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The making of “My Fix” from THE BLEACHED BONES OF TITANS + Chord Charts (reposted from Facebook)



“My Fix” is sounds like a lost Elton John song from his GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD album. While this similarity was hardly intentional, there's also something to be said for wearing one's influence on one's sleeves (however outrageously ruffled those sleeves may be!). I think I wrote this song probably in the spring of 2015 (I really should make a more thorough effort of dating my pieces when I finish writing them). Since it didn't quite fit the Beatlesque album that the band and I (or, more accurately, guitarist Tom Briant and I) were writing together, I recorded a quick demo and set it aside as an EP bonus track.


Of course, THE BLEACHED BONES OF TITANS started out as simply an EP to promote an alternate version of "Affected Disaffection" than the one on the Beatlesque album, so it seemed a no-brainer to slide this song onto that EP. But it also meshed beautifully with "Affected" in its glam/70s Brit Rock incarnation and served as part of the impetus to continue writing songs in that vein to eventually craft a full length album.


As far as the actual recording of the song goes, this one was semi-live. Initially, I set up a drum loop and recorded piano and guide vocals. Those tracks made their way to Jankland studios, where Jacque Jobes, Paul Galiszewski, and Tom Briant laid down bass, drums, and rhythm electric guitar respectively over the existing tracks. They played live, though, and with the exception of one passage where the chords had changed slightly relative to the chord charts I'd sent Tom, those tracks were not "studio-tracked," but rather recorded as one live rhythm section. From there, I sang a clean version at home, to which Tom added a guitar solo and fixed the one measure where he'd played something different from me. Meanwhile, over in England, Adam Silverstein took my very clunky chords and turned them into a gorgeous, luxurious piano that really played up the Elton John quality of the song's chord structure and also added this haunting, fading lilt at the end of the song. Of course, when you have two musicians recording parts across an ocean, you MAY wind up with a few inconsistencies: there's one segment about eight counts long where Adam's and Tom's respective piano and guitar solos clashed, so we left Tom's guitar in and swapped out Adam's piano for something I'd done in the initial pilot take that wasn't too bad. Honestly, I couldn't tell you where it is because it's so seamlessly transitioned that I can't even hear it. Only Steve Jankowski knows!


One of the aspects of the vocal I find particularly interesting here is my willingness to leave it “naked.” I tend to love to layer harmonies and sometimes even double the melody vocal (as I did on "Affected Disaffection" and am doing on most of the Beatlesque album) to create a sonic dimensionality, a quality of depth, to the vocals: An audio illusion. This song is already about illusion, and it's a moment of vulnerability in which the narrator is stripping himself/herself of a mask. I felt that this one had to be devoid of backing vocals and doubled lead vocals. And it came out pretty damned good on my cheap home mike!


You can catch me doing a live acoustic rendition here, dedicated to Sharon DiSalvi, who ordered several copies of the album.


Meanwhile, here are the lyrics:


Please do this for me. Kindly ignore me. I can't be delivered by your figure of speech. Don't allow me this chance. I'm best at a distance, Or sow what you'll reap. Keep me out of your reach.

And I'll be alright as soon as I'm in the spotlight. Solitude's not in my bag of tricks. And your approval is my fix.

If you can't read my intention, it's that I'm mostly invention, My misdirection a device for my survival. The praise that I crave will send you to an early grave, And that's the one and only confession not borne of contrival.

And I'll be alright as soon as I'm in the spotlight. Solitude's not in my bag of tricks. And your approval is my fix. I'll send you away and tell everybody that you wouldn't stay. Disingenuity is just part of my schtick. And everyone's approval is my fix.

If you give me your heart I'll just return it to you scarred, Another rented prop for me to use. You think you'll be anointed But you'll only end up disappointed. The sincerity you tried to coax Invariably is a hoax.

And I'll be alright as soon as I'm in the spotlight. Solitude's not in my bag of tricks. And your approval is my fix. I'll send you away and tell everybody that you wouldn't stay. Disingenuity is just part of my schtick. And everyone's approval is my fix.