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Fantastic Chester Interview with Sucide Girls


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Chester did an interview with Suicide Girls, talking about balancing out working with STP and LP, and talking in depth about the songs from the High Rise EP.


Loneliness is beautiful, it leads you home again.

Happiness is overrated, joy is infinite.

Liberate the hate you feel before it's permanent.

Smile when it hurts, it works like mother's medicine. NP: The lyrics for "Out of Time" are fairly fucking heavy. Where did this song come from?


CB: That's an interesting question because sometimes I don't really even know. I just kind of figure that things just kind of come. I think it just starts where I drew the melody in my head and then I try to just place words where the sounds are coming. As crazy as that sounds, there's usually something that feels like it's tapping into what the song wants to be about...


I always find it very difficult to write when I feel like I need to write something. Like, oh, I need to write a song today, I'm going to sit down and do that. It kind of doesn't work that way for me. So I just sit back and let the music come and then when I get excited about something I just start writing. And typically out of that, a story starts developing.


With this song I was feeling a lot of the angst that the guys have been feeling about the past and the band, and I kind of wanted to put a kind of positive twist to it but still kind of have a heavy meaning.


NP: Right, because the song is about longing and pain, but also about channeling it into the good stuff.


CB: Yeah, exactly. The message of the song is really: it's your choice to decide what kind of life you want to live because all this shit's going to happen anyways. And you can either be pissed about it, or you can find the positive things in it that help make you into a really good person.


All the best times of our life didn't do anything for our personalities. That great birthday that you had when you were eight did nothing for you as a human being. What did it teach you? That you were the center of the universe and everyone should give you gifts? It's the time your girlfriend cheated on you the day you lost that job you had in that company that you helped create, or your dog gets hit by a car the same day that your wife tells you to go fuck yourself and then your kids never want to talk to you again. I mean, all these things happen to people. And for me, it's like I always try to ask the universe to help me see the good side of that shit, rather than the other side. Because the easy way to go is to be pissed. So that's what I think the song is about for me.


Black heart's comin', he's a cold machine.

Cuts like a knife, gentle and clean.

Face like an angel, mind of a killer.

Nobody else gonna love her better.


NP: The next track on the EP, "Black Heart," that's so Rolling Stones-like.


CB: Well, thank you.


NP: In the best possible way. It's just got that funky Stones vibe to it. What were you thinking of when that came together?


CB: Loud rock & roll, that's what I was thinking. I want it to be loud, I wanted it to be rock & roll, I kind of wanted it to be sexy, and I kind of wanted it to be disturbing at the same time. That's what I was shooting for.


NP: Hence the "Black Heart."


CB: It's funny because that was just a word that I kept hearing at first. I don't know if you ever watched those TV shows, like the Medium from New Jersey or whatever? [Referring to TLC's Long Island Medium] Where she like randomly sees somebody out of nowhere for no reason and she's feels a compulsive need to talk to them about something? Right? It's kind of like that with songs for me. It's like I hear a bunch of music, I hear a bunch of stuff...The melodies start coming and then I keep re-hearing words over and over again.


Do you know the answers?

Tell me, I find my happy ending.

When do we start pretending that,

We're all the same on the inside.


NP: I'd love the ideas in the lyrics for "Same On The Inside." Because it's one those overused platitudes - we're all on the same on the inside. It's a great twist on that idea. Can you talk a little more about that song?


CB: Yeah, another case of hearing something that stuck and then a story came out of it. I kept hearing the "when do we start pretending" part. I kept hearing that over and over and over again in my head before the words started coming. And I kept hearing "all the same on the inside."


What's interesting was originally the melody was supposed to start in a different place in the song. It was supposed to start after the opening riff finished. It's got that cool, dissolving riff, that first opening guitar part. On the downbeat of the next section was where I was supposed to start the verse in my mind. Well, one of the DeLeo brothers was like, "I think it will be cool if you started earlier before that happens." And so we literally just grabbed that take of that vocal and we just moved it back half a measure and started one full measure before the first music began and it stayed that way.


By doing that, I think lyrically it kind of felt like that should be what the lyrics do as well. You're saying one thing, and then the catch phrases sounds like something positive, you know, "we're all the same on the inside." Like if you catch the end of the song, and you never heard it before, you'd probably be thinking, oh yeah, we're all the same, yay! Your brain's going to tell you to stop listening. But really, when you listen to the song, it's talking about not being happy and not finding what you want and not knowing what to say.


NP: Finding the hollowness behind the phrase we're all the same on the inside.


CB: Yeah, it's come on, admit it, we are not the fucking the same - I'm nothing like you, kind of thing. So, yeah, it was a fun exercise lyrically, to pull that off.


NP: It's like a movie with a great twist in it.


CB: It's not quite The Sixth Sense, but...


NP: It is, it's The Sixth Sense of songs.


CB: I don't know if it's that, but same idea. I would love it if it was that, that would be great, but that's for other people to decide, not for me to say.


Cry cry, can't say no.

Nothing cures a craving.

Cry cry it's all a show,

Just a game you're playing.


NP: "Cry cry" - for me that song is about people that cry for attention, and the exasperation that you feel when people do that. Is that what the song is about?


CB: Well, yeah, it is, it is about that. Sometimes when I write on my own, I kind of get right to the point, which is where working with Mike [shinoda] comes in handy, because then he comes in, he's like, "Yeah, it's pretty on the nose, let's go this way." [i'll say,] OK, have fun doing that. Then he walks away with it and come back with something great. Or vice versa, what I do with some of the words that he writes or whatever. When you are by yourself, I've found that in the other bands that I've ever been in were I'm the singer and I'm writing the stuff, it was always just kind of like I show up and sing stuff. People are like, Oh, OK, cool, that's what you came up with.


It's somewhere in between those two processes with STP. They kind of just let me do my thing to a certain degree, but then I know that if I don't let them know what I'm doing, they're going to be asking and want to hear it all the time. So I kind of find the balance between asking where should I go, as opposed to, what do you think of this melody, or whatever. So I kind of channeled Mike Shinoda in a little bit throughout this processes to have another voice criticizing my work...


It was imagined Mike. I was summing up the Star Wars' version of Yoda after he died. You know, when he's just the green ghost shadow thing in the forest. I was doing that with Mike Shinoda. I was envisioning him as a Jedi master after becoming one with the force, and he would guide me. And it worked. I think that I wrote better lyrics because if it. I would go, "Mike would not like this," and so I'd rewrite it. And sometimes I would say, "Mike wouldn't like this, but I like it, so let's keep it."


These endless days are wait for me,

Tearing my heart that breaks for you,

I'm coming home tomorrow.


Though you're not lying next to me,

I hear your song that calls to me,

I'm coming home tomorrow.


NP: Going to the last song, "Tomorrow." It's a non-standard structure in that the chorus is the line "I'm coming home tomorrow." It's an epic line that you're waiting for after every refrain. And again, it has this theme of loneliness that some of the other songs have -- do you feel lonely?


CB: Well, I do work a lot, so I'm alone a lot. When I'm on the road, I don't really get to spend time with people that I care to spend time with a lot. I'm with my band members, but it can get lonely out there sometimes. Yeah, so that's actually what the song's about.


This song was a song that came out of the first couple of demos. It was actually written in the studio as we were working on "Out of Time." Dean came up with that in the middle of the recording session one afternoon, and the next thing you know we're like hold everything, let's get this guitar down really quick, and now we have this super song. Then we finished working on "Out of Time" because we were on deadline, and then we got back to working on that song.


We'd already figured out the melodies and stuff but not really words. So when we came back to writing the words, I knew the song was going to be about that last day before I go home, you know, when I've been gone four weeks or something like that. That always seems to be the longest time. Because the first week and a half on tour goes like lightning speed. Then it slows down to normal speed where a day is 24 hours instead of 15 minutes. And then that last day seems to drag on for like a week it feels like, and that's kind of the intent of the words...


NP: It's really sweet. It's like an epic love song to your...


CB: To my wife.


NP: That's beautiful.


CB: Yeah. It's not the first song I've written for my wife actually.


NP: Really?


CB: No. If you like sappy love songs, then go check out Dead by Sunrise, which is a band that I have as well. A song called ""

" was the song that we danced to for our first dance at our wedding.


NP: Ah, well, she is a very, very lucky lady.


CB: I'll make sure to let her know that you said that. So we have it on record.

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Pretty great interview, actually. Better than most, if not all, interviews I read from STPWCB so far. It's awesome that he was channeling Mike during the writing phases for lyrics and thought of him as a Jedi Master. Lol. Also cool to have some insight from Chester on the lyrics and stuff. A quick mention to DBS as well, sick.

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