Grant Lee Phillips' comments on Non-Album Tracks
DRUG STORE (JUJU MIX) - 1993
"The thing is, we really haven't recorded an abundance of b-sides, so the things that wind up on the singles are tracks that would've made the record - but the record would've been too long, if for no other reason. (Drums hands on table.) Man, yeah, so the b-sides are pretty darn good.
Yeah, there's an eight-minute Dixie Drug Store with a completely different vocal performance, about fourteen other verses that aren't included on the album version. It's just much more involved. Originally, that's how the song started, then we scaled it down to something a little more digestible. Now it's only five minutes." Source: Goldmine Magazine, 1997 (Interview: 11-03-1996)
MY ROOM - 1994
"Having developed an obsession with The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds around this time, the piano was beginning to play a role in much of my writing. Ironically the three of us would one day find ourselves in the home of Brian Wilson, as he listened to our cover of "In My Room", which was featured on the TV show, "Friends" and it's soundtrack that year." Source: GrantLeeBuffalo.com, 2001
"Out of the blue you're asked to record a Beach Boys Song, "In My Room," and funny enough it was a song I fell in love with anyway and Paul Kimble and I would often harmonize on it in the big bathroom stalls behind the arena when we were on tour with REM. I always heard a certain amount of Beach Boys influence off of certain songs on Out of Time. It's something I brought up to Mike Mills and he seemed pleased that I had noted some of the details. Mobilize is a very different record than any of the Grant Lee Buffalo albums. It's much more of an individual pursuit, certainly more so than Jubilee. Although I had written most of the songs for Jubilee, it was the first time I had worked with another producer and along with that, the host of musicians who lent their talents. That made for a really enjoyable way to make a record too. This one is a more intimate affair in my mind. That doesn't necessarily mean that I'm whispering all the way through, but it means that I have an intimate relationship with every track and every nuance of the album." Source: Grant Lee Phillips, Shaking Loose the Sadness, Murmurs.com, May 2002
COMES THE RATMAN (DRAG or LIKE A SHOT) - 1994
"The song "Here Comes the Ratman" was an out take from the "Fuzzy" session. I feel like I'm working for the Antiques Roadshow. "Drag" is actually another song altogether which is to be found on GLB's "Mighty Joe Moon". "Ratman", however was never released at all and how it's found it's way into the public stream is a little strange. It's not the first time that unreleased material has slipped out without my knowledge, to soon become Napsterized." Source: Messages From Beyond
ONLY JUST BEGUN - 1994
"It seemed like the quintessential Carpenters song, I always saw the darker side of what they did. My mom had a Camaro, and we had an 8-track of the Carpenters. It's in my blood." Source: Carpenters' Page, ca. 1997
STEEL (REMIX) - 1996
Q: I heard Bethlehem Steel was the new single, but I haven't seen a commercially available version with b-sides or anything yet.
A: No, you're right. We've only shipped it to radio so far. Actually, when Copperopolis came out, I was pushing Bethlehem Steel to be the first single, since we consider it the album's centerpiece. There's an edit of it that's about three minutes shorter that the album version. It's a whole 'nother mix, and that would have been our preferred choice (for an initial single). The record company, on the other hand, was pushing pretty heavily for Homespun and - even after that - they want with Two & Two. Which is another good single as well, but You only have a narrow window with these kind of things. By the time you get around to your third single, radio programmers have already moved on to whatever's happening that week. The new Marilyn Manson, or whatever. (Laughter.) Not to say I'm bitter about it, but, in hindsight, I think it would have been smarter to go with Bethlehem Steel first. Source: Goldmine Magazine, 1997 (Interview: 11-03-1996)
AT CORONA - 1996
"You know, we've tried to play that song live, here and there. It was a song that was kind of written, and brought into the studio to record, and never really played out anywhere. It's a cool piece of music, though. Joey put his drums down in one day and disappeared, and when he came back, there were twenty-four track of things he'd never heard. (Laughter.) None of us realized what the song was until it was completed and mixed.
I think the theme of Corona is plague; it's a pretty bleak song. Not long ago, I read that Peter Buck was way into books on the Back Plague and various diseases and viruses. And I thought, "Wow, that's kinda wild," because I've definitely gone through periods where all my reading was consumed by pestilence back plague bubonic plague So that's definitely where that song came from. Not a real pop theme, you know. (Laugher.)
But hey, it was a b-side. I some ways, maybe they all should be b-sides. Honestly, you can be a lot more daring in the context of a non-album track. (Pause.) I think the best songs I've ever written were intended b-sides. Because it almost relieves you of the burden of creating something that wants to be universal that wants to reach out and make a connection." Source: Goldmine Magazine, 1997 (Interview: 11-03-1996)
WHOLE SHEBANG - 1998
"The whole Glam thing in England coincided with the sexual revolution of the '70s. In writing songs for “Velvet Goldmine” it was essential to draw on a number of points that typified the era. Freedom and emancipation from all bonds of cultural oppression was a part of that spirit that fueled Glam, later Disco and helped pave a more compassionate future in some ways. I believe such a movement held appeal for a wide array of people who didn't share an alignment with the mainstream of society. “The Whole Shebang” is sort of a revolt of the fringe. It was written for a character, in the voice of that character. Nevertheless, I personally believe issues of orientation should be left up to the individual. If that means marching in a parade then so be it, and if not, then that should be respected as well." Source: Messages From Beyond
Your song on the Velvet Goldmine soundtrack was easily one of the best things
on it, how did it come about and how did you get involved in this project?
Grant-Lee: Michael Stipe was deeply involved with the making of the film and it was he who sought to bring us onboard. There's was a small handful of songs that I wrote for the film, one of which was with Michael that never made the picture or the album. 'The Whole Shebang' was a fun track to record though and the playfulness of the experience helped me to work through material that would eventually find it's way to 'Jubilee'.
Source: Sense Magazine, February 2001
"Flamin' Shoe" & "Midnight" are twins but not identical twins. "Flamin'" came first. Midnight has different verse lyrics, a different verse melody and a different bridge. I like them both though and they do have different meanings to me." Source: Messages From Beyond
OF MUTILATION - 2000
"That's just a favorite song to begin with. I love The Pixies and that's just one of the few songs of theirs I can play. Most are so schizophrenically put together that I couldn't begin to work them out." Source: UGO.com, July 2002
LEGEND, SARAH (Witchblade Series) - 2001
"Although, I haven't heard of a Witchblade soundtrack yet, two of the songs featured in the show can be found on Grant Lee Buffalo's Mighty Joe Moon. Both "Demon Called Deception" & "Honey don't Think" were appropriated as the music of Conchobar. The other songs live only in the world of Witchblade for the moment. "Cathain Legend", the Celtic anthem, was written by Witchblade writer Rick Oki and composer Joel Goldsmith to my knowledge. I merely sang on that one, but I got a real kick out of it. "Sarah" was something that I wrote and recorded two versions of for the show. One is the acoustic version, which I produced. This was used prominently in the episode where Conchobar becomes abducted. It touched upon the timeless bond between Sarah & he. Bill Bonk played flute and mandolin on that one too. The other version is the electronica tinged track that played in the opening and end credits. Carmen Rizzo and I produced that one. The lyrics are the same in the two "Sarah" recordings but the arrangements and the production is different from track to track. Although we haven't really discussed what to do with these tracks, they came out so well that I think it might be nice to at least offer them up by way of downloads or streaming audio." Source: Messages From Beyond
AND THIS CITY - 2001
"I-10 Chronicles, Vol. 2. is the second in a series, drawing together various artists, focusing on the tradition of American song writing from various strains and genres. I was honored to perform an original of mine titled, "Me and This City (Just ain't Gettin' Along)" with Tex-Mex accordion legend, Flaco Jimenez. Bill Bonk played mandolin and added vocals. The whole thing was recorded live on the floor in a take or two about a year ago in Los Angeles." Source: GrantLeePhillips.com, January 2001
AWAY - 2002
"One Giant Leap", the cross-cultural collage of music, video and words has now been completed. The film was directed by Jamie Catto, best known for his musical involvement with the British group "Faithless". With "One Giant Leap" Jamie and company literally spanned the entire globe, recording and filming as they went. I'm pleased to be featured among a number of artists, musicians and writers whose voices and melodies are woven into this intricate work including Neneh Cherry, Speech, and Dennis Hopper. Armed with a small hand held camera, we set up shop in my kitchen. Responding to a piece of music Jamie played for me in the car, I wrote the words and a melody on the spot, which was then recorded live on camera. Watch for this one!" Source: GrantLeePhillips.com, January 2002
"While on tour I was pleased to witness a healthy wave of excitement for the recent launch of One Giant Leap: Well over a year ago Jamie Catto from the UK group, Faithless, approached me about collaborating on multi-media project that would involve musicians, artists, writers and activists from several parts of the globe - a sort of cross cultural collage. Jamie and his partner Duncan Bridegman traveled tirelessly to assemble the work, making a stop quite early on at my home where we shared ideas and conversation long into the evening. I was presented with disc of music, some slow moving chords, a simple bed without words or melody but a heavy mood piece. Creative impressions came quickly, as within a short time we had fully set up shop in my kitchen. I ran for a pad of paper and microphone while Jamie and his partner grabbed a camera. What emerged so effortlessly was captured in One Giant Leap. In time, vocalist Horace Andy came to contribute to the track, entitled "Racing Away". The project functions as a complete DVD, juxtaposing beautiful and arresting imagery with the contributions of Dennis Hopper, Neneh Cherry, Michael Stipe, Brian Eno and several others. One Giant Leap also serves as an album to be valued exclusively for the music. It's a delight to know that this worthy project has captured a great deal of enthusiasm around the world since it's release on April 9th and I'm pleased to be a part of it." Source: GrantLeePhillips.com, June 2002
"My aim to dive into uncharted waters has led to some unlikely but rewarding endeavors, including that with the acclaimed DJ Paul Oakenfold. The collision took place earlier this year. I was putting the final touches on Mobilize with its co-producer Carmen Rizzo, as he began to assist Oakenfold with music for the film, Swordfish. The two continued to progress towards Oakenfold's own album. The two of us being under one roof made for a natural pairing. For my own part, I can be heard most prominently on "Motion" providing voice and lyric alongside Paul's own minding bending touch. For the headphone lovers - that's you know who backing up Perry Ferrel on the track "Time of Your Life". Oakenfold's Bunkka is due out June 24th." Source: GrantLeePhillips.com, June 2002
"Somewhere in this span of time I managed to write and record a brand new song called "Smile", featured on the new Gilmore Girls soundtrack, "Our Little Corner of The World". The album, available on Rhino Records, also features new music by Sam Phillips along with some previously released gems by the likes of John Lennon, Elastica, Carole King, PJ Harvey, Big Star, Bjork, Yo La Tengo, and XTC to name a few. The Gilmore Girls is pretty much unrivaled when it comes to music savvy characters who know their Velvets from their undergrounds. Always pleased to be strolling and strumming through and proud to be part of this album." Source: GrantLeePhillips.com, October 2002