I’m taking a look back at my band’s album, released in 2004, as a series of #TBT posts.
Track 3 is called “Triumph and Insolence.” There were lots of jokes in the studio around the title and I think one was “Treason and Petulance.” It’s about a relationship that went south, but more specifically about that wonderfully confusing situation where someone says they don’t want a relationship and things are just casual… and then they get upset when the other person sees someone else. In this case, that person attempted to pit her friends and others against our protagonist and tarnish their reputation.
The main riff / chord progression was something I made a little demo of in my dorm room. It was literally just the same little ditty over and over again. I gave it to Chris and he started playing with it. I then came up with the chorus bit and showed him. A few days later he gave me a recording he did in the echoey, brick/glass/cement stairwell of Chase Court. The song was ready to roll. Scott jumped on the bass, Dwayne played some cool ringing, off-the-beat acoustic guitar, and I added some lead lines.
In the studio, we did the whole track with just a hand drum. Then we did it again with a full drum set. In the mix, we start with just the hand drum and we stay that way until the end of the first verse, when the full drum kit comes in. I love that moment! The lead lines were played on this gorgeous hollow-bodied electric that I believe belonged to Darren Arsenault.
This is the shortest tune on the record. Even with a hand drum intro, it’s only 2:33. When we played it live, we’d let the last chord ring and then we would come back in with the same chord progression, but in 4/4 time. Then we’d do some soloing and noodling and Chris would go all Gord Downie/Eddie Vedder and ramble off some lines before repeating the first couple of lines of the song and we’d end it.
It’s a 3/4 waltz ditty, so when they played it on CKBW in Bridgewater it was quite fitting. Definitely the most East Coast tune we had. It’s simple, but effective, and I like how it builds to the last verse. Instead of building up to a big chorus repeat, it builds to an amped-up version of the verse with lots of stuff going on, including Dwayne singing really, really high in the background.
This is one of my favourite tunes we wrote, and I still play it on acoustic guitar.