Look at us, sticking to our newly appointed Friday release schedule with a new cover. This week we jump back into Bleed American and tear “Your House” a new one.
Listen to the original recording here:
Now, check out mine:
I originally started out doing an acoustic-based full band cover but I was really struggling with coming up with a drum beat that complimented the strumming pattern I had settled into, so I scrapped the whole thing entirely and started fidgeting with the tempo instead because it just wasn’t sitting right.
Somewhere along the way I settled in on a more direct strumming rhythm and 194bpm… I also decided I didn’t care for a repeating chorus outro because there was a big part of me that thought frankly it had been said enough and I wasn’t sure it would have any sort of real impact in my own recording.
The last piece of the puzzle for me on this one was the lead guitar line. The tone you hear in the solo is a slightly different one than you hear in the verses because I had done that one a few days before the main lead, completely at a loss of what I should do with it.
I liked the tones of the rhythm guitars so much that I didn’t want to take away from them, but without a lead guitar it seemed to be lacking something.
I hammered on the first note you hear come in off the top and that really built the entire line, following the same hammer on/vibrato throughout.
I always find it funny how one small decision like that can dictate so many decisions that follow and ultimately change the entire feel of the recording.
Unfortunately I don’t have much to say about the bass on this one because I had thrown so many tom fills into the drums that to do anything other than follow the root notes started to sound super muddy and I’m not all about spending a week eq’ing a bass into a track, or eq’ing a midi drum for that matter.
Vocally, I have to laugh because there are parts I wound up with a weird Tom Delonge/Elvis hybrid that … I don’t know where it comes from, okay? It just does.
Okay, let’s talk wordplay.
I mentioned in the “Coffee And Cigarettes” breakdown that lyrically Jimmy Eat World have a certain penchant for universally relatable lyrics and this song is another great example of that. If you’ve never had that feeling of hesitation or embarrassment that comes when you’re astutely aware of the sound of your own voice, cough, clearing your throat or otherwise in a room full of people, I’d say you’re one of the lucky ones. It speaks mostly to a lack of confidence and when you reach the point in your life where you’re less susceptible to shying away from it, it’s incredibly freeing.
I find myself a little on the fence about this chorus, as a chorus I mean. It almost feels like it serves itself better as a stand alone verse than to be repeated as heavily as it is in the original recording, and to allow the “you rip my heart right out” tag to act as the chorus, more so, but I also love the lyric.
It speaks to that same lack of confidence we fall into in the first verse, not sure if you want this person to stay or go because you’re so unsure of what to say or where this conversation is headed, or worse – not headed.
The thing I’ve realized fro myself about what I think makes a song lyric universally accepted and universally relatable is having it be just vague enough that, like your daily horoscope, can apply to literally anybody.
Here we haven’t really said anything at all, leaving this interpretation completely up to the listener to fill in the blanks. Which is to say, this is a perfect example of a song that’s focused more on a feeling than it is telling an actual story.
I don’t have much to say about this verse as a result because, well, where these words take me are no doubt not the same place they take you, and I don’t want to muddy those waters if this is your first time hearing this song.
I love this bridge cause as a writer I can absolutely relate. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve written, rewritten and then thrown away the entire notebook when trying to get the words out that I want to say to someone, and I imagine I’ll just always be the type of person that does this.
In the interest of storytelling since I haven’t said too much really about what this song makes me think of, I’ll tell you a brief conversation I had with someone a couple years ago that sticks in my mind and just came back to me now as I put this all together (though, 23 is playing in the background here so, it could be because of that).
When I was younger I had a best friend that I met when I was so young I couldn’t actually tell you when. Our families go back some time and it was a result of that. When I switched schools in senior kindergarten, though, joining my friend at their school now instead, it became a whole thing.
I spent an insane amount of time with this friend for years and years of my life. When they broke the news to me that their family was thinking about moving and that their new house might be much further away than their current one, it was crushing.
But instead they moved closer, and on the day my friend moved in he walked to my house. It was the first time he’d ever been able to do so.
I’ve considered this person my best friend for as long as I can remember, even as we started to drift into new friend circles. I’ve always been the type of person that doesn’t consider distance a factor in maintaining friendships, and so even if I’d go months without seeing someone, I’d look to them with the same fondness as though we’d spent every day together.
But there comes a point in those types of relationships where you can’t deny what’s happened – when the distance is so great and for so long that you almost aren’t sure they’re the same person anymore – until the day you realize that in fact, they might be, but you’re not.
I met up with this friend a couple years ago when I still lived in midtown Toronto to catch up and ask the question I’d been trying to sort out for years.
“What happened? Why’d we stop hanging out as much as we used to?”
Because by all accounts every time we met up again it was, as they say, “just like old times” as though neither of us had changed at all from those same kids that met so young. He agreed with me – he didn’t know.
“It must have been me,” then I offered.
“No I think it was me,” he replied.
With neither of us clarifying what we meant by that – I still don’t know.
We’d see each other once or twice more after that but there was no denying that now obvious truth – whatever we had, wasn’t there anymore, and I think, or I should say at least for me, every time we met up after stood only to remind me of that fact.
And only when a certain amount of time has passed and I catch myself thinking about that conversation with this friend do I ever wish I could lose it all over again.
I’m fighting the urge to jump into 23 – I jotted down at the top of the month that next week’s cover would come off of “Invented” so I’ve gotta cycle through the record again and see what pops out at me.
Yeah, that’s how I decide. I’m giving these records a ridiculous amount of spins since I started this project.
Quick little reminder to any musicians with the means to record themselves wherever they are that I’d like to compile a compilation record of covers that don’t have my voice all over them. Read about the Believe In What You Want fundraiser for more info, but in short:
This project, where I’m covering every single song and cover I can find by the band, will culminate with a final live event and fundraiser and while I’m prepared to go it alone, I’d rather not.
I’m trying to raise money for mental health services and to drive awareness to how you can use music by means of healing instead of turning to drugs or alcohol.
If you want to submit a cover all you need to do is e-mail me (jaimee @ crooked forest . ca) a .wav or .mp3 recording of it before the cut-off date which is not yet set but in order for me to have time to press the record to a physical medium, assume it’s sometime around July 2023.
I intend to finish this project entirely by March 13th, 2024.
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