"Now" is about a murder I committed in the mid-1970s but was never charged with. Someone went to prison, but it wasn't me.
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I'm not going to get into the lyrics of "Now." It's one of the more self-explanatory songs on the record, hopefully you can figure it out. The track perfectly embodies the dilemma that I explained in my entry about "Somebody New" though, where I discussed the limitations of "in-the-box" recording methods. When "Now" was written, we had nothing more than a laptop and an Audio Technica AT4040 microphone. We performed the song live for about a year before we had the capacity to record it properly. It's a big rock song, and it just didn't feel right without live drums, real amps, etc. In a lot of ways I think this helped the final product, because we had a chance to play it together quite a bit before recording the song. "Now" is the furthest in the "rock" direction that How Do You Feel Now? goes. By the time we were making the full length, I felt like I had outgrown it as a songwriter in many of ways, but the song still meant a lot to me and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to record it in an appropriate manner.
I was happy with how the song sounded once we finished it in our studio, but Andy Wallace's mix took the track to the next level. We sat in on a mixing session with him the morning after a show at The Westway in New York. Watching him work on an 80's SSL console was an amazing gear-nerd experience. I snuck a bit of video. If you like analog stuff, be sure to check that out. I think I specifically recorded him working on the drums to share with Paul (Andy mixed Nirvana's Nevermind and Dave Grohl is Paul's favorite drummer).
Notes For Nerds:
- The final orchestral section of "Now" was originally it's own 4 or 5 minute song. Ultimately we decided to sacrifice it and use it as an outro here though.
- The guitars on this song are a wall of Fender American classics. There are quite a few layers, but a '72 Thinline Telecaster, '62 American Jaguar, and I think maybe an Eric Johnson Stratocaster are all present.
- Half the guitars are going through a Fender Twin Reverb and the other half through a seafoam green Hot Rod Deluxe. The color probably doesn't matter to you, but I assure you it mattered very much to me when I bought it on impulse at Guitar Center late one night during tracking.
- There is a cool synth bass arpeggio happening throughout the verses courtesy of our Dave Smith Prophet 12. I think Sean saved it as "porn bass" in- one of the sound banks.
- The vocal chain for this song was a bit different than the rest of the record. On the front end it was still a Wunder Audio CM7, but that went straight into a BAE 1073. When we got to mixing, Andy ran each vocal through a Distressor and the SSL G compressor on his board. There's a decent amount of EQ coming from the SSL board as well.
- The Rhodes on the song was tracked at our friend Brian Moore's Red Booth Recording, as Sean's Rhodes hadn't been moved back from Austin yet.
How Do You Feel Now?
- Somebody New
- Carry Me
- Tongues (feat. KOPPS)
- In Clover
- Fees Like a Lie
- Traveling at the Speed of Light
- Nice House
- Bad Dreams