Ep. 28: Song “I Get By” (Influenced by John Vanderslice)

This week’s song is called “I Get By.” I started writing it back in 2005 and it stayed half written until seven years later when I finished it for my the 50 songs in 50 weeks project. This one is influenced by John Vanderslice, particularly his fourth album “Cellar Door.” I tried to copy the same sort of beat and feel of his song, “White Plains.”

I began recording this song with the guitar riff. In my head, I had a beat figured out but since I didn’t have a drum set at the time, I had to use programming to create the beat. Then I added a bass guitar to give it a little groove.

After adding those parts and the vocals, I had the core of the song down but I felt like it needed some different textures to make it interesting. I added three different guitar parts played by an ebow. They mostly act as a drone staying on the same note and filling things in a little. While those guitar ebow drones sound something like a synthesizer, I went ahead and added another part that actually IS a synthesizer on top of the ebow part for additional texture.

Once we got to the solo section, I wanted to step up the chaos and noise a bit so I added a few buzzy synth parts, then a synth with a delay (which kind of sounds like something from a video game), plus a really crazy noise pad played on my iPad.

For the arpeggiated keyboard line I took some inspiration from the band, What Made Milwaukee Famous. Here’s their song, “idecide.”

I wanted that same sort of sound with their synth line and I especially liked the way it co-exists with the guitar part. So I came up with my own arpeggiated solo, which I played as two separate parts so I could have it bounce back and forth from the left to the right speaker.

To top it all off, I needed one more element. And that element was beat boxing. Yes, I actually beat boxed on this song! Hey, there’s first for everything, right.

I think this is one of my favorite songs I’ve ever recorded. I hope you like it.

Lit the fuse and blow it up
It’s out of the ashes that we begin to pick things up
You broke your leg, I lost my job
It’s gonna take everything to get back how it was

I Get By
I Get By

When I get back to your place To your place
It doesn’t take anytime to find any empty space
Was it love that caused this pain?
And I don’t need anything to have my mind erased

I Get By
I Get By
I Get By
And it goes on and on and on and on and on

I was wrong and you were right
Time has a way of making the outcome turn out fine
With better luck we’ll find a way
To get at the heart of our problems and make them go away

But I Get By
I Get By
I Get By
And it goes on and on and on and on and on
The beat goes on and on and on and on and on

Download “I Get By” on Bandcamp

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