From the CD: Hearts For Bullets
Music, lyrics & vocals: Jennifer Parkin
Production, mixing, mastering: Sebastian Komor
When I see you there facing your rival
To everyone it’s clear you’re in denial
And now it’s come to this
I thought it never would
Now I see you here facing your rival
Elimination time pending survival
When it comes to pricks you take the title
You’ll have to suck it up! Suck it up!
Don’t you look at me I’m not your rival
Faking. You’re faking it.
You find yourself in the same situation
When will you learn to avoid mutilation
You’ve missed again
And there’s no telling when you will
Recover from this one
It’s a big deal
You’re dead inside is a minor understatement
More like guts scraped on the edge of the pavement
Tiny words, tiny thoughts, things that make you fear
You play dead but we know that you’re faking it.
This song, both the lyric and music content, has always been very visual to me like I simultaneously directed the video in my head while writing the song. I have a picture in my head of a showdown with 2 people standing face to in a blistering hot dessert with the bluest sky imaginable, the two people are all sweaty, and dirty like they’ve been taken right from the set of a Mad Max film. The music compliments this vision when I hear the gritty, scraping synths.
Lyrically: it’s not about one specific individual as people always tend to think about my songs, but again, I take my deepest and sometimes scattered emotions and use them to get out some frustrations at various people and situations. I do have a few people in mind of course, but generally, this song is for those I’ve encountered in my life who act like the world is out to get them and end up treating everyone like a rival or competitor when they’re not. I want to tell them to suck it up, get over it, move on and stop blaming me or others for their own short comings and failures in life. These people always seem to be stuck and left in the same situations over and over, their only way out is to “play dead”, which is the ultimate attention seeking move, to act like everything is over, but we know that they are faking it and they’ll be back, which is the last line of the bridge. That pretty much sums up the general meaning of this song. My favourite line of this whole song is: “when it comes to pricks, you take the title”. It just came out so naturally in a brainstorming session, it made me laugh and I knew I had to keep it in the song. So, yes, this is another angry song inspired by, and directed at more than one specific individual who I’ll never name names of, but again, I use anger in song so that I can remain the happy cheerful person I am.
Musical Inspiration: I was listening a lot “Sick Like Me” a song by Traumschmiere and specifically the version that was remixed by Motor. That song had this amazingly aggressive energy and these dirty synths (yes, you’ll get used to how I use the term “dirty” as a technical term!) that keeps rising up in the song and I liked how they added a sense of anticipation that I wanted to try having a song with a similar element in it. Overall, I was going for a more edgy, electro-rock vibe with big percussion for this song which was achieved. I would say another band that subconsciously influenced me in the creation of this song, was Filter whom I really liked in the later part of the 90’s. I later said to myself “Hey, Suck It Up reminds me of that Filter song “Nice Shot” how I sing the verses!” even though I hadn’t listened to that song since the 90’s!
Structure: The one part of this song that I had such a hard time with was writing a chorus! I never really wrote one for this song! Not like the kind I usually have in my songs. We used the “faking it” lyric as the chorus and structured around that, which ended up working well. I spent most of my efforts on the bridge part where I had played with layering percussion elements and having this rhythmic chanting part going on and on while the music and percussion built up. It was more fun for me to keep progressing the main bass line and feeling of the song than to spend time on a chorus apparently!
I’m doing the dissection of this song a little differently this week because I had something special for this song to share with you guys, and also because I’m in Montreal for the week, currently in the hotel with the WORST internet connection ever, and haven’t had as much time as I usually do for a write up but in a way, this is much better! I’m giving you a glimpse into the recording process. This video was made by my good friend SGoetz (aka Blepharisma) she had recorded behind the scenes footage during the studio session while I recorded the final vocals for “Suck It Up”. Now knowing this would eventually see the light of day, I’m wishing I dressed up that day for the shooting instead of wearing my comfy recording clothes! ;) Also, I can’t believe how short my hair was back then! This is not recorded in my own home studio (I wish I had that kind of set up!), but we were able to use this space for a day, and you’ll see my good friend, keyboardist & producer of the “Flicker” CD: Joe Byer (v01d) manning the controls. I hope you enjoy seeing something rare that you don’t usually get to see everyday. Have a great weekend! I’ll be enjoying my stay in Montreal for another 3 days!