The songs on the record talk about what I’m doing now, not what I was doing a year ago. It’s in an attempt to pre-empt the idea of “quality over speed of delivery” – that’s what Coldplay are for, that’s why Green Day took five years to release an album.
Although some tracks had been written already, some like ‘I walked into the room’ were written at the time of recording and the title track ‘Clothing and Failure’ is simply one never intended for anything and was just something I’d written about a month before recording. I didn’t think it’d work out as an acoustic track but it turned out as one of my favourites – perhaps because I made the guitars up on the spot which nicely reflected the lyric writing process.
Every song has a story, but not all of them really need to be told here, so I’ve included some thoughts on just a few of them:
Maybe in Another Life
I’m currently playing in a Bristol-based alt-punk band called Dig For Fire and we run largely to the same ethic as my own stuff – documenting each moment within songs as well as keeping a record of the growth of our sound.
That may sound pretentious but there’s something nice about being able to release an entire album by yourself when you grew up in the times that singles were released well in advance of albums – even reports of DIY punk recordings that I used to love reading pale in comparison to what can be done now and it keeps us aware of how easy music has to be when every step isn’t about making money.
I like to think this is coming full circle in that respect and there will be someone who reads this and comes back in 10 years having recorded an album in 10 minutes via some super-fast speed playing during recording before slowing down the track afterwards. Now that would be cool.
Anyway – this was one of the first songs we wrote for our third album – and I love the transformation we gave it – turning a completely narrative song into a full on rock song was great, but I also love this quieter version, for those interested in the story, like.
Anyways – I go through a lot of phases in all aspects of life through simple boredom. This talks about the three things that always stuck: Writing for magazines, playing in bands and small-scale self destruction and deprecation.
I Walked Into a Room
This song was inspired by ‘An Afternoon Dance Party’ by David-Ivar Herman Düne and is basically a song about lacking in confidence and just reflects my experience in the great human trait of starting with good intentions but ultimately falling prey obeying a pre-destined ability to ruin things, miss opportunities or simply to get things very very wrong.
But anyway – the inspiration came from the DIHD song not in content, but in style. I like the way that his song meandered, never really reaching his point, including a lot of words that inevitably never led to a resolution.
I use this style a lot and I don’t think it’s either lazy or sloppy, I think of it more as playing a game and it entertains me to no end.
Before I wrote songs I used to write letters to people, and these letters always spent three pages going nowhere. A friend of mine wrote me postcards telling me exactly what he was doing and how we was feeling in 3 lines, and so I replied with a volume of nothingness. As long as people don’t realise that it goes nowhere until the end I think it’s a success. It’s a pointless hobby, but a hobby no less.
This is a song about how frustrating it is that being miserable seems to be so much easier. Maybe it isn’t? But it sure feels like it sometimes.
I can’t decide whether accepting this as your own personality is a good thing or a bad thing, probably bad – but it’s what I’m trying to say when I repeat the line “this shit is bigger than me,” I think that the simple feeling of acceptance of being helpless to something can be something everyone can relate to when things get out of control.
Clothing and Failure
This quickly became my favourite recording as the lyrics followed a similar concept to ‘I Walked Into a Room’ – but instead of conscious meandering, this is unconscious meandering – which I think sometimes feels like it has more direction.
It’s just full subconscious lyric writing – I found it best to type it as I’m quicker at typing than writing and there was literally no thought involved in any part of writing this song.
It’s quite nice to be able to look upon your own lyrics as an outsider… I’d say it ended up being about expectations: expectations about other people, their expectations about you and yours about your own life.
I’d quite like to do an entire album in this style – maybe next time.
Don’t take this album too seriously, if you like it, that’s great, if you don’t, that’s cool too. I just hope you appreciate that fact that it’s a fun experiment in both song recording and song writing. Here’s some links:
Love Andy x
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