This song was written with movie director JJ Abrams. JJ gave me the stems the theme to the TV show ALIAS, which he wrote and performed. His idea was for me to mess with the track and "I don't know, just do something with it".
Kip and Annette where still touring with Blue Man Group (with David Larring filling in for me), so I started this track alone. The main melody used a diminished fifth going up to a fifth and then back down to root set of intervals (In this case those notes being Bb, B and E. This was the jumping off place for me. I decided to play with this dissonance by using a minor chord sequence for the verses (Em, Gm, Am, Em). I loved the way that central figured rubbed against each of those chords.
Here's a guitar & piano example...
The pre-chorus goes pretty but still slightly dissonant- Cmaj7, Dmaj7, Am7, Em.
For the chorus I wanted to to be jolting so again I'm playing with the minor 3rd and minor root chords. I introduce a big nasty blues guitar riff. The Gm riff comes in just after that lush Dmaj7 chord
I put in plenty of backwards piano, weird synths, feedback and crunchy guitars. After I put my initial track together I played it for Annette and Kip. Annette came up with some brilliant lyrics, which could be related to the show, but not too literally. She also beautifully weaved new melodies in that took the song to a whole new level. Kip really beefed up the drums, making the song much more aggressive and funky.
You'll hear bits and pieces from JJ's original track in there too. Especially the little drum and percussion fills. The main figure is also used in our track, but it's been rearranged a bit to make it fit in better with the new chords and key.
I loved how the song turned out. The next great thrill was playing our final mix for JJ, but more on that in another post.