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© James Chiang
“It’s been a long time since I used a whammy bar, and I was excited to try it with an octave pedal and my stereo phase shifters. The first thing I did was just to play the most bonehead whammy lick that there is, just sort of a ‘whoo-whoo-whoo’ with an open harmonic. But it sounded great! I felt like a kid with his first tremolo bar. Soon I had the main riff to the song, and I just started singing a melody over it.
“For the lyrics, I used a quote from a book that I wrote when I was around four years old. I would draw pictures and dictate the text to my mom, who would write the words on the page. One of the things that I wrote was ‘It’s happy when you get to ride in a racing car, and one of your bad, bad, bad, bad, bad enemies is in jail.’ This idea from my four-year-old self really cracked me up. I hadn’t yet learned to be polite or politically correct, and I was demonstrating the part of human nature that finds joy in revenge.
“We’re not supposed to admire or admit that we feel this way, but in this song, I just let it loose. And the joyous, gospel-choir vocal arrangement singing ‘In jail!!’ just cracks me up. Again, I love the contrast.
“Emi got a new Korg SV-1 keyboard, and the vintage tones are just awesome in that thing. That sound works so well with the chords. I’ve learned so much about blues chords in the last few years, and it paid off when I wrote this part. Of course, her solo at the end is all hers, and it’s just ridiculous. Thomas did an amazing job of following her accents.
“For guitars, that’s my Ibanez PGM401 modified with the whammy bar. There were no overdubs in the song – it’s all a single-guitar performance. The Octron and the Phase 90s make it sound huge.”