Fine, I’m Shameless…

Dave Cracked Up (Blog), Creating, Engineering, Music/Audio, Personal, Ramblings 14 Comments

Earlier this week, I published a post lamenting about finding difficulty in re-visiting the trainwrecks that I call my songwriting.  Specifically, re-writing, re-recording and re-mixing- sometimes all three, sometimes not.

Well, I actually buckled down and re-jigged an old mix of a song I wrote and recorded a couple of years ago.

Here is the remixed song: Your New Name

Your Mission

…should you choose to accept it that is…

I’m bashfully asking for any and all feedback on the track.  This is one of the tunes I’m considering to put on my (yet to be committed to actually doing) upcoming album.

It is by no means representative of a “style” I’m going for.  If you’ve known me and my music (and my music tastes), I’m all over the map.  I like variety in my music and I’m kind of A.D.D. in that regard in how I write music.

Please feel free to comment on the song, the arrangement, the mix … anything you can think of!

The Story Behind The Music

If you get the feeling that this is an “angry song“, then you’re correct.  It is something I wrote for a songwriting challenge issued by Tony and Dave over at the Home Made Hitshow: to write a song about a girl.  I wanted to do something different than expected and capture what I felt like when I found out an old girlfriend of mine was … sampling other items on the menu so to speak.

The song was originally entitled “B!tch”, but I thought I’d change the title for the “album”.


Hey, is it cold in there?
Can you feel a thing?
Hey, did your words fail you?
When you acted on your whim?

I'm shackled by suspicion
of the trust that I once had
What can I believe?
It all means nothing anymore…

Why couldn't I see?
Why didn't I see?

Why couldn't I see?
Why didn't I see?

It's all plain now to me….

I. I want you to hurt,
and feel your pride destroyed
I, I want you to need,
a barren, dark obsession!

Suffer with your questions
and look for traces of control,
You need to drown in doubt,
to taste your own volition

Why couldn't I see?
Why didn't I see?

It's all plain now to me….

Now I see,
It's clear to me…
I hid it all from myself

You need a new name…
You need a new name...
You need a new name...
I've got your new name.

You've got a new name.



Comments 14

  1. I totally dig the sound and style! it’s funny it’s not what I expected from hearing you talk on the podcasts. I liked the vocal sound but on the first superdistorted bit it was a little much. Perhaps tucked under a clean whisper would have added clarity bit still remained gritty. I also would have tucked the vocal a lot firther in. The drums were great sounding as was the rest of the mix.

  2. There was a typo in that last comment I left iPhone correct my fat thumb typing. It should have said the main vocal “tucked in a bit” not ” tucked on a lot.” your brave asking for feedback. Hopefully I didn’t sound like frikkin jerk.

    1. Post

      Don, thanks for the comments. Yeah, I tend to mix vocals way up front. Perhaps I’ll squash them a bit more and get the rest of the mix up around them.

      Thanks again for the feedback!!!

  3. Wow, that is a fantastic song and mix! I like that it has an edge, but it’s not guitar-based. Kind of like NIN, but without all the bit-crushing distortion.
    What’d you use for the drums? That keyboard solo was great too.

    1. Post

      Thanks John!

      I used Addictive Drums – used some patterns as templates and then went to town on tweaking them to get rid of the repetitiveness.

      Yeah, I was going for NIN, but decided to just leave the drums the nastiest – adding distortion to the kick, snare and hi-hat for grit and some higher overtones. The whole kit went through semi-driven tape saturation as well to give it a nice, warm compressed edge.

      Thanks for the listen!

  4. Dave,

    Great mix! Nice and wide. Everything is clear. Like those panning vox toward the end. And great guitar-like solo too. Yes, that’s one angry song. I still think that one you did recently is better (“I’ve Given Up” I think).


    1. Post

      Thanks so much Shane! Yeah, I’ve Given up is on the short-list for the “album” too – just a few mixing and BG vocal tweaks are in the plans for that one.

  5. Great sound, Dave. I like it a lot. Agreeing with Donk that the vocals are a bit upfront, at least for this style. But I love the vocal effects. The drums sound fantastic (I just bought AD myself, so it’s truly inspiring to hear this).

    The only critique I can provide is that although there is actually a vocal melody, it stands a bit on its own with not much support from the rest of the music. Especially the “Why couldn’t I see” part – which I want to sound like a chorus – is “smaller” than I would hope for. Yes, I have a preference for larger-than-life choruses. 😉

    Again, sounds great. Really inspiring stuff. If this is similar to NiN, I should check them out. (Didn’t he win an Oscar or something? ;P )

  6. I am very sorry to say this but.. It’s so not working on so many levels. I realize I need several pages to explain all the “wrongs”, but why bother? You are a music professional, right? You should know this, and deep down I think you do.. sorry if you’re hurt – you asked for honesty.

    1. Enzian,
      You have got to be kidding right? You’ve got to clean out your ears a bit more often, or listen to the same thing we’re listening to.
      If you can’t make a constructive comment, then bugger off. Leaving criticism isn’t hard – you say what you don’t like and leave suggestions you think might be helpful.
      A global “it sucks” and personal attacks are just immature and stupid.

      1. Post
  7. Music is about gut level reactions. I told you mine. He asked for honesty. I said I was sorry. You need to work on your reading comprehension. Nowhere did I say “It sucks” Nowhere did I make a personal attack. My opinion is that the song is not working on several levels – from lyrics to the solo. I think he needs to check out the original heavy EBM/industrial bands like Nitzer Ebb, Skinny Puppy and Die Krupps.

    1. Post


      No worries on the comments – thanks for listening and giving your opinion.

      I’m not dissing your listening suggestions (love fellow Canadians – Skinny Puppy!), but the one thing I’d question is the assumption that I’m aiming to emulate a particular genre with this song.

      It’s not really something I typically aim to do in my songwriting – composing is an entirely different story where that’s usually the end goal. As I stated in the intro, I’m not really one to write the same thing twice. A few of my songs kind of defy being pegged into a genre – mainly because I’m a bit schizophrenic in my influences – this one is no exception.

      Again, thanks for your comments and opinions! D

  8. Hello my Dear friend Dave…

    First I want to thank you again for helping me on my track, that’s very kind if you. I think it’ll turn out well.

    Now on this track…
    Really great work on this track, congrats! Nice vibe and cool vocals…

    I have a few suggestions…

    I think the song would sound more fresh if you used an electro-style programming on the drums (meaning programming that is not meant to be like a real drummer) and possibly a harder kick sound. You can leave some of the human-like fills that you have in there as to “drive” the track even more but I think the main drive should come from an electro-industrial-style programming and sound.

    In the same spirit, i think the bass would sound more fresh if you massaged it a little…again to be more electro-style (which of course will be driving the song with the drums) and with a even dirtier and fatter sound. Possibly change your bass progression to make it sound more industrial (would fit the song well) as opposed to rock.. possibly less notes (which I find to be more powerful in most cases)… sometimes you can do something really simple like a couple notes that you sustain longer so as to make it “in your face”!

    I think there should be a definite chorus… right now I am unsure if the chorus is “Why didnt i see” or “you have a new name”… You may consider using the “you need a new name” concept (which I love) as the chorus in which case I would tag along the original title BITCH to it… so basically you could create a chorus that would be like “You need a new name BITCH” or something like that… That newly created chorus could come after your newly baptized pre-chorus “why didn’t I see” (of course I realize this isn’t a pop track but still… people like to identify a song easily… they like to know what the song is about, and in some cases sing along or hum along or kick along…etc)

    Lyrically I find that for pre-choruses and choruses, “affirmations” are more powerful than “questions” so in this case you may consider saying “I didn’t see, I couldn’t see, You made me blind, You controlled my mind etc…as opposed to “why didn’t I see”…

    Great solo sound…love it… may considering cutting it in half to slightly “modernize” the overall feel of the track and as to go along with the new more industrial vibe.

    Of course, this is just my opinion and should be taken lightly… so go ahead and follow your instinct. I like what you have so far. I think you’re onto something really exciting….

    The most important thing is to have fun with it…. Cheers!


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