Sorry about the late update! But, better late than never, right?
So, let’s talk about track two of Songs For Your Mothers To Gossip About, shall we? “Hate To Say I Don’t Love You” is honestly one of my favorite tracks from this album. It’s a breezy three minutes that really defines our style and tone. It was also one of the first songs that we wrote together as a band.
The genesis of the song came after I learned how to play “Breaking The Girl” from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The chorus of that song uses these beautiful three-note jazz chord voicings. It really marked the first time I was exposed to a jazz influence in a rock song and it helped me to start thinking outside of the conventional power chord Alt-Rock box.
Our singer, Tom, then came up with this great beatnik kind of melody. I just love how quick the vocals move throughout the verse. It really gives it a great kind of energy. And the words… well, they are absolutely from an 18 year old—which, you know, is only appropriate since that’s how old we all were when this was written. It is just so thoroughly a teenage perspective, but not in a “Party In The U.S.A” kind of way. It also has that little spice of ambivalent arrogance that would keep popping it’s head up in our songs. I mean that chorus! I love how brash Tom was with it:
Hate to say I don’t love you girl
Cause you know that you turn me on
And is there anything wrong with that
Because nature unfolds itself around you girl
We went back and forth a lot on the rest of the instrumentation of this song. We tried it with the full band sound, but it just felt… wrong. Finally, our drummer Caleb, picked up a bongo and everything kind of clicked. It gives it a very lo-fi kind of sound. Then the icing on the cake of course was the clapping. I believe that was Tom’s idea. Though it might of originated with Caleb clapping as a joke during a jam session. I can’t quite remember now.
There are always some old songs you write that after a while you don’t really like playing anymore. This song is definitely not one of those. To this day, it’s a favorite to play live.
Next time—“Big Eyed Mammals”!