Life: The Making Of…
This track started out as an inspiration taken from multiple different pieces of music. Firstly, I’ve always really liked the kick drums (and everything else) in the song “Transformer,” by Gnarls Barkley, off their St. Elsewhere album. The way the kicks are stuttered and just kind of slam you in the face- I love that. It’s almost like double bass (progressive metal, etc.), but in a completely different context. The bass being that busy gives the song a kind of frenetic, almost neurotic intensity that I really like, and of course really fits well with the content of the song.
The other influence was from a much less well known, but in my opinion equally as awesome artist that goes by the name of Clap! Clap!. In a similar but completely different way, the bass and drums on the song “Biafra” just blew my mind, and to be honest I sat down wanting to create something similar, but I knew that I would never be able to really reproduce that, and didn’t want to try to copy it, but rather just go with the idea of that song’s essence in my head and see what I could come up with. I wanted something that smacked you in the face, and where the bass drum was playing on way more notes than it should be.
Ironically, “Life" kind of took on a life of its own, and ended up being sort of hypnotic and drawn out, with only the first 3rd of the song really hitting hard like I had originally pictured. When I cut out all the noise after the "verse" and heard what happened, I decided then and there that it was going to go in more of a groove direction. At that point is was just- as it always is- about making the groove interesting. I really thought about Steve Reich and all the weird, minimal, phasing type of music that he has created when I was working on this part.
I wanted to make something drawn out and hypnotic, but not at all repetitive or “new age-y.” Once I got locked into that groove, I really didn’t feel that it needed to go anywhere else tonally, so I just tried to make it end with as much interest as I could. The result: