Fireworks' new album Oh, Common Life (stream | purchase) received a 4.5/5 star review from us, wherein our writer stated of the lyrics, "It’s really quite remarkable the way the songs project emotions like disillusionment and regret with a resigned maturity, but retain all the pained passion of youth." Today, we go deeper into the themes of the album with lyricist guitarist Chris Mojan and give you a first look at the band's new music video for "Glowing Crosses."
Written By: Guitarist Chris Mojan
1. “Glowing Crosses”
My parents were only teenagers at the time of the Detroit riots in 1967, yet they can still perfectly describe the desolation and eerie silence those riots brought. The only light came from the glowing cross hanging on the side of the hospital, lighting up the front lawns of all the houses in the neighborhood. Although it didn't really mean anything, knowing that people thought it did was kind of powerful on its own.
2. “Bed Sores”
I was a classic early-to-mid-20s American male: still living at home and not sure what I was doing with my life. There were a lot of nights that summer that I'd come home late and see the neighbor still awake with the lights on by herself. Her husband had just died in the house a few months prior. Their children had already grown up and moved out of state. At one time, buying that home was the happiest day of their lives, and they were probably around the age I am now.
3. “The Back Window's Down”
I left community college to tour and play music. I learned and saw things I never would have in a college classroom or dorm, but once it all caught up to me I realized that my normal is as boring as everybody else's normal. Life is relative, and the grass is always greener. That aside, the guitar lead in the chorus reminds me of a Mazzy Star melody.
4. “Flies On Tape”
This year, Michigan suffered the harshest winter it's had in more than 100 years. This definitely created a hotbed for some classic seasonal depression. But once it gets warmer, I think people have a realization that the bare-bones weather just brought out some real feelings hiding underneath. The snow may have melted, but the trash came out.
When you have a canker sore, even though you know it hurts, you can't stop yourself from licking it anyway. This is probably the most literal song we've ever written, and it took me about 15 years to write the lyrics.
6. “Play God Only Knows At My Funeral”
I used to have a really hard time throwing out birthday cards. Now I have an entire drawer full of them. Nostalgia can be a warm, yet crippling feeling.
7. “One More Creature Dizzy With Love”
The reason behind taking the long way home. This song stands as my personal favorite on the record.
8. “The Only Thing That Haunts This House Is Me”
When we wrote this song I always imagined the bridge being played by Queen or some huge sounding Arena Rock band. It's fun to think about Queen using a pregnancy test as a metaphor for feeling empty inside.
9. “The Sound Of Young America”
I went to the grocery store and ended up buying an out of season orchid for $5. I didn't anticipate it lasting for more than a week. While in the parking lot, a Southern man stopped me and told me the key to keeping it alive was two ice cubes a week and not a lot of sun. The thing is still alive, even after I knocked it over while doing dishes. In complicated times I am jealous of its simplicity, and of that Southern guy.
10. “Run, Brother, Run”
David Mackinder is one of my best friends and one of the strongest people I know. After I heard him sing this song for the first time, I had to make a few phone calls and tell a few people I loved them.
11. “The Hotbed Of Life”
If I started a book club, the first book I'd make everyone read would be All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers by Larry McMurtry. The title of this song comes from that novel, and is a perfect bookend to this record.