About fifteen years ago, I wrote a little sketch of a song that was a simple piano-based ballad about a struggling couple. It was abandoned and forgotten, and I barely gave it a second thought. Fast-forward to 2019/2020… My friend, Mike Lucero, of FM Collective (a non-profit in which most proceeds go to support Grammy’s MusiCares) contacted me and asked if I had any piano-based material to perhaps produce a single under the FM Collective umbrella. After a few head-scratches, I remembered the aforementioned track, “Spinning Blades”, found it on the old hard drive, and started messing with it again. Trivia: the title/hook/imagery “spinning blades” actually came from watching an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (I think it may have been the episode where they rip on the creepy, hilariously bad 70’s flick, “The Touch of Satan“) where Mike Nelson says “walk into the spinning blades, it’s nice!”
We contacted another friend, Ken Stringfellow (Posies, REM, Big Star), to produce the track and had no idea how much the song would transform within the aura of his relentless, creative madness. I sent him the original demo, and it eventually went from tender, piano ballad to a shiny pop anthem reminiscent of Todd Rundgren, Steely Dan, Carly Simon, and Elvis Costello while still sounding very modern (someday I’ll record the original ballad version to mirror against). He also added a distinct, simple background hook. We brought in Colin Richey (Macklemore, Cloud Nothings, Portugal. The Man, Hey Marseilles) to commandeer the drums, and between the four of us, knocked out all the instrumentation and vocals — couldn’t be more pleased with the result.
The song can be found/attained in all the usual online places and streaming services (Spotify, etc.) and you can also grab it from my little online label, OrangePants Records. Enjoy!