Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Story Behind...(I'll Drive Yesterday)

Track 6 on my latest project, So Human, is titled, "So, I had this dream..." It's a scene where I'm sitting down with my engineer/producer, Mike Manthei, and discussing the upcoming song. On the track, Mike and I are at a diner, talking about the title to track 7, "I'll Drive Yesterday." Now, there are some things you should know about this scene as it plays out on the CD. First, Mike and I were never at a diner. (Well, I mean we've had lunch together several times but this taping didn't take place at a diner.) Instead, we recorded the scene right there in the recording studio. I sat down on a stool, under the microphone, with Mikey (that's what I call him) sitting next to me. For a little more realism, I actually had a plate in front of me. On the plate was a slice of bread and a butter knife. I cut up the bread and ate it while we talked. The background noise you hear on the track was actually recorded a couple of weeks earlier--at my workplace. I sat a microphone and a small digital recorder out on a table in our cafeteria and just recorded people eating, talking, walking by. But the story I tell in the scene is true. The song really did come about as the result of a dream. Like I explain in track 6, I dreamed I was on stage in front of a massive crowd. My band began this chunky rock groove and I shouted in a pseudo-British/Australian/Cockney accent, "This song's called I'll Drive Yesterday!" And the crowd went nuts. They were screaming and yelling. But then I woke up. I didn't know how the song went. All I had was a title. Meanwhile, my guitarist, Brian DeKam, had written a cool guitar groove for another song that we ended up never using. But I really liked the music tracks. So I stole those music tracks and wrote the words to I'll Drive Yesterday to go with them. About the song: So I sat down and tried to figure out what the heck the words, I'll Drive Yesterday could possibly mean. And the only thing that I could come up with was God's promise...of taking those pains and sins of the past and throwing them away. Have you been lied to? Cheated on? Hurt? That was yesterday. God will drive it away. I also wanted to paint a picture of how holding on to past hurts can affect you:
"Yesterday's a prison. A room without a view.
A judge without a pardon and no remorse for you."
and contrast that with the hope that comes through Christ, who says:
" I'll Drive Yesterday all away and leave it all behind you
there'll be nothing to remind you of yesterday. It's gone today
and the pain and sorrow life put in your way, that was yesterday."
I think my favorite part of the song is the bridge. It has a bit of a "scat" feel to it and the message is, I think, important:
"All of the baggage, all of the scars
all of the wreckage left on your heart
you've gotta let go, it'll tear you apart
you've gotta give it away.
Ah man...that was yesterday."
So there you have it. Some truth. Some deception. But the real story behind the song whose title confuses so many folks upon hearing it the first time. Hope you enjoy!