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Storytellers #1: Digging Deeper Down

Well, as promised here is the first in a series of blog posts covering the story behind each song on our new album "The Meritocracy of Hell". I hope for all of you reading, you find these posts entertaining as well as informative. Although the songs we write tend to lean toward simplicity more than complexity, the thoughts and emotions that go into each song are deeper than one would suspect. As a youth, I would read album liner notes and lyrics as though I were studying for a final exam. I would read every word of every song, and try to imagine what inspired it. There were lyrics I could sense depth and introspection ( Dio, Ozzy, Megadeth), lyrics that made me feel powerful(Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Metallica), and lyrics that I found shallow but still entertaining (Poison, Kiss, Whitesnake). Lyrics can make or break a song. There are some really great songs in the world of rock and roll, but due to poorly written or poorly thought out lyrics, the song falls flat. Good musicians can't cover for bad melodies, and without a good melody, no one gives the music much of a chance. Chances are you disagree with me to some extent, but deep down you know I'm right. Try listening to Iron Maiden's "Powerslave" without any singing or words. You may dig it once or twice, but it would sound boring after a while. A great song is only as good as the sum of it's parts, which leads me to the lead off track to "The Meritocracy of Hell", 'Digging Deeper Down'.

DDD was only a working title when I wrote it. I like alliteration and repetitive sounds in lyrics. I came up with the chorus hook while driving to work (as I get many of my ideas), I just starting chanting "I'll keep on digging my grave, deeper and deeper and deeper down" ! Seeing as how that was the main hook, it seemed appropriate to title the song for it, but the hook didn't lend itself to an immediate title that worked for me and sounded like an actual title. So, Digging Deeper Down became the working title, and it stuck.

Conceptually, the song is about dealing with circumstances perceived to be out of one's control. I use horror style themes to convey many of my ideas, and the idea of digging one's own grave sounded appealing, if not a little misleading. The idea behind the grave in this song is similar to the old idiom "you made you bed, now lie in it". I wanted something to on the surface look dark and brooding, but in a more complex way, convey a positive message. The lyrics , very simple and direct, convey to someone not to give up, not to lay down the fight. "Make known your name, just give them someone to blame". It means to live in such a way as to not be ignored and to be the type of person folks either respect or resent, just don't be a coward.

Musically, I wanted a 6/8 heavy rocker to open the album. I had the riffs in my head for years, and after writing the lyrics, I knew exactly what riffs to use, where to put them in the context of the song, and how to sing the melody. This song came together in one hour. I recorded a demo, and basically what you hear on the album is what the demo sounded like, except on the album we all played our parts and the melodies were rounded out better. Scott Prian did some cool stuff drum wise on this track as well. Glen learned the song in the studio, and in retrospect that was a bit unfair of me to unleash on him like that, but he rose to the challenge and turned in a solid bass line. Due to time constraints, David was unable to write a solo for this song, so the solo you hear is me. I am not a shredder at all, but I think it came together well. The easiest part of recording this was the vocals, and they only took two hours to complete. I recorded them before going in to work one Thursday morning. Ah, the life of a working class artist.The high falsetto voice in the bridge is me as well, trying my best to add a King Diamond flavor to what is otherwise and raw and gritty song. At the end of the day, it has a cool Kiss vibe to it, underscored by King Diamond. It is one of my favorites (but I guess they are ALL my favorites in some way, we'll call this one #2).

I chose this song to lead the album because 1. It is a hard rocking track, 2. It contains what I perceive to be my strongest vocal track of the album, 3. It is the only song on the album in 6/8, and 4. The main riff sets the tone for the album musically. Listen or your selves, I think you will agree. Or not.

 

Stay tuned for the next entry, we will cover "Ouija Board Diagnostics"..........CHEERS!

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