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Story Behind The Song - Cacophony's Speed Metal Symphony
31 July 2002
Story Behind The Song - Cacophony's Speed Metal Symphony


SAVAGE
This was usually our opening song in concert. Live, we extended the ending guitar solos (longer?!) and did a trade-off between me and Jason. Peter would introduce us like boxers-'On my left weighing in at 125 pounds, from Washington D.C?'

WHERE MY FORTUNE LIES
Sickest intro in rock. I borrowed slightly from something I heard Sheila E. do. We played on Atma's ability copy intricate guitar lines note for note. The guitar hooks in the chorus nicely show the differences in Jason's and my playing. He does the precise classical sounding run at breakneck speed, and I do the exotic slurring melody line.

NINJA
Maybe the first 'Japanese flavored rock guitar solo' ever? This was fun to do live. At one point in one of the many solos, I would fret my own guitar and pick Jason's. He would pick mine and fret his. Sounds kinda nasty! Anyway it was a blazing fast guitar lick and was always a show-stopper. Truth be told, it was a lot easier than it looked. Also there was a section where the whole band is locking in on this brutal riff, and the three of us in the front of the stage (me, Jimmy and Jason) did a choreographed 360 spin, each time a certain riff was played. It was just like the Temptations or the Four Tops. Lots of fun but it would have been handy to have wireless guitars at the time?

CONCERTO
Jason and I could play this in our sleep, this song was probably the most rehearsed of the whole album. I played a large section of the harmony solos in the middle of the song in one long pass, and engineer Fontano looked at me and said, "All that!" I asked him, "Huh? Do I have to do all that again?" and he said, "No! 'All that' means that you nailed it. That was great." So ever since then, 'all that' has been a slang phrase that I've used ad nauseum (much to the consternation of my Megadeth cohorts?)

BURN THE GROUND
Jason's dad came up with the title, Jason came up with the insane riffs at the beginning and Atma twisted them even more. This is by far the heaviest track on the album with some of the most frightening lead guitar playing.

DESERT ISLAND
Best vocal performance on the record. Jason and I were guilty of using vocals as an afterthought to our guitar spotlights, but Peter Marrino brought my strange lyrics to a powerful boil here. I got some of the lyrics verbatim from a letter my sister wrote me. I thought, 'Nice letter. This'll make some cool lyrics!' Bernie Taupin can rest easy, his job is safe.

SPEED METAL SYMPHONY
This makes me think of Jason and me practicing on the rooftop of my downtown apartment on Taylor St. in San Francisco. Like 'Concerto', we could sleep through this one. There is a slow passage in this that Jason plays that is so gorgeous that it was the one sole deciding factor that made me want to start a band with him. Varney (executive producer) hated the dissonant ending of this song and quite appropriately referred to it as a trainwreck. Jason and I fought hard to keep it on the record. I can see Varney's point but there was something in the randomness and 'cacophony' of all that noise that attracted me and Jason to it.
 
 
 
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