Viewing: JA's Songs - View all posts
It's been a long time comin'! "Together Alone' comes out Friday on all of your favourite streaming platforms.
At the beginning of the pandemic, I had a rush of creativity and a bunch of music came pouring out of me. This was one of the tunes. I kept hearing that we were "in this together", but in so many ways it felt like it was just a lot of people stuck at home feeling really lonely. Don't worry, it's not too much of a bummer. The vibe is actually quite uplifting.
One of the coolest things about recording this set of songs was having my cousin Ben Henthorne back in the studio with me. We haven't worked together musically since Like A Martyr's last two releases from almost exactly ten years ago. We hadn't worked together in a decade! Time heals all wounds people. Ben and I didn't miss a beat. He laid down some beautifully scathing guitar riffs (as he always does) and we were even nice to each other the entire time. hahaha. Honestly, it was a really important moment for me and in some ways transcended the actual music we were producing.
So on Friday, come for the rock anthem, and stay for the extremely tasty Henthorne lead guitars.
It has been a long long while since I've given an update, but here it is. I'm ready to release new music. My new single 'Together Alone' will be released on May 28th. I recorded new material with Alex, my cousin Ben and Jesse Gander back in the fall, and the tunes have been done for a while. I'm not sure why, but up until this last week or so, I haven't felt ready to release them. After some serious health concerns within our family, my brain must've been jostled into action or something. I feel ready and excited to share.
I'm going to do a streaming show to go along with this first single release and there will be a video too. More info coming on all of that. While I'm at it here, check out some photos from the recording sessions at Raincity Recorders in East Vancouver.
I want to tell you guys a bit more about these songs. Where they come from and what they mean.
Wasted Too Long is one of my favourites from RUN WILD. I've always loved songs that drip with nostalgia and that's what I aimed to do with this one. Right off the top:
"Back then we lost our memories in those liquor stores and on our lyric sheets...we gotta hold on before we're wasted too long."
That takes me back to playing in my high school band General Mayhem with Daniel and Daryl. We had an endless thirst for music, for friendship, for beer, for intensity and fun. And though I put a lot of work into those lyric sheets at the tender age of 16 or so, I don't know how comfortable I'd be reading them now. Maybe after a couple of those beers from the liquor store!
And the chorus has that anthemic quality I always strive for with rock n roll songs. I tried to capture the universal feeling of fighting for something and, whether or not you win that fight, knowing that change is gonna come either way.
"You know the times have changed, they never stay the same, but did it have to be so tough? You know we gave our best and never took a rest, but the best just wasn't enough."
After working really hard for something, do you ever stop and ask your self "did that really have to be that tough??". I sure as shit do.
In the second verse, I try to tame the part of me that's constantly looking back on my former self in judgement. Did I do enough? Did I work hard enough? Was I kind enough?
"Not me, I wouldn't take it back, I wouldn't change a moment, not a single breath. I got no pain, no doubt, no regret."
For this song, I tried to say 'no regrets" as a statement of purpose, whether or not that's actually always true.
And then there's the "whoa" section, which is just fun and catchy as hell. We had one helluva choir into sing that puppy! Corey, Melissa, Katie, Adam, Michael, Kyle and Kat.
Wasted was written back around 2010 or so, but when I first composed and performed it, it had a distinctly 50's rock feel. Heading into the RUN WILD sessions, and particularly in writing sessions with DANIEL WESLEY and Alexander, we decided it was much better to tighten it up into a more straight-ahead rocker with the palm-muted guitar in the verses, the closed down, four-on-the-floor drums and the big vocals in the chorus.
And of course, how else to put a song over the top in my books than to have my (tied for) favourite bud Maliyah singing her own rendition of it at the end of the track and on the secret track at the end of the album! I picked her up, held her close to the mic and she just belted that puppy out. One take. A lot more efficient than her old man, that's for sure. Also, this song became a family favourite of ours because singing it was the only way we could get little Tariq to stop screaming in the car on our family vacation last summer! Basically, it's ingrained in our psyche forever. hahaha.
Listen to this song! Add it to your playlist for the May long weekend! Enjoy! All of my love to you and yours.
This is one of of my personal favourite songs that I've ever written. This one came out of me, dedicated to my daughter Maliyah (or whomever was going to come into the world) well before she was born. I wrote it even before I knew Saj was pregnant. It was during that time where the desire to have a kid washed over me and my life, and just kind of took everything over. Every action, every thought seemed to be geared to it. It was emotional and powerful (it was evolution). The song expresses the fear and uncertainty that come with that longing to share your life with a kid. I have a lot of anxiety and I was scared that I would pass that along to her. But in the uplifting choruses, there's a resoluteness and promises are made.
"And the leaves will bow down, when you walk by with me / Those ships will crash and sink into the sea / Before I let you down, I'll make you stronger / Lay your head upon my shoulder / Love will never die...tonight."