Fishing for a Chorus Worth Keeping
"Nemo" is the name of the song that was conceived about 5 years ago now. As with all of Kj's songs - it started out in the 'folk' arena with the intention that when played back all on its own with just vocals and acoustic - it would hold up on its own. This is the approach we've taken with every song so far.
The lyrical content was inspired by Kj's reading of 20 000 Leagues Under The Sea. He really embraced the view of the captain and his goal of living beneath the sea as far away from the corrupt ambition of humanity. So there's some weight in this tune. The chorus needed(s) to really stand out on this song.
The elements of the chorus have been scribed for some time now. However the time signature of 4/4 just didn't have any impact. As the nautical literature for Kj's inspiration on this song, i too have drifted to a nautical literary works - Moby Dick. And let me tell you - this chorus is my 'White Whale'.
When Kj and I recorded the demo's in my basement a long while ago - i pushed to re-write the chorus in 5/4. It really changed the song's attitude. It was big improvement - but one that has always not sat well with me. 5/4 is very specific and when applied with an alt-rock tempo - it can be at times 'cliche'.
It sounded good, but we discussed as group that we didn't want to do what was 'easiest'. So again - the chorus needed to be re-worked
My recent purchase of a Korg - SDD 3000 digital delay unit was the inspiration behind now what is a 6/4 chorus - think of an exaggerated waltz tempo. I was attempting to replicate the riff done in the previous 5/4 but with all the extra time now added - i had to change it up. A happy accident happened in the studio when I unintentionally hit an extra note. It delayed magnificently through the effects chain. Ten minutes spent working out this discovery and we had the new chorus riff. Mike tracked some drums to test it out and with some twee-zing we got it!
A few listens the next day and Mike and I discussed it and went back into the studio to track it officially. The new Korg dialed in with its frequency oscillation on the repeats really help with the feel of bobbing in the water. Mike's percussive builds really add the weight necessary for this track.
Each chorus builds with additional guitars adding to an explosive ending to the song.
All that's left now is to work out the old guitar solo on the new time signature. But based on some recent Instagram pictures - i think Mike has other ideas for it. I can't wait.
What i learned so far from this particular song construction - sure it's great to do something conventional - but it's far more rewarding to really dive in, rip convention apart and re-build. The effort is well worth it.