HOW THE SONG CAME ABOUT If you’ve been listening: the final track of The Grim ends with the sound of a needle being dropped onto a scratchy record. This is how TFK I begins. I wanted to open the album with sort of a regal fanfare to establish that whole “kingly” type of vibe then go straight into an anthem, aggressive punk thing.
Keeping with the musical genre of the rest of the album, this opener had to be straight to the point and IN YOUR FACE. So as I described the album as a punk / alternative rock inspired album, this track is probably the most PUNK as it ever gets...or faux-punk.
WHAT I WAS THINKING Lyrically and conceptually, The Forfeit King is a reinterpretation or continuation of some of the sentiments from my 2018 album “Acquiescence”.
The definition of the word is as follows: the reluctant acceptance of something without protest.
So if Acquiescence was a reluctant acceptance, TFK is just plain acceptance. Accepting that sometimes life comes up with a better idea and it’s best to just deal with it and move on.
RECORDING IT This one was pretty simple to record and came out pretty fast. Sometimes I get lucky and certain songs just come to life straight out of the gate. It was seeded from an iphone memo I had called “Modern Foo” which I thought sounded like Foo Fighters but definitely had a punk rock vibe like Green Day or something.
And has more or less been “done” since 2018 as in I didn’t really touch the mix too much, which is always awesome when that happens. Some other songs don’t always turn out that way, as we’ll get to. For the really crunchy intro guitars and layered my Schecter PT in for the regular rhythm guitars. That “really crunchy” sound was from a stock Logic Pro guitar plug which I mixed in the center during the chorus’.
Vocally, I was listening to alot of Jason Bieler’s music at the time. If you don’t know, he is the guitar player and singer from the 90’s band Saigon Kick. They always have real thick and lush vocal harmonies and you should listen to their album “The Lizard”.
Track 3 "Sleep Well Young Man"
HOW THE SONG CAME ABOUT This is one of the older songs on the album, which was originally written all the way back in 2008. It deals with when my wife and I had our first child. We were living in Astoria Queens at the time and the first within our circle of friends to have kids.
As many of you with children can relate, priorities in your life change pretty quickly. One minute you’re flying through life with only yourself in mind then you’re faced with taking care of another person. Which you do, no questions asked.
So it was kind of weird to transition into parenthood while all of our friends were still single and "living it up". I wouldn’t say this created a wall between us and them, but there was definitely a disconnect as in we now had a whole new set of responsibilities to contend with.
So to sum up the tune, it's that old saying of “you better sleep now because once the kid is born you won’t be getting any sleep”. That kind of thing.
The song was performed with a band I had around that time called Invisible You with David Andreana, Timm Bielec and Ryan Blumstein. David, Timm and I played together in a band in high school and this was our “we’re getting the band back together” moment as we were all living in NYC.
Sadly we never played live. With the exception of a glorified band practice at SIR Studios in late 2008, I always regretted not booking a show.
We’d end up morphing into the band This Place Is Haunted with Pete Rains and Michael Zucker. They had already had the band for a few years at that point and the plan was to join forces and create a new monster!
We did end up playing some of the Invisible You songs live with TPIH but eventually ended up focusing solely on video game cover songs and all original tunes were discarded.
RECORDING IT As I mentioned, this song was written in 2008 but was recorded in 2013 for an unfinished rock musical that I was working on at the time. The story called for a song where the main character finds out his girlfriend is pregnant and this song’s lyrical content fit the bill.
This version was more or less a reinterpretation of the way our old band used to do it. Straight-forward almost "Rush"-esque rock. It came together real fast because I already had a clear sense of how the arrangement would be.
The bridge was a mixture of what David and I had written back in the day. Then I added the middle soundscape section which in relation to the rock musical was the section that the paparazzi comes out and grills the main character about his new kid. In this version, I utilized sound clips I had of my wife giving birth to our first child.
I’m happy that now I have some validation of all that time spent in 2008 rehearsing this song was warranted.
The song can live forever on an album and all the weekly band practices were all for nought.
THE FORFEIT KING COMPLETE - Limited Edition Compact Disc comes with ~ Both parts I & II of The Forfeit King (18 songs) ~ Signed CD ~ Digital Download of full album ~ Stickers