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Story Behind The Song - Scenes
02 September 2002
Story Behind The Song - Scenes


TIBET
When I lived in San Francisco, I was living with a girl that I really liked a lot, but at the same time I had a major crush on this girl drummer in LA. I would go visit her sometimes and when I got back to SF she would write me letters and send them to the auto detailing shop where my band (Cacophony) rehearsed. I would get to rehearsal early to see if there were any letters for me. One day I got there really early and while I was waiting for the mail I plugged in a guitar and started rolling tape. I was playing with a clean, spacy sound, which was something I rarely did at that time. I played for about an hour as I dreamed about the girl from LA. Just playing with that mellow tone had me playing some unusual stuff; on top of that my romantic situation was getting the better of my emotions. From that tape came all of the melodies in Tibet. The title," Tibet" is pretty much unrelated, though.

ANGEL
This was written shortly after I moved from SF to Hollywood. It was relatively simple and short and seemed to connect naturally to "Tibet". Actually, it's probably the most'rock' sounding track on the album. The whole album was going to be more heavy and rocking, much more than this, but when the other mellow stuff started coming together for the album, I decided to focus on the more romantic and dramatic aspect of my playing.

VALLEY OF ETERNITY
This came out of endless jams that I did in Hollywood with my good friend and drummer Anders Johanssen. Anders was originally slated to do the record, but this was in late '89, and I was to soon join Megadeth, pushing back the recording of Scenes until '92. It was the nightly intensely heavy jamming and touring with Megadeth that also made Scenes a quiet departure rather than a heavy rock record.

NIGHT
This was totally jamming heavy rock when I worked it out with Anders. We jammed in this absolutely decrepit Hollywood studio on the worst side of town. People were sleeping in the alleys and drunks were lying around the halls of this place. It didn't stop us from jamming our asses off. I basically took the melodic theme from our 'heavy jams' and put it in the sweetest, saddest context that I could.

REALM OF THE SENSES
The title is from a bizarre Japanese art movie that I saw when I lived in Hawaii. The melody is kind of a typical 'Enka' theme, which I was really into at the time. The difference between Enka and this song was that this song had long solos in it and no vocals.

WEST
At some point I realized that Chinese melodies can sound like American 'old western' melodies. That concept intrigued me. Why?? What a strange connection. West is kind of an experiment in that concept, but like most of my music, doesn't really resemble the original form that it was conceived to be. I think it came out pretty cool.

TRANCE
Written when I was 15 on a stony, rainy day at my house in Maryland. I was jamming with my good friend Tom Gattis who was in my first band Deuce. We were high on pot and just banging this E chord over and over again sounded so good to us. I then imposed the simple melody that would become 'Trance' over this E banging. At the time we took this section and used it as the solo section in a song we had called, "Lady,Lady".

TRIUMPH
Also known as "Thunder March", this melody also came to me in Maryland, but several years later. My dad walked in to my room and told me that he liked the melody I was working on, so the melody stuck in my head. I thought it would make a nice classical arrangement so I renamed it "Triumph" and tried to use orchestral samples to play it. Budget being what it was, the final result sonically leaves a bit to be desired, but I still think it's one of the most solid pieces of music that I have ever written. I would love to hear it done properly by a good orchestra.
 
 
 
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