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Stranger Sessions

Just felt like reminiscing about previous albums. Here are my memories about the Stranger in the Alp sessions.  With You I had a little case of "writer's block", which happens to me a lot, and I didn't know how to find inspiration to get myself back on track. I remember picking up my guitar and just being disgusted with it. So I decide to de-tune it just to see what I could do. I dropped my b and high e string down a whole step and loved the way it sounded. "With You" was the first song I wrote in this guitar tuning. Now I use it all the time. "Memory", "Made You Look", "Hero" and "Never Get Old" all use the same tuning, which is why you'll see me frantically trying to tune the strings down before we play them live. Lyrically, the song just has "throw away" words. All that means is there isn't some great meaning to the song, it's just a string of cohesive ideas. We originally recorded this song for an EP we released at shows called "Damn Time Machines", which was before John was in the band. Once John came on board we had him put his part on the song before we added it to "Stranger in the Alps". Boy Like Me This song came about from some folky chords I was fooling around with. The song is basically just a typical man's perspective on a relationship. I always find it interesting how all guys think their girl is a needy pain in the ass and all girls think their guy doesn't care enough about them. So the song is basically a guy telling his girl that he does care and she should be happy to be with a boy like him.  One More Day I wanted an up tempo, three chord, island style pop song for the album. I wrote the lyrics in probably 20 minutes. The lyrics are very "seize the day", in theme. The overall meaning of the song is to just live your life and do what you want to do now while you have time cause we're all going to be gone pretty soon.  I'm a big advocate of this so this song does have a lot of meaning to me. I love Will's bass intro in this tune. And I would say this is arguably our most popular original. Letter A couple of the songs on "2 Weeks" were about an ex-girlfriend who I was with right before we recorded it. She lived in New York City and the distance made our lives a living hell. Needless to say, it didn't end well. I remember going through a bunch of papers I had and found a postcard she sent me while she was in Rome on a trip. It got me thinking about writing a song about a letter a boy is writing to his girl.  I liked the way the lyrics came out, although I always had it in the back of my head that no one writes letters anymore. But calling the song "Email" just didn't have the same ring to it.  Far In Between I had (and still have) notebooks and notebooks full of random thoughts and lyrics. I'll never forget this. My best friend and I were driving down to go meet some friends to play basketball and one of my notebooks was sitting in my backseat. I wasn't really paying attention, but I glanced over and he was paging through it. I immediately told him to give to me, but not before he saw one line I had on one of the pages. It just said, "I've been lost so many times, I know the way back by heart". He handed me the notebook and said, "Dude, you're an idiot if you don't use that". When I got home that night I sat down and wrote the rest of the song around that one line. If I had to choose what song of ours has my favorite lyrics, it would be this one. I really like how they came out, which is rare for me, cause I'm rarely 100% content with what I write. I'm definitely not a big fan of myself.  Chameleon Probably our least popular song ever.  Enough said.  This Old Man I used to play at Heils every Thursday. There was an older guy that was always there drinking and he would always come over and try to talk to me. I tried to humor him the best I could but literally could not understand a word he said. People called him "Mumbles" cause he mumbled so bad.  One Thursday it was snowing real bad. I set my shit up and played one set, then just called it quits cause no one was out, except for Mumbles. But I'm guessing he was sober this night cause I understood everything he said. He started telling me about how he was married at one time and fucked his whole life up by going away in the military. He said I sit here everynight and try to drink the memories away. It really bothered me a lot. I couldn't imagine being that old and having so many regrets. To never get a chance to fix mistakes you've made. I actually just wrote all the lyrics to this song as a poem and didn't use them until I found the right guitar riff to fit it.  The World Outside Another "seize the day" type tune. Johnny wrote the opening riff and the opening lyric line and I just took it home and finished it. I really like this tune, but we don't get to play it very often. It's the only song we have mandolin on, which John played.  Let's Go Not a whole lot say about this song either. Just a basic pop song that was inspired by a girl I had a crush on at the time who had a boyfriend, who was a total dick. I ended up getting her and then subsequently realizing she was just as nuts as he was. Woops.  Memory This song was just me venting a little. John and I were in the studio working on this and I actually wrote the lyrics on the spot. This song has one of my favorite solos Johnny ever did and I still love playing this song live. Another cool fact about this song is that Will has to tune his already low B string down to A to play his part. 

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