ABOUT THE SONG: "RESIST"

About The Song: “Resist”


Mere weeks away from our cross country move from Santa Cruz, CA to Nashville, TN…


I took a drive with my favorite Recording King RPS guitar, not sure where I was going, but wanted to be inspired to write something about what and how I was feeling. Being so close to a major change in my life, never having moved so far from my hometown, knowing I was truly leaving it all behind. I wasnt thinking about how long I was leaving for, or knowing that I could visit, I was only thinking that I was saying goodbye and how I wanted to say it. Thinking of my hometown from my own perspective… it’s a love hate relationship. For all the things it’s “given” me, there’s an equal number of things it’s “taken” from me. For such a magical place that Santa Cruz is its got a dark side of questionable intentions. Think Hogwarts. I mean, they send kids there to learn knowing all the dangers that it holds?

I digress lol.


I pulled over on a stretch of ocean side road called West Cliff Drive. A place that I’ve known so well, having lived just off of it and spending many hours on family walks through it’s Lighthouse Field, where our son Hunter learned to ride his bike. Reflecting on all those things I thought it’d be a good place to write but I decided to drive a little farther to find a more secluded spot. I found a great spot under a Live Oak Tree with a perfect view of the only place I’ve ever truly known. I unpacked my guitar, laid back on the hill and started to strum…


A minor, G, Dm7, F, G…

I thought for a moment, people walking along the Drive couldn’t see me from where I was sitting. What if I’d been a fugitive or someone on the run & had no choice but to leave. So I started singing the first thing that came to mind….


“When they find me – They find a man with nothing left to do So what am I still doing here When they find me – They find a man with nothing left to lose Nothing left to lose here Maybe there’s a part of me that loves to feel this way So I’ll lock it up and leave it – Somewhere they could never see it When they find me – They find a man with nothing but the truth And they better believe it…”


Another song that seemingly poured out of me. A song that I had been listening to that day was on my mind. Not the song itself or anything to do with the music. The song was “Breakdown” by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. The thing that inspired me was the format of the song: Intro, Verse, Chorus, Guitar Solo, Chorus, Outro. It wasn’t the traditional form of a song: Intro, Verse, Pre Chorus, Chorus, Verse, Pre Chorus, Chorus, Bridge, Solo, Chorus, Outro. I loved the simplicity of the order it was written in. It didn’t lose anything, as there was nothing to lose. Everything that needed to be there already was and Tom said everything he needed to say. There’s no right or wrong way to write a song & since this album adventure I had begun was me trying to get away from my comfort zone, doing everything the same way every time, I followed this instinct. I kept the Chorus simple, went straight into a Guitar Solo break and back into the Chorus to finish the song.


“When I leave all this behind – I’m gonna miss you But I can’t Resist to When I leave all this behind – I’m gonna miss you But I can’t Resist to Don’t fight the changes you can’t stop Or all the things that you still love – And leave all them behind I’m gonna miss you – But I can’t Resist to..”


I had written the song. That was it.


Fast forward to a few months later. Nashville, TN. I’m sitting in my studio, having just recorded the basis of the song. At this moment in time, the song was not going to be included in the album. Maybe a Bonus Track, but I felt the song’s message and importance to me was too much to keep it off to the side and not a part of the album. (Anyone remember my song “Crawling Home”? A song I wrote with DJ Ashba for my 1st album “MOABD”. I fought the label to include it on the album, but the label won and it ended up a Pre Order only Bonus Track. One of my best & most beloved songs that no one could get :/) I change my setting, got out of the studio and took my recording rig into the sitting room in front of the window. Then, like now, it was raining, thunder, lightning. Something in that shook me as I pressed record to try another Guitar Solo. It’s as if the storm took control of my finger tips as they glided their way up and down the neck of my Lake Placid Blue Telecaster guitar. Moments later I had recorded this beautiful solo and wanted to push the bar a little further by adding a harmony guitar part to the second half of what I’d played. It turned out exactly the way I dreamed it would and in my opinion is a highlight of the song.


I’ve gotta say something..This is my 4th Solo Album. I’ve recorded singles, EPs, projects with other bands, TV show pilots, children’s music, countless demos, etc. I’ve logged many hours in recording studios doing the work that needs to be done and getting it finished on schedule. I say this because when you’ve got to finish it and you’re just a piece in the machine there’s not usually room to experiment and try other things, or take a chance and see what you discover. It might be garbage, it might be what the song needed all along. Maybe some people have had the chance to do this for every album making experience but I haven’t. Maybe people I’ve worked with in the past didn’t see an artist in me. An exceptional vocalist, but maybe not a realized artist. If that’s the case, I wouldn’t blame them. Being an Independent Artist gives me full freedom and control of my choices. If I want to release a garbage sounding demo that I’m passionate about I can. Is it the right choice? Probably not, but there’s no one who can tell me No. If I want to write and play guitar solos for the first time, no one can tell me No. I’ve found that with making an album yourself you take on all responsibilities of the label. Sometimes you need to know when to tell yourself No.


I’ve never done this before, but I’d like to quote myself here because I feel like this is important lol.


“When it comes to the Art, the crafting and recording of the song, never tell yourself No. Be brave, be daring, be foolish. Because you never know, the thing you’d never done before may be the thing that makes you more than you thought you ever could be.”


I read a fantastic list of Songwriting Reminders that John Mayer wrote for himself and shared them recently on Instagram. I’d like to leave this one with you that really resonates with me. And thank you for listening.

Till next time,


-James


“Be brave. YOU are not here to line up behind what’s cool, YOU are here to share what YOU truly love even if people aren’t into it at that moment. Walk alone and gather a line behind YOU.” -John Mayer




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