CRIME IN STEREO guitarist ALEX DUNNE tells the stories behind each song onI Was Trying To Describe You To Someone.


Queue Moderns
This was always going to be the first song on the record. The lyrics to it were written on two rolling papers that were later adhered to the wall in [producer Mike] Sapone’s studio [on Long Island, New York]. I think that was during pre-production. They stayed there for weeks. One night, Sapone and I were messing around and came up with the creepy E-bow part that runs through pretty much the whole song, and we knew it was perfect. We wanted to do a different kind of drum part, but we didn’t want to use a drum machine, so Scotty [Giffin, drums] actually played this drum roll painfully slow and sparse, and then we doubled the speed of the tape to make it sound how it does.

Drugwolf
Without a doubt, this is one of the best songs we’ve ever written. This and “Queue Moderns” are kind of parts one and two of the same song. They set up the story of the whole record, which is about being addicted and being in love, and being sold out because of both. Kristian [Hallbert, vocals] just absolutely nailed the vocals in this song. Beautiful.

Exit Halo
This may be the most focused song in terms of theme and tone of the album. We all love this song a great deal. A lot of the stuff in it was never actuallywritten. The E-bow guitar in the bridge and the crazy guitar stuff at the end were all freestyle during the first take in pre-production. We liked the feel of it so much, we just kept it from pre-pro and put it on the real track. All of those parts were played one time ever, and never again until we had to go back to figure them out so we could play them live.

Not Dead
This might be the best live song we’ve ever written. It’s just so much fun to play. I think this was the second song we wrote for the album. It’s strange because we typically layer so much stuff in our songs, but for this one, Scotty and I wrote as just the guitar line and the drumbeat, and that’s pretty much how we kept it. It’s maybe the most stripped down, bare bones song we’ve ever done. But it works really well.

Odalisque
It’s unbelievable that this song came together like it did. Sapone was taking a break one night and left me in the control room with the tape running, so I looped a riff and then wrote second guitar parts over it. That’s why the one riff goes straight through almost the entire song. The whole thing was written start to finish as just two guitar tracks. Scotty came in, listened to it, wrote his drum parts and then recorded and slipped them in underneath the guitars. It was definitely the strangest way we’ve ever put a song together, and it came from just messing around in the studio at night. I’m thrilled this song came out as well as it did.

Young
I wrote the guitar part for this song maybe halfway through the recording of [2007’s] Is Dead. I would just sit there and play this guitar line over and over and over. I was in love with it. Sapone went crazy. He would be trying to mix or do something, and I would just be sitting next to him playing this riff. He would stop what he was doing and stare at the console in a silent rage–I feel kind of bad about that now. Sorry, Mike. Anyway, when we started doing this album, I was still playing that song and Sapone basically said, “Okay, let’s track this song because there’s no way I’m going to sit here and listen to you play that riff again for the next two months.”

Type One
This is my favorite song to play live. It was the first song we wrote for the album. Scotty and I would mess around with this during sound check every day on the Easycore Tour at the end of 2008. Kristian and I did the vocals, and it came together incredibly. I think this song is one of the best examples of how great of a singer Kristian is. It’s definitely one of my favorites. I can’t get enough of this song.

Republica
This song almost didn’t make the record. I think it got completed at 5 a.m. the very last morning of recording, and we were leaving for tour later that day. It might be my favorite song lyrically on the album. People might scoff at this, but if this song was taken off this record and put onto [2006’s] The Troubled Stateside, I don’t even think anyone would notice.

I Am Everything I Am Not
I love, love, love this song. I don’t really know what to say about it. It’s really simple, but very difficult to put together as a band at rehearsal. Everyone has pretty much only one part to play; it’s just a matter of coming out and going in at different times, increasing and decreasing volumes and things like that. I think what I like about it so much is how upbeat and dancey the vibe of the music is, but Kristian shouting and screaming over it just feels unique. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything like this before.

Dark Island City
The lyrics were written during [writing for] The Troubled Stateside, and this song was actually going to go on that record. For whatever reason, it just never happened. I rewrote it musically and was going to put it on Is Dead, but that didn’t feel right. Finally, the music was rewritten again one night in the studio during Describe You and the feel and vibe of it just felt perfect. So it’s four years late, but well worth it.

I Cannot Answer You Tonight
To me, this song encapsulates what Crime In Stereo are all about. It feels like there’s a song or two on every one of our records that just feels like that–like “Bicycles For Afghanistan” [from The Troubled Stateside] or “…But You Are Vast” or “XXXX (The First Thousand Years Of Solitude)” [from Is Dead]. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but this is that song for me. It’s personal. Sometimes I have a hard time listening to the end where [Kristian] is saying, “It’s okay, it’s okay, come back to me.” I don’t even remember writing the line. Maybe someone else wrote it. Sometimes I hear it and just think, “Where did that come from?” alt