"Tell me you've taken another" is a song I recorded for Black tape for a blue girl's 1999 album, As one aflame laid bare by desire. On the first third of the MP3, you can hear the original version. It's a dirge featuring a horn synth-patch, flute, occasional drum machine percussion, and Oscar's emotional vocals. Lyrically, it was influenced by Sacher-Masoch's Venus In Furs (this guy enjoys being cuckolded).
Lyrically, the song fits right in with the new pieces I am writing for 10 Neurotics: "Tell me" is a first-person narrative about a particular fetish that gets this character off. In the last few months, I have thought about rearranging this song to fit the mood of the new album -- in other words, recreating it as a guitar & drum based piece with a song-oriented structure. Ok, so that is the theory, the question is how to do it?
Brian & I were in my studio yesterday hashing out ideas on how to turn it into a "pop song" (I say that tounge in cheek, as nothing I write is really all that pop). After much discussion and thinking and a bit of reorganizing, we figured it out. What you hear on the rest of the MP3 is a segment of our scratch track with Brian's guitar, my guide vocals and a guide flute part (everything you hear will be replaced in the coming weeks). Wow, there you are! A new version of "Tell me you've taken another" which retains the passion and themes but reworks it into our current sound.
This process is something I really enjoyed when we performed Halo Star live. The thing I realize is the recorded version of a song is not THE SONG. It is merely one way of capturing it. The same lyrics, chord changes, and mood can re-exist in a new interpretation. Being a studio project first (and a live band second) my brain locks in on the way a song existed when it was created. There's something very rewarding and exciting to me when the song evolves into a new form. It's watching a kid grow up, or realizing "hey, even under that dense, dark soundscape, there is a SONG just waiting to burst out!"
In this case, taking a song that stylistically was perfect for Aflame - but out of place on 10N - and turning it into something that fits the current incarnation of the band. I am really psyched by this new version that Brian & I came up with. Progress. Progress. Progress.