A lot went into writing your favorite song, but how much do you really know about it? This week Jeff Stetson, vocalist of Seattle soul rock band The Bitter Roots, delves into the "hidden costs of war," recording in Ballard and blues drumming.
Song: "For King and Country"
Release Date: October 9th 2012
When it was written: The music was written over the course of the last six years. It took me a long time to get the arrangement just right, took awhile to fix on a subject for the words. The lyrics finally came to me last year when we were putting this new record together.
Where it was written: In my head I guess, I am always writing songs no matter where I am or what I am doing. The demos and recording were done at my studio in Ballard.
Favorite line in the song: "You serve for king and country, you give your life and all that is left behind is a lonely woman and child."
Which part was the hardest to come up with: The words for sure. I had the music in hand for a long time without the right words, so I just waited for that special inspiration and finally it came out.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be: I would double the length of the second verse with more lyrics which as is, is half the length of the first.
Odd fact about song: The drum take is "Kind of Blue" style in that it was the first take we laid down for the final recording. [Drummer] Ben and I agreed it was special so we just kept it and worked the rest of it up from there.
What was your inspiration for writing the song: My sister married a Marine helicopter pilot who was shipped out to Afghanistan. She recently gave birth to her son in his absence, and of course I was very concerned about what that might mean for them. I hope her husband comes back alive and well physically and mentally.
When was your favorite time performing it live: We have only played it live twice so far, though we will be starting our shows with it for some time. People really like the song. KISW played it the other night.
What is the meaning behind the song: I wanted to show support for the soldiers coming home. I want them to know they are not forgotten and there are people who care about what has happened to them. It's about the hidden cost of war. There are just so many soldiers who are coming back broken in one way or another. We have been at war for 12 years now, and we are all going to have to live with what that means for society and for so many of these soldiers who have paid so dearly having to fight and die for reasons I just cannot understand.