My writing techniques generally fall into one of two scenarios: write the music to an existing set of lyrics or write lyrics to an existing set of music. Rarely do the two come together simultaneously. In this case, I had the words and wrote the music around them. The genesis of this song was a short story from Kurt Vonnegut from his collection "Welcome to the Monkey House". In it, a human chessboard is arranged in a POW camp and generals had to play against each other using their soldiers. It made me think about this situation from the perspective of a pawn; easily disposable and without much power. What would it be like to be this character knowing that your life could end at any time and that there was little you could do about it? A little dark, but interesting fodder for a songwriter. I also enjoy the half-time breakdown and buildup mid-way through the song. A great chance for the band to practice our chops!
Out of all the songs on the album, this one seemed to have the most Top 40 potential, at least from my perspective. In some ways it's a straight-forward rock tune, with straight-forward rock themes (guy wants girl to notice him), but I also wanted to highlight more soul and texture in this song. I really enjoy playing the breakdown in the middle live with the band. We can stretch it out and play with it more depending on how the audience is feeling. Overall, it's got some solid energy to it and a fairly catchy "hook".
Of this song, My Nguyen from Divide and Conquer music states, "...I was arrested by the rhythms. The music is fiery and impassioned."
The first song off the album was actually sitting in my files for a couple years. I had played it periodically during my solo acoustic gigs, but I always thought it had potential for something larger. It's not an overly complicated song, so when I was auditioning my band it was one of the first I would play to them to see if they could get the vibe and not be hung up by complicated chord transitions. Inspiration for the song comes from my background in science and thinking that we are really all just collections of atoms trying to make our way through the world. Hopefully, it gives us a bit of perspective when looking at the trials and tribulations of daily life.
Of this song, My Nguyen from Divide and Conquer music states, "This felt like a feel-good tune a lot of people can rock out to."