Thursday, 10 October 2013

#25. Do The Business – The Extreme Sprinklers

Harry Fahey: drums.
Matt Hewson: bass.
Jade McLaren: vocals.
Matt Neal: guitar.

Lyrics by Jade McLaren.
Music by Harry Fahey, Matt Hewson, Jade McLaren and Matt Neal.
Written 2005.
Recorded at Motherlode Studio, Warrnambool on February 24, 2006.
Engineered by Tony Peel.
Produced and mixed by Gus Franklin.

The Extreme Sprinklers (and The 80 Aces after that) loved playing poker. After every gig, we’d play poker. After rehearsal sometimes, we’d play poker. On nights when we weren’t playing gigs or rehearsing, we’d play poker. Basically, we played a fuckload of poker.

So it was inevitable we’d write a song about playing poker. I think this is the only one (I’ll stand corrected) and I’m pretty sure the lyrics come entirely from singer Jade McLaren’s pen. In fact, Jade reckons it’s about playing poker against our bass player Matt Hewson in particular. Those two used to play head-to-head a lot. It was serious.

As you can see.

To be honest, I don’t remember much about putting this together. Neither does drummer Harry Fahey. Jade must have come up with the melodies and words, and then me or Harry or Hewy must have come up with the chords. I don’t remember much else. It’s possible I wasn’t trying too hard. The chords certainly aren’t that difficult.

“I reckon this is one of those happy jams that fell into place,” Harry said. “I don’t remember working hard on co-ordinating players, just everyone doin’ shit that worked.”
Harry: doin' shit that works. 

The intro in this version thankfully only goes for about 10 seconds, but I have a version where it goes for over a minute. It used to be a spot where I could cut loose live and just improvise stuff, which was cool for me, less so for everyone else.

This version was recorded on a warm February day when we convinced Gus Franklin to come back to Warrnambool and oversee a demoing session at Motherlode Studio with Tony Peel. This was the first and the only take we did of Do The Business, and it was the first of 10 songs we did that day. I don’t exactly know why we got Gus down for that session – the recordings of that day were never released and we didn’t spend too much time on each song, just running through two or three takes of everything (except Do The Business for some reason – possibly because we enjoyed playing it and were on).

Here’s Jade:
“It was always so much fun to play because of the novelty of the megaphone. I think it's an OK song but I think we've done … better in other songs.

Here’s Harry:
“I really like the space in the verses, great track to chuck in a few tricks and frills on hats and stuff.”

Hewy was unavailable for comment.

I remember the recording day being productive (which was novel for us) and it was great working with Gus again, who I hadn’t made music with since the summer of ’98-’99 when we played six or seven gigs together in a band called Ted Dancin’. That band also featured Brendan Hoffmann of 21st Century Ox on guitar and Julian Gilchrist (who occasionally plays sax with Cut Copy) on bass. We were a fun but short-lived band and Gus and I both have fond (blurry) memories of it, so it was nice to work together again, seven years on. We think. Neither of us remembers much of this session but it seemed to go well, I think. Maybe.

Do The Business was written in late 2005 – I have no evidence of that but it’s a best guess. A few months after it was written, this song came out:

That’s Big Hair Revolution by The Exploders, who were a fucking rad band from Lake Bolac. The main dude, TJ Allender, it's a tops bloke. I love that song and their whole self-titled debut album. And in case you missed it (or didn’t bother listening), the verse riff of that song and Do The Business are reasonably similar, even in the same key. It might seem strange that two bands that played a few shows together and lived only an hour away from each other could come up with a similar riff without copying each other, but that’s what happened. I didn’t steal their riff and they didn’t steal ours. It’s just one of those things. I’m pretty sure there’s an older riff we’re both riffing on, although I’m not sure what it is. Weird.

Their song’s better anyway.


You’ve lost your chips again my friend
You have to buy back in
I’ve got an ace up my sleeve
You don’t got the cards to win

That’s just the way I do business,
That’s just the … the way

You cannot hide behind your shell
Rub your neck; do tell
You cannot bluff to save yourself
I know you too well

That’s just the way I do business,
That’s just the … the way

I’ll have it all,
my cards will fall,
your chance is small,
I’ll have it all,
you cannot stall,
my cards will fall,
you raise, I call … you won it all!

That’s not the way I do business
That’s not the … the way

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