Song Deconstructed: ‘If I’ by Mozes And The Firstborn
In the first of a new feature, we pick a new track and ask the songwriter to reveal the recipe
When it comes to cheesecakes we know that nobody wants to see them deconstructed, but with songs it’s a different matter. In our latest feature, we delve inside one of our favourite new releases in order to learn a little more about the parts which add up to make one seriously tasty whole.
First up for dissection is If I, the latest single from Netherlands four-piece Mozes And The Firstborn. Taken from the band’s upcoming third album, Dadcore, the track continues the group’s adventures in grungy rock – a must for fans of Dinosaur Jr. and Nirvana, who like their riffs and melody in equal measure.
So it’s over to frontman Melle Dielesen to reveal all about this sonic delight…
“I was listening to Metallica quite a bit and I came up with this riff. It’s funny how the music that you listen to influences the perception of your own creativity. It’s a beautiful thing because it challenges you to integrate a certain mood or feeling into your own musical world.
“So I had the riff and then these other parts started taking shape in my head and hands. I was looking for a feeling of suppressed anger for the song but that really came to life later on when we started working on the song as a band.”
“I was at a certain point in my life where I felt imprisoned by a lot of things. I guess that happens when you fail to accept certain parts about reality. The lyrics are so personal that it’d feel like cheating on myself to try and explain them. I hope they convey the feeling of not being comfortable with yourself and wanting to break out of it.”
“That’s what it’s all about for me listening back to it now. The will to break out of certain routines but lacking the courage to do so.”
“All the parts were there when we first started working on it together. But it was kind of like a Frankenstein that needed rearranging. Raven, our producer, came up with this song structure and it changed the whole ball game. Finally, it felt like the right collection of ideas and moods. Then it was a matter of everybody bringing in their special flavour to spice the whole thing up.”
In The Studio
“Before going into the studio we had recorded a demo that wasn’t too far off from what it is now in melody and structure. But our co-producer/mixer Chris Coady came with a wonderful suggestion that made it more consistent sound-wise. The original verses lacked an amount of grit. They sort of stood out in a way that did not benefit the song as a whole.”
“Ernst, Raven, Corto and our engineers for that session, Casper and Bart, spent a whole lot of time playing around with the sound in the studio. We had the freedom to do that because the basics of the song were already so solid before setting foot into the studio.”
“As Michel Schoots (Urban Dance Squad), the producer of our first album, always said, ‘Every recording is like a photograph, it freezes a specific time in everybody’s life.’”
“This song was the first one to be recorded in the process of this album, Dadcore. I think it raised the bar for all of us creatively and it kept reminding us to keep breaking out of our routines in order to create something special.”
Dadcore is out on 25 January through Burger Records and the band will be touring Europe later this month. All the latest info at mozesandthefirstborn.com