Track by Track where the artist have the spotlight and tell us a little something about their new work. Today we feature The Mad Sugars new Ep “Amateur Hour” fun stuff that you can kick start your week with, cool rock n roll…..
“Amateur Hour EP” Track by Track
“Amateur Hour EP” is part 1 of a 2-part story. In it we follow a few characters on a night out at a club. Part 1 is largely the setup, and the resolution is yet to come.
I’ve always been a huge fan of story-driven writing, or songs written about the same situation from different viewpoints, and many of these songs came from trying those concepts for myself.
Matchmaker – I wrote this when Franz Ferdinand’s “Right Action” just came out, so there’s a lot of that feel in this track. Like in “Right Action,” it’s kind of a Franz/Talking Heads hybrid going with a repetitive riff. I had also originally written a bridge but we scrapped it during pre-production!
Queen of the Club – Ever since I first heard The Virgins’ self-titled LP I loved “One Week of Danger,” so I was going for that feel here, and it kind of turned into a cross of that and Elvis Costello’s “Pump it Up” when it came time to lay down the drums. As for the lyrics, you see a lot of silliness being taken very seriously when you’re not drinking and just watching the madness.
Just Keep Dancing – Top 40 radio is both fun and frustrating. When you listen you notice that pop songs, especially dance songs, use a lot of the same cliches despite songwriting figures advising you to be original. So this song is basically an attempt to be as cliche as possible, with some snark mixed in. This, along with “How She Likes It” were the first songs written that eventually grew into the entire “concept album” story.
Another – This song evolved from a droning Modern Lovers-type song to a more straight up riff-driven, guitar-heavy garage rock jam, and it’s my self-deprecating anthem to being a socially awkward dude in a club with nothing to do but keep drinking and hope that’s enough for you to leave your shell.
The More You Spill – I often kick musical ideas around in my head, whether they’re riffs or lyrics, for weeks before they become full-fledged songs. This one was one of those, and speaking of, thank god for the Notes and Voice Memo functions on iPhones. This was inspired in part by OK Go’s “A Million Ways” but in-studio it turned into our track that sounds the most Franz-ish. As the details of the album’s story were falling into place, the lyrics came out rather quick once it came time to sit down to write them (which rarely happens for me). All in all, one of my personal favorites to play live.
How She Likes It – I can’t remember if this was finished first or “Just Keep Dancing,” but again, this was one of the songs that kicked off our stylistic change and paved the way for the story of “Amateur Hour.” Originally I wanted to use the term “Hard Candy” as a play on us being called The Mad Sugars, but lyrically it headed elsewhere to become a different kind of Femme Fatale At the Bar song. It’s also probably one of the least-changed songs we have in terms of the production process. Other than some sweetening done in-studio and a small section shortened, it’s always had this same feel, drive, and arrangement. I hope that speaks to my writing ability in some way!