Hey y'all - I said I'd start posting songs of the day, and so here I am! Half the battle won. "Song of the Day" usually means a song by someone else, but today, we're keeping it Trembles:
First song, first album. Most of the first album was made up of songs I'd had around for many years, this one included. It was written sometime in 1999 or 2000, I think, though the roots of it can be traced even further back. WAY back, as it turns out:
Yep, it's from a Peanuts comic strip - but that's not how I discovered the phrase, and I didn't find out about the comic strip until many years after I'd written the song. The story of how I picked up the phrase is funny, too: I had seen it in a string of bathroom graffiti in the early 90s when I was in college - two graffitists were taking turns arguing about some salient point of religion or human nature or I forget what, and there it was. I thought it was hilarious in context, and the phrase stuck with me.
When I finally did write the song, I was in a band called Banana Seat, which mostly did (super fun) 70s and 80s covers but branched out into originals as well, and we ended up recording it on an album. That version of the song, which I'll need to find for you guys sometime, had a completely different intro and bridge/solo section. They were nice enough parts and I liked the chord progression, but when I revisited the song for Trembles of Fortune later, I felt like the song seemed to lose some energy at that point, so I rewrote those sections entirely. I made a demo of the song at home in 2012 and was pretty happy with the arrangement, but when I eventually got into recording Trembles of Fortune, there was still one change to make. By this point I'd started working with John Hegner, a name you'll hear a lot here; he's the engineer for lead vocal recording and mixing for both Trembles albums, and his work on these albums has definitely taken them to a level way beyond what I could do on my own. When we were recording lead vocals, John mentioned that the piano section after the bridge felt a little stiff to him, and while I thought I liked the part fine, I did have to admit that, yeah, it was good but nothing special. It wasn't a full-blown solo at that point - more like a few bluesy licks and rhythmic patterns, rather sparse. So I went home and played around with some ideas, and that's what became the more frenzied piano part that ended up on the album.
One other odd thing about the song: unlike every other T of F song, there's no guitar. There was guitar on it originally, but I wanted things a little simpler. If I ever rerecord it, I might try adding some back in, though very sparsely. (The Banana Seat version had horns on it too, and they might be cool here in spots. Only have the budget for so many horn songs, unfortunately!)