Singled Out: Pharmacose's Checked Out
Jacksonville, FL alt-rockers Pharmacose recently released their new single and video "Checked Out" and to celebrate we asked frontman Wesley Jones to tell us about the track and visual. Here is the story:
I didn't really know we were going to write "Checked Out" when I went to Lu's studio one day. We had released finished one album, but I was eager to start getting some new material together. We had been using material I had written over the years, but we had recorded everything from that stuff that I wanted to. Lu and I had talked about having a session to do a song that we would write together, so that was the plan. I had kicked around a few riffs beforehand, but that was it. So when we got started, I just played one of them for Lu. It ended up being the bass line more or less. We started recording as we were writing. Lu had the idea for that washy lead you hear in the verse. He and I then came up with the chorus. We wrote the progression together, but I thought it needed some more power so we added in the rhythm guitar that you hear. I remember thinking how cool it was that everything was coming together so well.
Once we had gotten all that tracked Lu started putting down some temporary drum tracks. He also started working on the bridge. That's when I started writing lyrics. For me, this was several months, maybe a year after I had a bad manic episode, and I was still dealing with the impact it had. My doctor and I were still trying to get my medication regimen hammered out, so while I wasn't feeling particularly bad, I wasn't feeling great, either. I had pretty much isolated myself, not doing much besides working and playing video games. I just felt like I was existing more than living. I had gotten stuck writing the lyrics, so Lu and I took a break and were just talking. I was telling him all this, and somewhere along the way he used the phrase "checked out." I immediately jumped on that and was able to finish the lyrics. After that we recorded the vocals, and we were pretty much done, although we would have Albert come in and put down some actual drums during another session. We did it in about 5-6 hours.
We did the video last November. Lu knew our director, Kurt St. Thomas, from just living in St. Augustine, so we all got together for dinner one night. I think we all just clicked. Kurt had a vision with what he wanted to do with regard to the tone. I remember he mentioned 12 Monkeys and The Cube. My contribution to things was wanting it to tie into being in a mental ward. So that's how the storyboard got put together. Kurt has made a lot of great videos, so he just got the whole thing organized and we filmed it in about a day and a half. He put together a great crew, and that made things so easy. It's funny because the padded room you see is actually just cloth over pizza boxes. I thought that was really clever, and it looked great! We're really thrilled with how it came out. The twist is that one of our managers, Mark Fischer, pitched the idea of filming a second video for our song "The Clearing." So we knew going into the weekend that we were doing two videos. It's getting edited right now. Maybe we can chat about that soon as well!
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below:
Pharmacose Release 'The Clearing' Video