I don’t remember writing “God Bless The Strokes,” which became the first echoes song (I didn’t know at the time it was the start of something new). Scottie and I had bought the core equipment for our studio, and I’d been unpacking it and starting to fool around with it on Thanksgiving break 02. The song just happened in a few minutes, which is not my usual writing style, the chime-y lead chords with the phrase “God bless the Strokes…” popping out like nobody’s business. It was too much fun to play; I couldn’t get it out of my head.
Naturally, with the new recording gear, the new tune was perfect material for testing everything out. I set up my little gold drum kit with just an overhead mic, and made a quick drum loop. Taking Cory’s (Shacker) old guitar through a fuzz pedal (Boss DS-1) straight into ProTools (I didn’t have an amp around – sinful) I tracked the first version of “God Bless The Strokes” in a couple hours with no bass. That original recording was really lo-fi, of course, but it had spirit. Enough that when I was re-recording the song for echoes’ “nickel EP”, I used the same solo I’d recorded that Thanksgiving. That’s why it has such a dirty sound; it’s just Cory’s old Yamaha axe through a pedal. I hadn’t tuned too carefully (or at all), so the whole track is 1/4 step flat or so. What a headache when it came to re-recording for the “nickel EP”, but worth it to keep that solo. I can’t play lead worth a damn, but there is just something about the way those notes and jangly intervals tickle my ear. It always reminds me of the jams on Weezer’s “Only In Dreams” – “God Bless The Strokes” uses the same kind of chords in the same key, dancing around the tonic without hitting it. Lyrically, what can I say? The image of somebody feeling moved to invoke the Eternal Spirit to bless hipster bands-of-the-moment (in Nov 02 no less) just kills me.
What poigancy it has must come from a grain of truth.