Singled Out: Chaser Eight's Step Into The Light
I actually can remember exactly where I was when I wrote most of "Step Into The Light." I was riding in the car, on the way to the grocery store, and the song "Cath…" by Death Cab for Cutie started playing on the radio. I had not heard the song in years but I immediately remembered how much I liked it. There was a good vocal melody with a lot of space in between the notes as well as a lot of really lush, interesting guitar parts. The tempo wasn't too slow and the drums still kind of kicked ass even though this wasn't exactly AC/DC I was listening to. The bass player was really crisp and even slightly funky in parts. I thought that I would really like to write something with those qualities.
I got to my destination and as I was perusing the aisles of the grocery store I was trying to come up with a basic vocal melody to build off of. Eventually I came up with something very similar to the vocal melody of the final song and just started humming it over and over again so that it would sink in. When I got home I recorded the melody idea over some crappy digital drums on my computer and then added the various guitar parts. I added the lyrics last which is typically what I do. The song is simply about helping out a friend in need. There is the recognition that the friend may refuse your helping hand and the menacing guitar riff that appears after the chorus symbolizes that possibility.
I didn't edit the vocal melody or lyrics very much once they were down but I remember doing a lot of edits to the guitar parts. Every day for about a week I would listen to the tune and would hear something in the arrangement that I wouldn't like and would then rerecord the guitar part that I found lacking. Eventually I got it to a point that I was happy with it.
As far as the studio recording of the song goes, I remember that we knocked it out pretty fast with one major exception - The little guitar riff that is played during the chorus took forever! It was actually the idea of our producer/engineer Phil Mann who thought that an interesting guitar riff could help fill the spaces during the chorus when the vocals are absent. I said I would give it a shot but didn't have any ideas for a riff. He said that he was hearing something in his head and would hum it to me and then I could try playing it on guitar.
So I went into the recording room while he stayed in the mixing room. He started singing all these ideas to me and I would try and play them on guitar while he recorded me. We would listen back and then he would tweak it ever so slightly - or change his idea entirely in some cases - and have me do it again, and again, and again. I wasn't really hearing what he was after, I didn't have a lot of input on the part, and frankly I really wasn't putting down great takes anyway. After what seemed like the 25th attempt I got frustrated and just got up and said, "Why don't you just do it." I then went in and manned the computer and he went into the recording room and then he played the riff a few times. After just a few takes he got what he was after and I believe that very take is still on the recording. It's a great
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album right here!