Sunflower Dead recently released their brand new single "Turn Away" via David Ellefson's EMP Label Group and to celebrate we asked frontman Michael Del Pizzo to tell us about the song. Here is the story:
Isn't it funny how a song with an overtly anti-suicide theme is one that we attempted to self-sabotage multiple times but couldn't finish the job? Turn Away was coming to fruition, no matter how many times we tried to toss it aside. It just seemed to have a life of its own and is now what we consider to be the most important track of our career.
It all began when we chose an end date where complete demos had to be submitted to our producer, Dave Fortman. Of course, on the last day of submission, Jaboo (guitar) hands me a new song and says "Good Luck, haha". After writing 20 demos worth of vocals, I was furious to have a song thrown in my lap so late. But the truth is - when I listened to the song, I was blown away. It was stunning, melancholic and epic. I only had three things to say: Jaboo was an a**hole, I refused to write vocals for it and "Great f***ing song". Luckily for my sake, all the melodies and lyrics came to me that day on the spot. Like a massive shot of inspiration where someone was speaking through me and my only job was to be the conduit. This song decided that no matter how much I was against working on it, it was going to happen.
I can be stubborn so I refused to let anyone hear my vocal ideas. Then during the week of pre-production, Fortman said, "Let's work on that song Jaboo sent me, the one with no vocals. He said "That is the most important song on this record and probably your career". I was like, really? But I sang my ideas and he was like, YEP, that's the one. Fortman even went so far as to say that he was so confident about this song that he felt "he was born to produce and mix it".
Once we had the recorded version, none of us were blown away. Fortman kept saying, "You guys are crazy, this is the one". Subsequently, none of us picked "Turn Away" to make the record. A change was made from the demo that didn't seem to capture Jaboo's vision. We decided to trash the song and rewrite it for another album but again, "Turn Away" had its own agenda. On the last possible day to pick songs for the album, a simple idea came out of nowhere and I reluctantly asked Fortman to try it, just to see. Let me tell you, when he sent the song back, it was CHILLS and we finally understood how important this song was for us. Even with all that, we still put the song last on our record. Like we were still trying to bury it so no one would get to it. But when it came time to pick singles... "Turn Away" was unanimous with everyone we worked with to be a single.
This song might have been the last song written on the last possible day and the last song added to the final track list on the last possible day but no matter how many times we stood in its way, "Turn Away" was coming to life. This is only fitting as the song stands for those suffering with feeling like they have given all they can and have nothing left but to give up..... When all they really need to do is find solace in letting things be.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the group right here!