Friday, August 31, 2007

SUXX 2 B ME

COLLABORATION

The Ian's Basement All-Stars "Suxx 2 B Me" MP3

This is an odd track - aren't they all - from 1991. It was recorded in my basement on my 4-track probably using my stuff, but beyond that I have no recollection of who did what. I know Chris Daly sang and I can definitely make out Michael Million and David B singing backups. And that's definitely my drum machine programming, which would've been a big deal since I'd only had the thing for a few days at this point, I think.

I'm not sure what we were going for as far as the sound of the song. It's like.... I don't know, Ministry covering the Charlatans? The drum machine is heavy on the kick, a la Ministry. But the bass and guitar are kinda vibey and baggy. So.... who knows.

I think this was Chris's first time singing. He did a great job. His singing voice sounds like mine! Perhaps due to the whole session being filtered through my stuff? He's like Ahmet Zappa when he was in the band Z. But of course I'd never write lyrics like that.

It was kind of a self-loathing/self-deprecating precursor to Beck's song "Loser." I'm telling you, we really did invent everything in that basement.

Here's what Chris remembers about "Suxx 2 B Me."

I would love to say that I remember it like it was yesterday, but, unfortunately it was 16 years ago. How the hell was that 16 years ago?!?!? Sigh...

Anyway, what an amazing summer that was, in 1991. I had just trudged through the boredom of my first year at Ohio State and had not yet been diagnosed with Crohn's disease (which sent me into a 3 year depression, but that's another story). David B. had finished his first year at NYU and had learned some new evil tricks at how to get through life without working hard. I cannot comment on them because I'm not sure of the statute of limitations on what he did. I'm not sure what Million was up to.

We recorded this right after the first Lollapalooza. David B. and I had gone to it together and I had a musical awakening. Both you and D.B. had spent the previous couple of years expanding my musical horizons, and were doing a great job. At the time of Lollapalooza I believe I was really into Neds Atomic Dustbin and had fallen in love with the bass guitar. So, anyway, Dave and I go to Lollapalooza where we have great fun and see some great bands. As everyone knows Jane's Addiction headlined the show (and it became their farewell tour). I enjoyed Jane's, but mostly liked their heavy, hard rock songs. I didn't really enjoy their slower more psychedelic stuff. That is until after a day of sitting in the sun and listening to great music and feeling pretty burnt out and finally hearing "3 Days". It blew my mind. I had not used any drugs at this point in my life, but listening to Jane's Addiction that night was an amazing experience that I now relate to smoking pot (which I stopped doing 8 years ago).

Anyway, D.B. and I drive home that night and I crash on his couch and pick at his bass guitar. Now, I realise "Suxx 2 B Me" sounds nothing like Jane's Addiction, but I was still inspired by the whole thing. By morning I had come up with the now world famous bass line. I also discovered the bass line to "White Man in Hammersmith Palais" by the Clash that night. Pretty fricken unbelievable considering I don't know how to play bass.

Which brings us Michael Million. Million does know how to play bass, and being in your bass-ment that night replaces my fumbling to deliever a powerful bass line.

You programmed the drum machine and took great delight in the fact that the part where the drums hit really hard are actually every single sound the drum machine can make playing at the same time. It's like a 20 armed drummer. You also sang back-up. (Side note - you can hear a part where I screw up as you sing a different verse in the background than I sing. I distinctly remember it being my fault.)

I believe Dave B. is playing guitar as well as singing back-up.

With Mr. Million playing bass, I was relegated to yelling into the mic. I did write the lyrics, but I admit, it's nothing brilliant. Having said that, they are better than the two other songs I ever recorded. The first was this song "Suxx 2 B Me". The second was "Pot Get's You Fucked Up."

I also remember us thinking that recording this would take like 15 minutes or something and ended up taking closer to 3 hours. That may be wrong, but since you don't remember, I'll say it's true.

How this song didn't become an anthem for our time is beyond me. If Kurt Cobain had played it it would have been more popular than "Smells Like Teen Spirit", that's for sure!

1 comment:

Darrin said...

This tune was kewl.

It's also cool that you had friends who were into music. None of my friends in HS were really music oriented. Well, that's not entirely true. They played trombone, trumpet, that kinda thing. No one played guitar of any sort. Yes, I've heard of Slammin' Watusis and yes they used a saxophone, but they still had a guitarist and a bassist.

Stuff.