Re-introducing for the first time since about 2009, today I’m releasing the first demo recording as part of my revisiting the first songs I ever wrote with my first band A Big Dumb Rocketship.
To kick things off we have “Infinitive”.
When I first approached a kid in my high school named Mike who had been drumming with the only other pop-punk band in our grade to jam I didn’t expect him to actually agree to it. I can’t remember the circumstance but, either things just hadn’t gotten underway wholly yet with the other guys or he was just open to playing in multiple bands assuming he could make the time, so we set up a day to get together for me to show him some of the original music I had started working on.
At the time I hadn’t fully seen any one of my songs fully realized. The only song I had completed lyrics for and some semblance of chord structure was this one; When I brought it to the first drummer I’d been working with, he didn’t really know what to do with it, so I was extra nervous to bring it to Mike assuming we might have the same problems.
I had the initial verse chords down first in exactly the way you hear them in this recording and while all the lyrics were complete and I knew the melody I wanted to sing them in, I was way too nervous to do that in front of Mike – we didn’t know each other well, the lyrics were deeply personal to me, and most importantly to me at the time, if he couldn’t make sense of what to do with the verses I didn’t expect us to keep playing together anyways.
I explained to him that I basically knew what I wanted to do with the lyrics but wanted to focused on the music itself first, and he said, “no problem, I know exactly what to do with this” and A Big Dumb Rocketship was officially born in the basement of his parents house that afternoon. He actually didn’t even play anything for me that day, said he wanted to take some time with it to work out some parts that fit what I played for him before showing me and I trusted that he would.
Joining/forming a band can be a really nerve-racking thing when you’re just getting started, for everyone involved.
And boy did he deliver because for a long time that was my favourite song for us to play; It was the first one we finished and one of the first we ever played live and played it at every show we did manage to sneak in before ABDR ran outta fuel – and we ran out fast, keeping to our namesake.
About The Track
When I started Crooked Forest in 2020, I explained that this largely came about only because I’d recommitted to kicking alcohol from my life and a lot of what I’ve written about since then focuses in one way or another around that struggle. This isn’t at all unlike the reason I started playing and writing music to begin with and Infinitive is no exception to that.
Infinitive is about growing up with someone who is dependent on alcohol and how that shapes your relationship with that person. I spent a lot of my teen years so frustrated with not understanding how addictive substances like alcohol can be and feeling like people that were supposed to be focused on supporting me were instead focused on themselves and feeding their impulses.
And I spent a lot of my early years saying to myself I’d never become the same way, so dependent and seemingly so lost without it, and like so many others who’ve said the same as you can gather, I fell into it, too.
Happy to be able to say today that I still haven’t had a drink since March 13 2020, however many days that is.
Check out the demo recording of “Infinitive” on soundcloud here and read on for the official lyrics below.
The rhythm guitars are almost exactly what they were in the original, but I couldn’t recreate the drum pattern Mike used to do (his is way cooler) or remember at all what our eventual lead-guitarist added to the mix after he joined us. The rest is pretty close though, I think, although all the woah-oh’s and backing vocals in the recording are new – our guitarist and bassist were too afraid to sing back then, so this never quite hit the way I heard it in my head.
I wrote these lyrics sometime when I was 13-15 (I imagine finessing them regularly until presenting them to Mike in high school) so, be kinda ya? They’re a little emo.
With your glass turned on its side,
Insecure and apprehensive, I admit
We took this for granted.
Now that the glass drips dry
And the sinks full of spilt regret
I don’t have the answers you want me to give
Well now we’ll just sit here
Stare across the table
As if there’s a purpose
This suffocating indifference
Holding on an image
Of hope and better living
Cut this barbed wire loose and let me roam the fields
I won’t go far, just out of sight until I’m stable
Find me trapped, tangled in chains,
and I might take a minute to listen to what you have to say
Otherwise don’t be the water on this fire
Any other time and place
I’d pool all my words just to save face
I know I’ve made more than a few mistakes
And now I find myself staring the bottle up and down,
As if there’s anything left, anything I could’ve missed
A drop for relief, take back everything
Empty words could never mend what we’ve lost and broken
So spill this poison down my throat and let me sleep for a while
I can’t make any promises but I’ll try to visit
Find me sunk, pale, and cold on the floor,
I’ll lay on my side so you can whisper in my ear
and tell me everything you never wanted me to know
Otherwise I’m nothing but a liar,
and I never really cared
Don’t be the water on this fire (tonight)
It only makes it harder to breathe
And my lungs are too weak to fight (tonight)
Let the flames disintegrate on their own
Let the ashes find their way to the ground
Please don’t make this any harder
Hope you enjoy! There’s a few more ABDR demo’s that I want to work through all in due time so there’ll be more to this little series once I get around to them.