People often ask me what the songs on my records are about. The truth is that they are about fleeting moments in time that appear and disappear as I write the songs. So, my experience writing them is likely similar to your experience listening to them. That is, I interpret the songs differently now than I did when I wrote them. It’s kind of like an ever-changing thing for me. Let me know if you think of a better way to put it!
1. Lookin’ Past Me
5. You’ve got to get down on your knees and pray.
6. Leaving L.A.
8. It’s not the same without you here.
9. You’ve got to believe in the world as it once was.
11. I’ll be right there by your side.
Lookin’ Past Me
This was the first song I wrote for the new album back in May of 2005. Originally, I had planned on the album being a piano-based album, but after being inspired by some hardcore bluegrass music, I changed the focus of the album to a swing feel with rock drum beats. I have never, to this day, heard any other bands do this, so the whole experience was pretty experimental and neat. Luckily, my Noah is totally down with musical experimenting, and it worked out quite nicely.
This song is about my struggle to find inspiration in life, when everything keeps going wrong. I finally have a car, but it breaks down. I finally have a girl, but she kind of sucks. I’m just trying to keep up with the world, when all I really want to do is take five, drink a beer, and kick it on a porch in Decatur, Illinois.
My ex-girlfriend, Lori, rightly broke up with me after a tumultous two years. She lived in Boulder, Colorado, and I lived in Washington, DC for much of our relationship…the good parts at least. This song talks about how I wish we could go back to the time that we lived 3,000 miles apart and rework things.
This song was originally written as a political commentary on the botched presidential election of 2000. I lived in Washington, DC at the time, so it was all that was on our minds. There was a weird gloom hanging over the city during that time. Of course, I did what I always do when I’m confused – got together with a bunch of friends and went mini-golfing. Anyway, the song turned into more of a commentary on the current state of human affairs. There is love, hate, brothers, sisters, hegemony, God, and all sorts of other things that define the human condition.
After graduating from Millikin University, I moved to Los Angeles to play in the punk/pop band, Spank. We totally kicked ass, but I was totally alone in the world. My only happiness came from my relationship with Lori, my girlfriend and confidant. By the time I moved back to Illinois to be with her, she had completely checked out of our relationship, leaving me more alone than ever.
This song is an ode to all those drug-dealing little bitches that hang out on “the Trails” near the corner of South and Main in Richmond, IL. Haha! I spent many a day on those trails, and they are, in fact, a large part of my affiliation with my hometown.
It’s not the same without you here.
This is a song I wrote for Lori before she came to visit me in L.A. one time. I was totally in love with her, and secretly left a tape recording of this song in her backpack for her to discover when she got back to Illinois.
You’ve got to believe in the world as it once was.
I often wonder what America would be like if we weren’t so overwhelmed with the workings of day-to-day living. If only we could see that today is just one of many many days that will continue to go on even after the human race is extinct. This is a song that asks the listener to remember that yesterday was a struggle just like today. And in order to make something happen, we have to think bigger than the day-to-day troubles.
After Lori and I broke up in 2002, I made many trips back to my alma mater with my old roommate. On one of these visits, in the freezing cold, I got a kiss from Val, a girl I had a crush on for two years in college.