Friday, April 29, 2011

Q & A with Alex Nackman (Part 2)

If you haven't had a chance to check out Part 1 of this interview check it out below. The final part I asked Alex to give me some idea about each song on his new record. Sorry it's taken so long to post!

EZ: Give me an idea of what inspired you lyrically and melodically for each track in as few or many words as you'd like.

AN: Ok, here it goes.

Bodies Won't Stand - a play on the adage "actions speak louder than words." I've always felt that words speak pretty loudly and often times, those words we say to people stick around after our physical parts go away--after we die, all we have are the words of love, hate, support, anger, happiness, etc. So, we should remember the words we say to the people in our lives and not focus on actions.

Warning - I think we tend to focus too much on the difficulties we're experiencing today, but not thinking about what good things might happen tomorrow. "Warning" was a track that was born out of a sense of wanting to maintain perspective in life.

Holding Her - I tend to keep things too far past their expiration date. Sometimes in relationships, we have a hard time admitting when things just aren't right and that "working it out" just won't work. We try to hold on and tell ourselves that things will be better if we just wait it out, when in reality, we should admit when it's time to let go. I used the metaphor of a hospital to convey that feeling of trying to keep it going too long.

Burn From The Rockets - In any relationship, there's a learning curve and a time period where we don't fully understand someone. We need to read the proverbial instruction manual of who we're with. "Burn From The Rockets" was a plea to not give up on a relationship solely because of a lack of knowledge. Eventually, we learn how to fly, but it takes practice.

N.Y. - NY is a track about the struggle to find solace in New York. I know the City so well and I've been in it my whole life. Yet, as most New Yorkers can vouch for, the City has the tendency to really challenge you whether it be financially, emotionally, mentally, and logistically. It's a love affair that is a constant struggle and I'm sort of asking and pleading with my own home to release some of the grip I feel it has on me at times.

Walk It Blind - Not relying on transient replaceable things. This track was sort of influenced by the economic crisis in 2008, but I don't tend to really write hard about political topics. I was just trying to convey a sense of over-indulgence and what can come of it. In the end, we have our friends, our family, our lovers, our wives, our husbands-- those are the most important elements of what keep us going.

Our Own Separate Lives - I was in a moment of not finding real love, but rather just enjoying the spoils. I used the Cinderella story as a sub-metaphor on this track because I was trying different shoes on but couldn't get any shoe to fit in finding love. There's some risqué subtext there...I'll let you piece together the rest.

Closer - It was after a trip to Israel that I had truly realized how much someone meant to me. I think we had been seeing each other so much before I left that our love was super-saturated. In a lot of ways, it takes a 6,000 mile trip to look back and say, "I really wish she were here with me."

Aloud - This track was influenced really by a feeling of persistence and a determination to press on. It's cliché in some ways, but I've always maintained a sense of "pressing on" as a musician. I think we get told "no" in our lives all too often and still need to feel like we have a chance to hear "yes." The chorus talks about shouting "aloud" and not letting our voices be drowned by those who keep saying "no." We hear "no, you didn't get that job" or "no you didn't get into that college" or "no I don't love you." So many people work so hard, yet are rarely rewarded. Today, we see many more greed and short-term gains rewarded in our society, more so than those the middle and those who've really sweated it out.

Skipping Steps - wanting to jump ahead to know someone. In a new relationship, I think we all have a sense of wanting to read the final chapter before we're there, especially when you get to a certain age. I'm not saying that I consider myself old or in any rush, but we all are getting older and thus we all have fewer and fewer chances to see if a relationship will work as years go on.

Last Night In Kyoto - I wrote this in Japan after a very short trip through Kyoto-- a beautiful city that I never quite felt I got enough time in. The feeling of leaving a place too soon was a metaphor for breaking a relationship before it had time to mature. In some ways, it was an admission that I didn't follow my own advice in "Burn From The Rockets." "Last Night In Kyoto" takes place in Japan, but it's really about relationships in general and giving them a chance. I questioned whether I made a mistake in the past because I didn't quite let myself get to know her enough.

Stay Awake - After being hurt by someone, we all get a little gun-shy. I felt that way with a new person in my life and felt that I unfairly was being standoffish and reserved while she was actually giving me more love than I had ever experienced before. I held back love and affection for her to a detriment, which was terribly unfair for her. The song really pulls at the feeling of "staying awake" and being aware and cognizant of what you're doing to someone. Sometimes, we hurt people without saying anything at all. It's the silence we harbor that is often louder than the words we actually verbalize.