Nick Gill is a very talented person. By day, he’s a typesetter and printer, by night, a guitarist, composer, and playwright. I played in his band The Monroe Transfer, around ten years ago – a 7-piece post rock band featuring cello, double bass, violin, viola, drums, and two guitars (I played one of those guitars). Comparisons are odious, but they sounded a bit like Explosions in the Sky or Godspeed You Black Emperor*. I really rate his playing and composition, and back then, we were talking about songwriting, and he he advised me “try to write a song in the style of someone you like – you don’t have to release it or even play it to anyone, and it probably won’t sound like what you’re trying to copy, but you’ll learn a lot”. I completely ignored this advice.
Until I wrote this song. Can you tell who I’m trying to copy? The dry, strummy acoustic guitar? The growly bass? The wailing lead guitar? If you can’t, it’s probably not you fault. It probably just proves the impossibility of trying to copy the Pixies. Although Jonny Greenwood famously said “The Pixies only made four albums” when asked why there was little to no guitar on Amnesiac, Radiohead’s fifth. The famous pre-chorus “chukka” from Creep is the less-famous pre-chorus chukka from verse two of I Bleed (“as breathing flows/my mind secedes”) and I claim my five pounds.
Lyrically, this was the closest to a stream of consciousness piece I’d written for a while. I was visiting Wolverhampton (the muthaland) and living in Islington, the latter of which felt very weird. I had never before lived in North London, so you can appreciate the culture shock.
Next week, I’ll be thinking about my dental health. Until then, you can read about all the songs from Year of The Bird here and pre-order the album here: https://palebird.bandcamp.com/album/year-of-the-bird-volume-3
*add your exclamation point wherever you fancy