WITH JEREMY McKINNON (center)
(VOCALS) MR. HIGHWAY'S THINKING ABOUT THE END
The first idea came at 5 in the morning, when I was driving. It was the first day of tour; I have our van at my house in Gainesville, Florida, and we always meet in Ocala, Florida. So I'm driving to my mom's house to drop off the van, and go to the pickup spot where we meet up with the bus. I was riding, and all of a sudden this guitar riff pops into my head–it was the chorus to “Downfall.” Out of nowhere, literally, the entire song was just in my head. I knew exactly the entire thing. As soon as I got to my mom's house, I picked up a guitar they had in their living room, and I figured it out. It's the first song we worked on with Chad [Gilbert, producer].
HAVE FAITH IN ME
We were playing the Foundation in Lubbock, Texas. We were outside, practicing a breakdown, waiting to walk onstage and started doing this a capella breakdown together. I was like, “Whoa, how sick would it be if we started the record like this?” They're all like, “Are you retarded?” They all just kept saying through the process, “Yeah, we'll see when it's recorded.” When it was actually finally finished, they trusted me. I had an idea in my head, and I'm really happy with how it came out.
HOLDIN' IT DOWN FOR THE UNDERGROUND
The song's pretty much about struggling, trying to do something you believe in, and show people it matters to you. It doesn't matter how or what you write, there's always going to be those kids who are like, “Aw, you guys are sellouts.” It was a way of saying to kids, “Try to listen before you judge things.” “Downfall” is pretty much talking about the pressures of writing, and trying to please everybody, but at the same time making yourself happy, and writing a record that you want to write. It talks about what it's like to be in that position. We didn't necessarily plan to be here, but we are, and we just want to be happy with what we're doing.
WITH CHAD GILBERT
(PRODUCER) YOU ALREADY KNOW WHAT YOU ARE
Making that song, I wanted it to be heavy–because A Day To Remember are a heavy band–but I also wanted it to show their improvement with melody. They were doing some melodic things before, but on the new record I wanted to prove that Jeremy could sing better than he did on the last record; and they're heavier live, so I wanted to have that on the record, too.
MY LIFE FOR HIRE
With the riffs, it was more just picking out the good parts and really focusing in on them. They're a growing band and growing musicians, and for me, it was about fleshing out the songs, picking apart the good melodic ones and good heavy ones. I kinda feel that's why they asked me to do it: Because of my background with Shai Hulud and hardcore and stuff; and my background with New Found Glory's melodic stuff. I feel it was a really good fit.
WELCOME TO THE FAMILY
When they first played me the demo of “Downfall,” they wanted it to be the first song on the record. Overall, in my opinion, first songs are often the first thing people hear, so it should almost encompass the whole record. I'm so psyched on it. I'm glad it's the opening song. I feel if you never heard the band before, and you hear “Downfall,” it's a perfect introduction.
LINER NOTES: ALBUM:HomesickWRITTEN: September 2008 in Gainesville, FL RECORDED: The Wade Studio, Ocala, FL PRODUCED BY: Chad Gilbert/ADTR TRACKED BY: Andrew Wade MIXED BY: Adam Dutkiewicz