It feels so good to say this: I found out about The Generationals in a skate video. (Remember when you used to learn about cool bands all the time from watching skate videos?!?!?!?)
Nobody Could Change Your Mind-
The main riff of this song and of “Wildlife Sculpture” came as a result of our first foray into midi sequencing. I was looking at a big blank midi grid and I basically just threw some notes onto it almost randomly. A midi sequencer works a lot like the way a piece of sheet music for player piano works. Different hash marks on the sheet send messages about what notes to play, for how long, and when. I would do that and then listen for any sort of melody that would start to manifest itself and then I would make some adjustments to the pattern to iron out the kinks and accent certain notes. It’s a fun process. Lyrically, our songs usually try to evoke at a certain image or a situation without getting specific. This one is about a girl who completely self-assured to the point of being deaf to any criticism.
2. Angry Charlie-
There are a few mentions of the name Tina in this song. (And in a few other of our songs actually) Grant and I do have a good friend named Tina, but I swear this was not about her! When we played our first show in New Orleans, Tina actually showed up. At the time no one had heard any of our stuff yet, and I was thinking, this might be weird. So I took Tina aside and I said, look don’t get creeped out, but we use your name in a bunch of our lyrics. It just worked well with the meter and rhyme and all, I explained. She was like, Yeah, right.
4. Wildlife Sculpture-
This midi-sequenced synth part was one of the first things I wrote for this album. We were very interested in exploring new kinds of songs. The fact that it’s impossible for a human to play that riff live gave us no pause at all, we just used it because we liked it. That did present some problems for us when we went to adapt the song for our live show. The version of this one that we do live is much slower and written for guitar. The words are about a little breakdown I had once when I lived by myself in an apartment in Baton Rouge. Solitude accelerates my craziness.
5. Bobby Beale-
I didn’t go up to DC with this song already written, it sort of came together while we were recording with Dan. Grant and I have really only ever performed it live once. Its a weird one. I have a friend Ashley who swears that it was written about her. But it really wasn’t about her because I met her after having made up the words. But now when I listen to it, I do think of her. But she doesn’t really rob liquor stores or anything. Bobby Beale, on the other hand, is a real person. He was a swim instructor of our friend Travis when he was little. Bobby had little patience with tiny Travis and would toss the screaming child into the pool before he was ready to go in.
The Generationals play Rock and Roll Hotel this Sunday with Apples in Stereo.