Here’s a new song called “Throw it to the Moon.” It’s actually the oldest song on our forthcoming debut LP. Read on for the story, and a music video by Jeff.
“Moon” first materialized almost eight years ago on a ferry in British Columbia. All of us Lame Drivers were touring members of Get Him Eat Him. At that moment we were en route to Vancouver Island, to play at Logan’s and climb up a hill with Frog Eyes.
The melody came first. It always does, but it usually comes in little pieces. This melody emerged as a full sequence from the opening guitar part through the verses to the “order march” section and outro solo. I drew some symbols to represent the rhythm, and words about “order” and “the moon.” Throw it to the moon is almost like throwing something away, except then it goes into orbit. It’s a cyclical revolution in contrast to linear order. I threw it to the moon and walked out onto the deck where Joe was beaming for some reason.
That’s where most songs end—as fragments in my head, or, if they’re lucky, an abandoned notebook. But this one was in orbit. It cycled back frequently, often with some new mutation developed during the previous revolution. It finally crashed for good a couple years ago. It was totally deformed. It contained many unanswered questions—the time signature of the verse, for one. I brought it to Jeff and Joe. They gave it shape, and developed it from abstract idea to a real thing.
The song was still intangible until we recorded a few demos in my basement (Rad Town). I wanted a different sound. We tracked with Travis Harrison, and I really like the recording though it has yet to be finished. Then we set out on a tour with Woolen Men. By the end of the tour, we were playing the song much faster, by about ten bpm (I counted!). The song had evolved in other ways, too. So with this fresh post-tour energy, we had to re-record.
I shared the demo for “Moon” with Matt Tong. Matt had first brought up the idea of recording Lame Drivers in 2012. He’d heard us play “Other Side” and wanted to take a sort of AM radio approach to it, to bring out the Fleetwood Mac… We like what he did. Then he did Frozen Egg:
We liked that too. We were hoping he’d be down to record “Moon” and maybe another one, like Slow Detective. It turns out that I caught him at a weird time with this request—he’d just made a difficult decision to quit his band of ten years.
Fortunately he thought “Moon” was “math-tastic” and agreed to record. We met up at his Matt’s home studio in Bed-Stuy. It’s named Exploded Drawing, after the Polvo album. It’s a great place to create a song. It is also a basement. There’s a washer/dryer. There’s a dehumidifier. And, for a moment, we all became paranoid that there might be a dangerous mold problem.
Matt has a knack for taking what was once the weakest section of a song, and turning it into the best. The outro guitar solo had remained pretty much the same in my head ever since 2007. The way I heard it, it was just 1-guitar. Matt wanted moar… Ok, two guitars started to make sense because when I play the part live, I feel a little schizo jumping back and forth between the two guitar parts. Matt demanded politely that there be more. I don’t know how many guitars we wound up with–I think a few of the tracks are just feedback—and Matt sculpted something beyond my imagination at the time. Now I can’t imagine it any other way.
I didn’t know what form this song would take back in 2007, but I knew that it would appear on the first Lame Drivers LP. The LP is finally here! It’s called Chosen Era and it’s out Friday Oct 9th on Bleeding Gold (LP) / Jigsaw Records (CD) / Lame (MP3)! We’re touring with Woolen Men again, and they’ll be in town for our release show Oct 8th. Hope to see you soon.
Music Video by our own Jeff Wood. Look out for more videos from Chosen Era tracks in the near future…