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Story Behind The Song - Cacophony's Go Off!
31 July 2002
Story Behind The Song - Cacophony's Go Off!

X-RAY EYES
Way fun song to play live. There is a section during one of Jason's solos that I would play Paul Stanley to Jimmy (O'Shea)'s Gene Simmons and throw some serious shapes. This was the closest thing to a 'real song' on the album. I thought we were actually starting to sound like a band on this cut rather than two guitar players just playing their asses off. That's why I chose it for the leadoff track. Of course, by track two we all realized that the latter was true?

E.S.P.
The acoustic intro still falls off my fingers sometimes when I pick up an acoustic guitar. I 'borrowed' the chorus riff from a Bay area band that Fontano was producing.

STRANGER
Jason's baby. He even wrote the lyrics. The rhythm riff is so brutal that I didn't want to play it live. Jason had no problem with this kind of guitar part, but it was totally alien to my style of playing. Jason also employs a very innovative technique (haven't heard it before or since) in which he flipped the 2 inch tape over, wrote a solo to the solo section (which was playing back backwards), harmonized some parts of it, then flipped the tape over back to normal. The result is a bitchin' snaky solo.

GO OFF!
One day at Varney's (exec. Producer) house, Jason and I heard a tape of some kid playing these sick, odd meter, syncopated lines tightly with a drum machine and both of our jaws dropped in unison. The next day Jason came up with his own syncopated piece, only it was shorter and more intense. I added a harmony and the intro to "Go Off!" was born. Recording this 23 second intro in the studio was a royal pain in the ass. We both had so much distortion on our guitars that it was almost impossible to keep the spaces between the notes as clean as we wanted them. This was before ProTools of course, so achieving this 'cleanness' was probably a very tedious job for our engineer Fontano. Also, to get the absolutely tightest effect, Jason played both harmony parts so even the slightest nuances matched. The solo at the very end of the song is one of my favorite Jason solos ever, but we got into a heated argument about whether or not he should end the solo with the tremolo bar as he did or not. (Musos argue over the stupidest things!) I would have preferred him to just hold the last note out, but he insisted on ending with the bar. This tune got us the coveted 'soundpage' in Guitar Player magazine. When that issue came out, we were on top of the world.

BLACK CAT
Too many memories. I used to buy music tapes at random in San Francisco's Chinatown and often I'd find gorgeous melodies that would inspire me to write things like the intro to "Black Cat". The acoustic ending has Jason doing some great music box-like finger picking with me doing a dreamy solo over it. The solo was done at about 3 or 4 AM after a long, intense day of tracking. There was actually supposed to be no solo there, but I took a shot at it and the first take was the keeper. That chord progression was one that Jason and I would jam on often to trade licks over.

SWORD OF THE WARRIOR
This one I actually had a concept behind the lyrics. I had just seen the movie, "Mishima" about the famous Japanese author. Not only was I inspired by the abstract film, but also very much by Philip Glass' soundtrack music. I'd hate to be a drummer and have to learn this song.

FLOATING WORLD
Another Japanese theme. This is my favorite soloing of the whole album. The solos aren't particularly in tune, but they feel sad and I like it when I can feel an emotion, one way or another in music. I probably should have been a little stricter producing the drum parts, as looking back on them they feel a bit busy, especially given that this tune was the closest thing to any kind of 'single' on the whole album.

IMAGES
This was pretty much Jason's tune, he even had lyrics for it. The lyrics were laughable, just like mine were! I took a few short solos in this tune, but the majority of the stellar guitar was played by Jason. We disagreed on some of the chord voicings, but since it was his tune, he got his way?
 
 
 
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