I think finishing the initial version of “Slapstick” was the first time that I realized we could make something that sounded that way. That was one of the early songs that we had written. Eric and I had put together the truly initial version of the song before anybody got involved with it, before we had live drums on it or Ricky’s guitar parts or anything like that, or even the final lyrics. It was all just temporary parts — we kind of put those little vocal samples in there, and we had put some synths and some electronic drums, and Eric did the original guitar part that starts the song — and just having that skeleton of the song, it was the first time that I was like “hey this is actually something that I would listen to if I wasn’t in our band,” and that’s a feeling that I don’t think I ever had with the songs that we had made on our other two records.
“The language idea started as a ‘wouldn’t it be cool’ thing that just kept going,” Murphy says in a press release. “The whole point was to put in a fraction of the effort that most international artists put in. The goal was to show respect and appreciation. Each step was pretty difficult because we wanted to get it as right as possible and my only knowledge outside of English is some high school French. Each of the four foreign languages had its own set of difficulties, but, after working with 70-ish translators and friends for a few months, we’ve got one song in five tongues.”
Triple Crown Records has been putting out some of the scene’s most essential records for twenty years now, so it makes sense that their anniversary show ended up being one of the best shows I’ve seen this year. The four-band show had a mix of styles that spoke to the variance in sound the label has always had; a fan of almost any kind of music could’ve found a set to like. I ran through some of my favorites below.