"King Of The Castle"
HOW THE SONG CAME ABOUT
The main riff was written on my Dad's old 1970's Guild D40NT acoustic guitar. I write most of my songs on acoustic (even the heavy stuff)....and for all intents and purposes is my Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir”.
I wanted a solid, four to the floor, groove to close out this album and not unlike the Led Zeppelin hit, King Of The Castle did just that.
In early 2020, I asked Jordan Holt from Space Junk Is Forever if he would add some of his Hammond organ onto some tracks I was working on. He agreed but suggested I ask Madden Klass, their drummer to play as well. This was right at the start of the lockdown, so she was unable to gig...so she needed the money more than he.
What I got back were some of the most extraordinary parts I could've asked for. It was a treat to have them "do their thing" atop my music since I've been such of fan of their own music for several years.
In the interim, I had Mathew Pike lay down the lead vocals. I had finished them, which you can still slightly hear buried within the mix, but since I wanted to make this a "collab" track of sorts, it was apt that I have him come in.
So between Mathew’s “Chris Cornell-esque” voice, Madden's rock solid drum beat and Jordan’s insatiable organ sounds, this tune turned into the albums final epic statement that it needed.
WHAT IT'S ABOUT
Lyrically from the surface one would assume that this song was another thread from the whole “king” regal type of vibe throughout.
Quite the contrary.
I’m always interested and fascinated about how people act when they're in public or around other people...compared to when they’re home and behind closed doors. Specifically the way parents treat their children in public, compared to how they treat ‘em when no one is looking.
The narrative tells the story from the viewpoint of a Father and how at home he is “king” and a force to be reckoned with..but in public he is an epitome of a great parent.
It was inspired by my own fears and doubts about myself being a good Father. I do my best to try and balance my life out. Kids, wife, work, family etc etc...but there’s always that nagging voice in my head saying…
“you’re shit. You’re ruining your kids life”
...all because I want to sit in my studio and play guitar. Lol.
The song is now out on all streaming services along with a music video I made on my iPhone.
Thanks for reading!
P.S. - You can order The Forfeit King CD here.
MAKING THE VIDEO:
Cheaply produced from the comfort of my couch, I created this video on my iPhone. Using a video editing app, I compiled the visuals and video content I've used over the last few months to promote the album in addition with the lyrics. Some visuals accompany what is happening in the song, some of them are related to themes from the album. Some are just in there 'cause I liked the way they looked.
I incorporated shots taken by Micah Schmidt way back in 2015 because A: I don't have any updated press photos of myself and B: since most of this album was recorded years ago, I felt it apt to show myself back in 2015...and not today. ya dig? Additional photography by Scott Clinton & Tom Bush IV.
I hope you enjoy the song and get a lil sense of what I was trying to say lyrically.
'Sidewalk" may be the oldest track off The Darkest Of Summers. I started this session in October/November of 2012, right around when Super Storm Sandy hit NYC and Long Island. In fact, I may have been recording scratch guitars on this very track when we first lost power.
This tune was written in the same batch as 2 songs from my album Acquiescence. ”Swimming Through Sand” and “Headhunter”. Both of which were intended to be within this collection of dark songs I had brewing...but when it came time to finish up Acquiescence, I wanted to add the 2 aforementioned tracks because by then I’d spend ALOT of time on them. "Sidewalk", not so much.
Either way, it’s a song that’s been sitting on the shelf for quite awhile and if memory serves this may have been one of the first songs that inspired me to begin to collect the “dark” songs.
It wasn’t too long after I came up with this guitar line when I got the news that my Grandmother had passed away...so a lot of my grief and sadness began to seep into aspects of this song.
The chorus’ of the song are a slight departure to the rest of the text. In a nutshell “I’m dying for no company...I just wanna be alone”...was my reaction to the ever needing attention my kids needed from me..and me just wanted to be alone to work on my music, or just chill. The never-ending task of finding the balance between work/family.
Whenever I write a new song I always think to myself "Man! this is the greatest thing I've created! such original! such riff!"
NO. As any songwriter can attest, you're a byproduct of what you listen to or what you've listened to. So in hindsight, these are the famous tunes that I hear when listening my song:
The Darkest of Summers is a collection of songs that were written periodically over the course of the last 8 years.
Songs that were inspired by not only the untimely deaths of people close to me, but me beginning to take a deeper look at my own mortality and just what the heck I was put on this earth to do...and what I'd leave behind.
It’s been quite a challenge getting back into the mindset of where I was when I wrote them and to recollect what I was going through at the time....
Hello there! Got a few new things and a few new old things on my workbench for the rest of the year and into 2020 and wanted to share some updates about them with ya...
In my last blog I described the tune musically as if “Frank Zappa wrote “Bohemian Rhapsody” while wearing a flannel shirt while listening to Grunge in the 90’s”.
After sitting on the “digital” shelf for a few years, the song slowly made it way back into my peripheral in early 2019.