emptysuit

Release Date: 6/13

Album: THE OWL AND THE FULL MOON

Writer: ADAM MARSLAND

Audio:

Lyrics:

Why is it always thus
We vote for anonymous
Gimme me something, something that does not exist

You need a perfect fit
And you know that I ain't it
You don't get it but
You know you don't like it

Give me something, something from the inside
Throw a rock, from under which you can't hide
You got a beating heart right in front of you
You wanna love the man in an empty suit

Our conversation stopped
Somewhere over the tabletop
There's attraction
But there's no chemistry

Another glass of wine
Imbibing just to pass the time
'Til your invisible man
Can take you where you'd rather be

Musicians:

Probyn Gregory - horns
Adam
- lead vocal, all other instruments
Evie Sands, Teresa Cowles, Adam - backing vocals

Adam sez:

THE OWL AND THE FULL MOON was a thrown-together proposition, to say the least. The fact that it came out as well as it did speaks less to the effort I put into it and more to the fact that because I was running a studio/session musician service, I was playing and arranging every day and my skills were at a high level. I wasn't much interested in writing my own material at that point -- when you're spending all your time recording and you don't have much of a personal life, the last thing you want to do with your scant free time is stay home and record things you're not getting paid for -- but occasionally something would open up and I'd do a track. "Man In An Empty Suit" came about because I had a client bail on a session at the last minute. I had the drums all mic'd up, and nothing really to do that day, so I decided to make the best of it and cut my own track. I just bashed out the swampy chord progression on my Telecaster, headed back to the drums, banged out a few takes in my typically meat and potatoes style (this is probably my favorite drumming performance on the album), then bass, and then around the time I got to the piano I got bored with it and went hiking.

When the decision was made to actually put together an album all the tracks I had done at Karma Frog over the past few years came up for consideration, including some of the ones I had cut for the proposed Standells album (despite Larry Tamblyn's threat to sue me if I did that, even though they were my songs cut at my studio), though those wound up not fitting in with the overall sound. In fact, this is the first album where there was no punk rock influence and this is really the closest thing even to having a rock track on it, though it was more soul influenced. In terms of songs that were appropriate for an Adam album, there weren't many tracks lying around, and this one was atypically blues-rocky for me, but I figured with some input from Probyn, Evie and Teresa, it would take off. The horn session with Probyn was protracted as we both groped for ideas (he was way more into "Contamination"), but we got there, and Evie, of course, knocked it out of the park with her counterpoint vocal. I didn't think it was a masterpiece of songwriting, but the whole tune was very easy to grasp. One thing I had learned from GO WEST is you can have too much of a good thing -- you need to have a few sort of average, but accessible and easy to digest, tunes to offset the gems when you're listening to an album. As such, I thought this one was pretty good work.

My own lead vocal was fairly typical of my approach to OWL, in the sense that -- truth be told -- I was drunk for a lot of it. I remember -- barely -- doing this in my room at about 4 a.m., very buzzed on wine and half-asleep. I was leaning back in the chair and if I recall correctly I had the microphone suspended over my head. Hence the rather, um, relaxed vibe to some of the vocals on the outro.

The song was originally called "Anonymous Blues," which I thought was just going to get me into trouble, so I wound up changing it to "Man In An Empty Suit." One of the weirdest things about becoming a primarily studio musician is the change it wrought in my personal life. I went from having plenty of dating options to having to resort to internet sites just to meet new people -- I did not get out enough and when I did, I was usually around people my own age who were nonetheless in families and committed relationships and so there was nothing really there for me to work with. I think the internet dating craze is, while understandable and to some degree necessary, also kind of overrated and silly. It puts the emphasis on the wrong things when looking for a person, and most particularly on how much "chemistry" there is on a first date, which is usually an awkward undertaking rife with unreasonable expectations mixed with the excitement of a job interview. I really didn't like being in that position, particularly since I vividly remembered my salid days not so long ago where I didn't have to do this kind of thing. So that's the basic idea behind this song.

When we started doing the songs from the new album live, a lot of them translated extremely well acoustically. This one worked great for the band. Man...first time we played it, pow. Evie, man. She's a great person to have on your team.

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