A lot went into writing your favorite song, but how much do you really know about it? This week Brian Fisher, vocalist of Seattle pop-rock band Us on Roofs, delves into mountain driving, writing the intro and personal loss.
Us on Roofs will be performing January 20 at The Crocodile
Album: Us on Roofs
Release Date: January 20, 2013
When it was written: Between August 2011 and January 2012
Where it was written: Partly in my head while driving through Snoqualmie Pass, partly at my parents house in Gig Harbor, and partly at my apartment in Seattle. The song went through several transformations. It was definitely not a sit-down-and-spill-your-guts-into-a song-all-at-once sort of process.
Favorite line in the song: "In the distant haze there's something left to become / Still frightened by this place but I am brave enough." Some of the language from this line is actually drawn from a podcast I listened to where this guy describes his journey through the Inside Passage after the death of his father and how meaningful that journey was to him in that time of his life. I strongly shared that sentiment and it fell perfectly into place as the last line of lyrics in the song.
Which part was the hardest to come up with: The intro. It took months to figure out an intro that felt right and was exciting to play. We had to rip apart the first minute of the song and build it from scratch musically until we arrived at what we have now.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be: This is actually one of the few songs that I have written that I don't have anything that I would change. Maybe I am not far enough from it yet, but to me it feels like everything it needs to be. It is not that I think it is the best song ever or something, but I feel like it really communicates exactly what I wanted it to.
Odd fact about song: This song took longer to write and transformed along the way more than any other song I have written thus far. It was also the most collaboratively written song that I have ever been a part of.
What was your inspiration for writing the song: My inspiration for the song came as I was driving through Snoqualmie Pass, coming from my friend's house in Spokane back to my apartment in Seattle. The image of the twisting and turning mountain roads stuck in my mind and I really wanted to capture that feeling musically. There was just a lot of truth present in that circumstance that resonated with my life at that point.
When was your favorite time performing it live: We actually haven't played it a ton of times live. My favorite times was probably when we played it at Jones Radiator in Spokane with NUDEpop though. It was a tiny bar, but it was packed full of really cool people who were super into it. It is a really loud song so it just blasted that room. It was awesome.
What is the meaning behind the song: This song was hard to write at first because all I had was a strong image that I wanted to convey of driving through a mountain pass on my way home by myself. The song slowly took shape after a few more sessions working on it and I realized how much this image reflected where I was at in life -this weird in-between place, looking the unknown in the face. Being 20 is a strange time of life and there were a lot of rough things I was going through (and still am.) The song was carefully crafted to reflect these things musically and lyrically. One of these things was the death of one of my friends in a hiking accident a few summers ago. This really shook my world and was soon to be followed by the my mother's passing as well. This song and a lot of the album reflects a lot of change and difficult transitions. More than anything, this song reflects how unknown and scary the future is. I am still in that uncertain and scary time as I am about to graduate and try to figure out my own vision for my life - that is why this song means a lot to me.