Singled Out: REPS' Dead In The Water

'Poisoned Youth' album cover art.

Rochester heavy rockers REPS released their brand new album "Poisoned Youth" today and to celebrate we asked Steve Koch to tell us about the song "Dead in the Water". Here is the story:

For our entry in Singled out I want to share the story of how we wrote the song "Dead in the Water" off of our record Poisoned Youth. The song began the same way pretty much all of our songs start off- the riff. The intro riff was one that our guitarist, Jordan, had come up with years ago, and just never used it in a song. One night in the early stages of writing for the record, we were all pretty burnt out after a long practice/writing session. At this point we had two songs completed instrumentally, and were about halfway done with a third but struggling to find where to take the song next. We collectively decided we would call it a night and come back to it with fresh ears and ideas in a few days. So at this point I'm completely ready to go home, and then I hear Jordan playing this riff. I remember hearing and thinking "Holy sh*t, what's that?!" So Mike (Bassist) and I had him show us the riff some more, teach Mike how to play it, and then we got back to writing.

Now normally our writing process takes a bit of time for a song. We all pitch our ideas, butt our heads, and through the process come out with a final product we are all stoked on. That was not the case at all for this song. We finished the instrumentals in under an hour. It was like we were reading eachothers minds while we were just jamming ideas; Mike and I just naturally locking in kicks and cues, pulling back in parts to let Jordan shred some fret Olympics. The ending of the song was completely inspired by a part in a song by The Beautiful Ones that Mike had shown me earlier that week. Just a slow, heavy, straight forward breakdown or sorts. It was an amazing feeling to have been ready to call it a night and then just bang out a whole new song.

The song's lyrics are somewhat a synopsis of a reoccurring theme throughout a good deal of the records songs. It's basically about our generation being plagued, or poisoned if you will, by various vices. War, violence, racism, homophobia, religious prejudice, narcissism, and the list could go on. It's infuriating to me that all these wicked or immoral attributes are so prevalent, despite all the lessons history has taught us. For whatever reason our generation stands divided, fighting eachother and holding ourselves down under the weighted influence of those who came before us. Rather than learning anything from the atrocities of history that have carried us to this point; we keep our heads down and blaze down the same downward spiral.

Lyrically this song came together extremely fast as well. The guys usually put a lot of trust in me to come up with lyrics, while sending me ideas and pieces they have as well. At the time we were writing the record, I was working overnight shifts processing patient samples in a hospital chemistry lab. The hours were garbage, but the downtime between rushes of work was when I accomplished most of the lyric writing for the whole record. Our vocalist Colt helped me a ton with this particular song. I knew what direction I was going content wise, but hit a wall shortly after the first verse and the chorus type part. Colt sent me a bunch of lines and short phrases he'd think of, basically like poetry. There was one he sent me that said "We are chasing shadows in the dark with scissors in our hands, we are the successfully poisoned youth." Reading that was like a giant light bulb turning on, and I knew I had to use all of that in the song. I finished that song on a lunch break at 3am and immediately texted it to the guys. When I woke up the following afternoon I had texts from all the other dudes and they were really stoked on the lyrics. This song was also where we got the idea to title the record "Poisoned Youth". It's for sure one of my favorites off the record, and a blast to play.

Thank you for reading, and please check out Poisoned Youth. May the force be with you, always.

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

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