Saturday, 9 January 2016

#68. Like Wine – The Extreme Sprinklers

Harry Fahey – drums
Matt Hewson – bass, backing vocals
Jade McLaren – vocals
Matt Neal – guitar, backing vocals

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

Every songwriter eventually writes a song about getting old. The trick is to not write that song for as long as possible. This is because the second you write it, you’re doomed to think of yourself as a naive unappreciative fool in only a few years time.

Me and my songwriting partner Jade McLaren managed to wait until we were the ripe old age of 25 before we penned this ode to feeling like life had started to pass us by. To be fair though, it was Jade’s idea. And to be doubly fair, and I’d already penned a similarly themed song when I was 23 (the aforementioned Nobody Buys Videos Anymore).

Definitely not old in 2005. Picture: Warrnambool Standard

Perhaps having already been down this path and, ironically, having gained wisdom with the passage of time meant I had a very different perspective on this song to Jade. If I remember correctly, Jade’s angle was something like “I went to the Gal and I felt really old”. My angle was “getting old can be a good thing… like how wine gets better with age”.

I’m not sure if the two perspectives match up, but that’s the gist of this song. Jade was responsible for the melodies and most of the verse lyrics I think. I just remember trying to match chords to his vocals and coming up with the outro, which was my attempt at replicating the “I got soul but I’m not a soldier” crescendo of All These Things That I’ve Done by The Killers. That song (and the album Hot Fuss) came out around the time we wrote this and I was blown away - it's an amazing track from an amazing album.

As for the rest of the song… I have no idea what it sounds like or what were trying to sound like. At the time, we were outgrowing our genre-hopping inclinations and transitioning into a rock band and this song was very much an attempt to hit the rock button. I don’t think it really worked though - Harry Fahey does an amazing job on the drums to keep it all together, while Matt Hewson’s fingers are working overtime on the bass, but the whole thing is a bit too stop-start and lacking in groove.

Harry slightly disagrees:

“Just having a listen now and loving it. Great work everyone on tying together some really rockin’ verse patterns without destroying the groove of the tune.”

Here we are rocking the old TAFE caf a few months before writing this song (I think).

Hewy is also a fan of the song:

“I'd completely forgotten about this tune, but it was one of my favourites. Listening back, it was probably one of the only legitimately good rock tunes we came up with. The lines were cool, the vocals were loose but appropriate, and the change up with harmonies was a fun singalong.”

Personally I think we had plenty of better rock tunes, such as Identigirl, Ice-Cream Headaches and Karma Comes Around. But that’s just me.

Pic: Dylan Buzolich

The recording was done during a demoing session where we roped in our good pals Gus Franklin and Tony Peel to twiddle the dials while we played live in the studio. It was a fun session.

Anyway, now that I’m 35, I’m going to go away and write a song about getting old…..


What happened to you?
It’s like you’re see-through
Thrown out of the loop
It’s time to face the truth
New faces, no names
Less laugh lines in the frame
This is the new age
Too old to act this way

I feel like wine
Drink to my health
The passing of time
Increases my wealth

The shelf life of youth
Race past and show your proof
Didn’t you get the news
Back away you’ve been excused

I am the wine
Drink to my health

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