electricchildren.jpg
Joshua Bessex
Electric Children will be performing Dec. 7 at El Corazon

A lot went into writing your favorite song, but how much do you

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Electronic Artist Jack Waterman, aka Electric Children, Talks Producing Songs on Gameboys and the Story Behind 'Greatest Mistake'

electricchildren.jpg
Joshua Bessex
Electric Children will be performing Dec. 7 at El Corazon

A lot went into writing your favorite song, but how much do you really know about it? This week Jack Waterman, vocalist and producer of the one-man electronic band Electric Children, delves into composing music on a Gameboy, tricky rhymes and playing the song for the first time at El Corazon.

Song: Greatest Mistake

Album: Year-Long Hangover (Summer 2013)

Release Date: Nov. 29, 2012

When it was written: October through November 2012

Where it was written: On the bus and at my home in Seattle

Favorite line in the song: "My heart's a fire, burning everything around it down to dust." Second verses are never easy for me since I usually write songs in pieces, and the first verse always comes fairly naturally. I dug my self a grave when I ended the first line with "touch," since rhymes are few and far between for words like that. The line went through quite a few rewrites, but i think it sounds pretty cool now.

Which part was the hardest to come up with: The bridge. Again, I usually composes in pieces, so some pieces of the song come pretty naturally, while others don't. The bridge is never easy because it really has to be in stark contrast to the rest of the song. You want a rhythm change, or a progression change, or an atmosphere change. I thought about writing a little lyrical section for the bridge, but I thought it would clutter up the part too much. The twinkly melody is surprisingly hard to sing over and stay in key/rhythm.

If you could go back and change anything, what would it be: Lucky me, I CAN go back and change things whenever! That's the glory of composing on anything electronic. In my case, the whole song is composed using two Nintendo Gameboys (the "game" in the Gameboy is actually a sequencer that allows you to track melodies using the Gameboy's sound chip), so I can go back and rewrite whatever doesn't sit well with me. In this way, my music is always evolving. There's already even been changes to this very song since recording it a few days ago!

Odd fact about song: It's so complex that it slows down the Gameboy's processor at certain points in the song. This is the first track I've tried to use a lot of stereo separation to fill out the song, which as far as a Gameboy goes, meaning using multiple channels of individual parts of a harmony, panned hard left and right. I suppose that many simultaneous notes running in stereo (instead of the centered, which is the default for Gameboy noises) is a little too much for a small machine from the '90s to handle. Who knew?

What was your inspiration for writing the song: Thinking about overtime I've ever been treated poorly in a relationship, then realizing there are probably some girls I've been with who've felt the same way about me.

When was your favorite time performing it live: That'll be December 7th at El Corazon, the first time I'll be performing it live!

What is the meaning behind the song: It's nothing terribly complex. It's just about two poisonous people trying to play each other because that's all they do. Some people are honest, and some people are users and predators, but for some reason, that can be kinda hot sometimes. We end up attracted to these people, even though we know it's only going to end up getting us hurt (or worse) in the end. You get so obsessive, and that's what makes people like this your "Greatest Mistake."

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