In our exclusive new music feature Origins, musicians have the opportunity to reveal some of the inspirations behind their latest track. Today, Australian garage rock duo Hockey Dad reveal how they got “In This State”.
Time is pretty fluid in the age of coronavirus. Schedules and release dates are constantly shifting, whether we’re talking music festivals or album drops. Australia’s Hockey Dad are no more immune than anyone, and so they’ve chosen to push the release date of their new full-length, Brain Candy, from May 29th to July 31st (via BMG). To hold fans over, the garage rock duo have shared another taste of the album, “In This State”.
A chugging number built on a reiterating guitar riff and jogging drums, “In This State” takes off like a sprinter on the chorus. That speed gives it an air of panic or anxiety, but the lyrics reveal that such feelings are only the result of knowing that there’s something greater on the other side of failure. “Feeling sorry for what you saved/ You had a fight and your knees got grazed,” sings guitarist/vocalist Zach Stephenson. “But at least you saved something/ And something’s better in every way.”
Take a listen to Hockey Dad’s “In This State” below, followed by an Origins breakdown from Stephenson and drummer Billy Fleming.
You Am I – “Purple Sneakers”:
The chorus riff came about while we were rehearsing for a You Am I cover to play alongside Tim Rogers at a Splendour In The Grass festival. As we were learning “Purple Sneakers”, I managed to land on the riff while we were trying to figure out the chords. Tim took a liking to the riff, which made us take note and keep it in the bank for when we decided to begin writing for the new album. — Zach Stephenson
Having a House to Ourselves:
Splendour came around, and we were staying up at my girlfriends parents house up in Byron Bay, NSW, in the few days surrounding the festival. We had the house to ourselves so we could make a bit of noise, which led us to messing around with that riff. It turned out to be the first song we finished for the album, which seemingly set the tone for the rest of album, got us real keen to head towards that particular direction. — ZP
As we were laying down the drum tracks down during recording, John (Goodmanson, producer) and I noticed that the tempo soon became an issue. If we played it all at a faster pace, the verses seemed rushed. If we played it all slower, the chorus would sound a little dragged out. We ended up deciding to chop up the verses and chorus’ into their own tempos, differentiated by just only 2 or 3bpm. To be fair, our tempos always fluctuate when we play live, so it only makes sense we had to make that adjustment. — Billy Fleming
Queens of the Stone Age:
The way the song was going towards the end, we felt like it needed a little more expression to wrap things up. We had been listening to a fair bit of Queens of the Stone Age around that time, so we went chasing for a tone that was an echo of that sound. The solo isn’t all that much on the technical side of things; we just wanted that particular gross attitude that comes with those dissonant tones. — ZP