Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pep Talk - Behind the Scenes of the New Single

Well, ahead of the imminent release of the new single "Pep Talk" on August 10th (stand by your Digital Music Stores, folks!) I thought I'd revisit what I wrote about the song, shortly after it's completion...


Track number two on our new magnum opus (which I believe is a combination of chocolate and walnut) is the song "Pep Talk". It was written shortly after the completion of the last album, so the fact that we still have any enthusiasm for it at all must mean something. Something other than we've all lost our minds.

And now it's the first single, currently worming its way into the ears of radio producers the nation over... Probably shouldn't have packed the promo copies in dirt, really.

Pep Talk

Everyone's crammed like sardines in the bar, still they're waiting for somebody else
And only the subway conductors and perverts are feeling themselves
Lonely as village policemen they tap out a mayday in Pidgin Morse Code
And only tomorrow's tabloids will complain
When then unattended suitcase explodes

It's just a matter of time before you check out
It's just a matter of time before you check out

Your gravity's pulled in the comfort of skin, no surprise at the speed you revolve
She drinks like a fish, but she's good for a hump,
Guess you have to cross breed to evolve
You can call it hedonistic joie de vivre, or just two dozen lemons and port
When all she leave is a vague memory
To Filofax through come the doctor's report

It's just a matter of time before you check out
It's just a matter of time before you check out

There must be a higher purpose
Nothing springs to mind

The new White Hat Factory chimney's on fire,
So they're selling the stock in the streets

Your supper's delivered in yesterday's news and the TV is showing repeats
The hippies next door busy arming themselves, against rumours of yuppie revolt
And you'll barely have to time to sound out the word "peace"
As those freshly tattooed knuckles snake round your throat

It's just a matter of time before you check out
It's just a matter of time before you check out
It's just a matter of time
It's just a matter of time before you check out

(c) 2009 ist

I'm sure that some of you are hugely interested in what buttons were pressed on the shiny Neve desk during recording, and what combinations of mics were placed around Flash in order to make him sound even louder, but it's not my job to remember that shit. What I remember is Brett playing my acoustic guitar part because, in Jay's words, "it needs to be in time." Although I do get a bit of shiny chaos on my treasured hollow-bodied John Le Voy.

I do recall listening to an early mix and remembering - finally - what the damn thing was about. Which is, in order of appearance: terrorism, sexual transmitted diseases and post 9/11 America. I think. At any rate, I hope it serves as a tiny reminder of the preciousness of moments, cause we're all going to peg it eventually.

If only I'd had the forethought to include a verse about swine flu, or the credit crunch.

We in the band would especially like to pass on this message on to any men or women planning to wait for us backstage. "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may". Or in simpler terms, "What exactly are you saving it for?"

I jest, I jest. I think.

Another strange and unusual occurrence surrounding this song is that I now have the memory of a certain pop star (who was, to give you a hint, thrice moist) playing it on his laptop in the middle of an Italian field to much acclaim. He liked the horns. And you will too.

Pep Talk by ist:

Produced, recorded, mixed and mastered by Jay Burnett

Kenton Hall: Guitar, Vocals

Brett Richardson: Guitars, Vocals

John McCourt: Bass, Vocals

Flash: Drums


Gaz Birtles: Alto Sax and Mystery Instrument

John Barrow: Tenor Sax

Dean Sargent: Trumpet

Jay Lyndsay: Trombone

Assistant Engineers: Luke Buttery, Matthew Hodson, Brett Richardson, Kenton Hall and John McCourt

Assistant Mixing Engineer: Marco Perry

Recorded at The Way Studios Hackney and mixed at The Beat Farm @ The Premises Hackney.


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