Spitalfield frontman Mark Rose gets nostalgic on the band's breakout full-length, Remember Right Now, which turns ten this year. This time capsule of vintage Victory Records pop-punk will be cracked open for their anniversary tour this summer, so make sure to get tickets now.
“Those Days You Felt Alive”
Figuring out what someone else is thinking can be a challenge. When you're young, sometimes you live and die with the highs and lows of a relationship. Probably not the best way to go about things—but you live and you learn. Growing up and facing bigger life decisions isn't something we're necessarily ready for when they start to happen—and nostalgia is a powerful thing. It's often easier to wish things were “how they used to be,” rather than be honest with yourself about “how things are.” This song is about sending the message to someone, “it doesn't matter which way you go—I'll still be there.” But not in a creepy way. Not in the “Mark Wahlberg as David McCall in Fear” kind of way.
“Kill The Drama”
I was 18/19 years old when these songs were written. This song was about not knowing when to walk away from something—how to just let it go, and figure it out later. I often wanted to resolve a problem right when it happened, right there and then. I've learned that is not always the best approach. Winding down can really help put things in perspective. Otherwise, emotions can get the best of you. “Please just kill the drama/Go to sleep/We'll talk tomorrow.” Anyone remember the episode of Saved By The Bell when A.C. Slater quits the wrestling team and bakes a quiche? “I'm a lover, not a fighter.”
“Five Days And Counting”
It's a difficult thing to let somebody you care about make a mistake—especially when it is something you see coming. With some things, people need to make those mistakes for themselves. It's like a classic teen movie where the girl falls for the cool jerk, and the nice guy has to wait for that to fall apart before he gets his chance. Hang in there, nice guys! Two things: 1) “Cool Jerk” is such a great song (see Home Alone 2, Uncle Frank in the shower scene)! 2) Think Ethan Embry in Can't Hardly Wait. Inspiring character.
“I Loved the Way She Said “L.A.”
This song title is taken from On The Road by Jack Kerouac. “I loved the way she said “LA”; I love the way everybody says “LA” on the Coast; it's their one and only golden town when all is said and done.” I was given this book to read by a girl I was dating in 2002. I took it, fittingly, out on the road with me. She always talked about wanting so badly to be out in California, which is somewhere that I ended up multiple times while touring. I'd be there, wishing I could be home in Chicago, and she'd be wishing the opposite. I love visiting and performing in LA, though I'm not sure I'd ever want to live there. That said, In 'N Out Burger makes me re-think that statement a little bit.
“Stolen From Some Great Writer”
The message of this particular track still resonates with me today. People like what they know. That's a very general statement, and of course doesn't apply to everybody. The same way I can feel removed from and uninterested with some of the new music coming out right now, people before me felt the same away about me and what we were doing. One of my favorite things about music is the different eras you can go throughm, both as a writer and a listener. The key is trying to make something your own. Don't let Top 40 Radio or what is selling at Starbucks tell you what is good. You have to learn to let go, and just enjoy what you enjoy (even if that includes Top 40 Radio and what is selling at Starbucks—there IS some good stuff in there). I know it keeps things interesting for me. Very few artists are re-inventing the way music is played or heard, but many great ones can embrace their influences while trying new things and creating a sound that is their own. It's unfortunate that so many parts of the music business world aren't really focused on the music. But, that's like a lot of things in life. Can't linger on it. Figure out what works for you and move forward.
“In The Same Lifetime”
This one is about moving forward with new opportunities and the almost overwhelming push out the door we got from our family, friends, and girlfriends when we signed a recording contract. Though we didn't necessarily know the extent of what we were getting ourselves into heading into the summer of 2003, we all knew things weren't going to be the same. At first, it was such a huge change, but we knew it was coming. Getting into a van for months at a time, saying goodbye to the people at home that you love and care about… it's not an easy thing to do. With time, it got easier to go through those motions, but it never really becomes simple. Ten years later, I still look forward to touring. It is one of my favorite things to do. But as you get older, it hits you more and more what you are driving away from.
As a band, we generally didn't write very many ballads. You might find one per album, and because of that they always jumped out to me. This one, in particular, was really cool to put together, with all of the bells and whistles on the production side. Spent a little time at the New Trier High School band room! Had a fantastic string player in the studio named Eric Remschneider, who also played the strings on “Tonight, Tonight” by the Smashing Pumpkins, among other things. So, that was pretty cool.
“Am I Ready?”
Wrote this one for my good friend, Aaron. Without him, I'm not entirely sure Remember Right Now would have even happened. From driving the minivan on our first tour attempt, to helping fund the recording and release of our first non-basement recordings, he was always batting for us. I was driving around with him in his car, listening to music, going out for pizza (fairly typical night for us), when he let me know he had landed a teaching job and was going to take a big step back from the music scene. I think we both knew he would always be a part of things moving forward, even if he wasn't in the van, or helping mail our merch orders. It all came back around when we released our 98-02 collection for the farewell tour in 2007 and we were watching a Bears game and putting labels and stamps on all of the pre-orders together.
“You make that brand new shirt and tie look good/And I knew you would.” A handful of people would often ask me if I was referring to a Brand New (the band) shirt. Not the case, though the t-shirt and tie look is probably gonna be a big thing, at some point.
…that person who is all about “the scene” who is actually just looking for the next thing to grab on to. We've all known someone like this, and it can get really frustrating when you're friends with them. People change, and that's a good thing, but when it happens so quickly and seems so extreme, re: who they are or what they stand for… you've gotta question their motives. Say one thing, do another… do one thing, say another…
“You Can't Stop”
Being on the rebound can be a dangerous time, emotionally. You find yourself thinking about everything someone is not, rather than everything someone is. It's always flattering when someone is into you, but when you know deep down inside that it's not for the right reasons, it's tough to put that out there. To keep your distance, and not take advantage of someone's vulnerability. I think everyone loves attention, to some extent, but you have to be careful about the message you send. This song is about trying to support someone without misleading them, when they need some direction. Oh, who am I kidding? This song is about dodging a sexy bullet, simply because you're trying to be a good person.
“Make My Heart Attack”
Time and distance can be some of the biggest challenges a relationship can face. Much like the theme to a lot of this album, there is a big ol' question mark on what the future holds when you're about to make a big change. As you get closer to being further from someone, it's difficult to not overthink your impending situation. “I know that you know I'll be back/I'll be home.” Thinking about time apart, or the loss of something important can really cause some heartache. Keep in mind, this album was written in an era pre iPhones. Though we were hardly using carrier pigeons, keeping in touch on the road was a bit more of a challenge in 2002-2003. I can't even imagine what touring was like before mobile phones. Pay phones? Did a little of that. Like a couple of the other guys, I legit kept a tour journal during 2001-2003. It's like a blog that nobody reads. Really fun to look back at, though.