This was the first song on the album, but one of the last songs that we actually recorded. Jenny and I were on vacation with a bunch of our friends in Punta Cana when I came across the perfect sample, from a little-known group called Frozen Sonic, for what would become our title track.
Side note: One of the things that Jenny always loved about the way I created music was how I could play something for her, regardless of how short or obscure, explain the idea, and then within a few weeks, show her an actual musical composition. She always thought that was really cool, and honestly, so did I.
Anyway, the title of the song was Sorry I’m Late, and was the last track on their album Hope Springs Eternal. And while I enjoyed the rest of our vacation, I couldn’t wait to get back home so I could work on this idea with YZ!
How exactly did I find it? There are lots of different ways to find good samples. In this case, we already knew the title of the album and had established the sound, so I started searching for any songs whose lyrics included the phrase Sorry I’m Late (or some slight variance) to see if anything I found might provide a spark – and then simply listened. It isn’t often that something screams out at me in such an obvious manner, but from the moment that first guitar riff played – there was no doubt.
By this time, YZ and I had developed such an amazing chemistry. We knew exactly what we were looking for each other to do. I’ve often said that we had such amazing communication that I could tell him something like “Ehh, I can’t put my finger on it, but I think the sound needs to be more….orange?” – to which he would reply “Ahh, I think I know what you mean. How about this?”
He would then go on to make the song sound more orange. I’m not even sure that I knew what I meant – but, somehow, he did. He would take whatever I could conjure up in my mind and turn it into music. It’s literally amazing. I’m not talented enough to describe exactly how talented he is, or how much I admire him, but what he does is just absolutely remarkable.
Anyway – I’ll upload some footage of YZ producing the actual song, but needless to say, it was a slam-dunk to become the title track. It just worked. And YZ, with his exceptional live-guitar skills, was able to bring it home without any trouble. John wrote and recorded the verses, and we had probably the most straightforward song on the album! And, it just worked.