blues feel. Elements within the lyrics speak to the comfort we all get when we are in that thing with someone we love: the feeling of warmth, of fitting together. "I'm weathering the storm, my feet are staying warm..." paints the picture of ease even in the face of trouble. I wanted the lyrics to just show that perfect fit, that feel of belonging. I also needed them to convey that sense that everything is magnified, is better, when you know it's for keeps. It's that secure feeling that really transcends the actual words for me with this song. It's what I value, what I want for the rest of my life, once the right guy comes along.
Christian Arndt on the music of Here to Stay: As far as the chord structure is concerned, it actually started out as a rhythm I would put into my loop pedal to practice lead with. The moment I heard it, I knew we could turn it into a badass song. When Jocelyn sang some of the lyrics I was immediately inspired to run with this. A few minutes later, the verse and chorus structures were finished. The bridge took a little finagling, but eventually we figured it out.
When we were finally satisfied that it was fully finished, we were actually very nervous about showing it to our producer; it's certainly a niche song, unlike a lot of our other music. But as soon as David Bourgeois heard it he fell in love. He knew exactly what needed to be done to make it the best it could be, and did just that. For the guitar, I got to play the studio's Gretsch White Falcon, which was perfect for the feel of this track. Then we found an awesome horn section and some very high powered players of other instruments too: the amazing Tony Micelli played some sick vibes, and Government Mule's keyboardist Danny Louis dropped in with some Hammond and even a harpsichord. It was exactly what we imagined when we first wrote it, from the barry sax and toms in the bridge to the epic jam-style solo to the classic breakdown at the end.
The music of the song really fits with our jam-band writing style. We took a "kitchen sink" approach with it, and as a result you get the feeling you're in an alley in New Orleans listening to a bunch of talented jazz cats just jamming out a beautiful improvisational piece. The brass of this song is a prominent feature and squarely drops the listener into a smoky, jazzy time, maybe during the 50s. I wanted the guitar to be prominent too, however, because to me it was a way of making the sound of the piece relevant today, even if its themes and many of its other musical elements are very traditional.