Songs from "Sugarcoated"
songs written by Peto Gerth
This song came about following a frustrating time in my life (well, one of the many!) and I really just wanted to write something that was completely contrary to what I was feeling. I had been dealing with hand problems caused by a job I had taken just months earlier that kept me from playing guitar for several weeks. The song ended up pleasing me on many levels because I got to express frustration in the lyrics but kept the music really upbeat so that I could play loud guitars and make the most of a 3-chord punk-pop progression in the way of Green Day or Blink-182. Plus it was a fun, tongue-in-cheek way for me to make a reference to my carbo-addictions -- no, it wasn't about drug use (ha ha). I knew when I wrote it that it would be the title-track of the next CD...luckily when we started playing it as a band, Sean was with me on the idea and felt it was a good theme song to start up the energy of our live shows.
is hell and nothing goes well
Thoughtlessness and sex to confess
syrup makes me stir up all my honesty
I have to watch it anytime I write a love song because I never want to submerse myself -- or the listener -- in the cheese-factor of many syrupy pop songs. Though I will admit to writing it after re-watching the movie "City of Angels" on DVD, aside from being influenced by some of the longing for love elements of the film, I think I was able to end the cheese factor there. I wasn't in love or even dating at the time so it was easy to relate to wanting to be in love, and since I'm a touchy-feely person, the dreamt up lyrics came pretty naturally. The music arrangement really took form when Daryl brought in his piano part and we added the background vocals. That really brought the song to a whole new level and gave it its warmth.
just a shell
With the weight of your touch it makes more sense each day
I can feel you ... I can feel you
So this I can tell
And with the weight of your touch it makes more sense each day
So break up this shell
Give me the weight of your touch so it makes more sense each day
If you were a visitor to the Peto-A-Go-Go website prior to the release of the "Sugarcoated" CD, you might've heard the early MP3 demo of this song which didn't nearly catch the energy of the CD's new version, but was an interesting experiment with an electronic, dance based mix. The song itself came about after I read the book "Sex, Death and Enlightenment" by Mark Matousek. To tell you the truth, I can't remember the last time I had sat down and read more than an article or news blurbs from Entertainment Weekly or Rolling Stone, so reading a book as good as this one certainly impacted me in many ways. The lyrics are pretty straight forward: I was at a time in life, having just entered my 30's (yikes!), where I was looking deeper into myself and life and wanting to escape the superficiality that surrounded me. I had also experienced a couple of things that had me asking the title's question to myself out of utter disbelief of the possibilities of the human spirit. Okay, that sounds way too deep for an upbeat pop song, but well, I told you I was trying to rise above the superficial with this one. It's all about therapy, baby.
it be so real — these feelings that I feel
Sidewalks lead me far away
Peeling back all the deadened skin
It’s just another day
Okay, now for the mystery man...I realized when I wrote this that most people would have no idea who he was or why I spelled fabulous with a "ph" without some sort of explanation, so here goes: First, the Fred I refer to is in no way fabulous and actually is quite a hateful man who preaches his hate (even under the title of "Reverend") to any brainless follower who will listen or even learn how to go on the internet to his website of hatred (I am not listing the site here because he does not deserve that kind of publicity). Well, awhile ago, he had a publicized protest outside a local gay bar here in Seattle at which about five or six of his followers (but not the Fredster himself) showed up with their picket signs to protest the um, "abhorrent lifestyle" of the establishment's guests. Well, these sorry folks found about four or five HUNDRED counter-protesters (gay and straight) showing them that their narrow-minded views were NOT in the majority. The story was just too good to pass up and so inspired the quick-talking, sassy lyrics of the song. The "Ph" comes from the first two letters of Fred's last name, so it's kind of a play on someone who is so self-righteous it's sickening. The song almost didn't make it on the CD, but Sean, Daryl and I had so much fun with our wacky-fun parts that the excitement helped eke out one more song from our recording budget.
I can walk through the grass with my feet on the ground
Well get off my back I can’t listen to you
I can receive lots of praise and climb straight to the top
Well so get off my back I won’t listen to you
you don’t you know
So don’t you think this charade is about to implode
So just get off my back I can’t listen to you
It's a ROCK song and I got to play LEAD guitar. Those are the reasons this song came to be...okay, that's not the total truth. Lyrically, this song is about the frustrations of always feeling like you can't be yourself in order to fit in to society, which is a feeling I know all TOO well! But yeah, I really wanted us to be able to rock out on this one so I wrote the music with a darker tone, except the chorus where it hits this bright chord change as the lyrics wish for "forever underway" in a better setting than that of the rest of the song. The guitar riff was influenced by an old surf-pop instrumental ditty that I wrote years ago but never really got to play in a band. We actually played the surf song attached to the end of "In This Town" in our live shows, which is a whole heapin' bunch o' fun!
town is a locked in zone
This town will never let me in
This town won’t let me rise up from broke
This town knee deep in therapy
Well I'm sorry but I tried
Yeah, well, what would YOU do if someone took YOU for granted or treated you like shit and did not see that you were worth more? I chose to put the feelings in a song and here it is tied up in a catchy melody.
I leave tomorrow
It’s a sad, sad assessment to know that you don’t give a damn
Could you leave tomorrow
It’s a sad, sad assessment to know that you don’t give a damn
Blame the wall or blame the scene