Warfare

  • Submitted on time! Jul 19, 2020
nick
Brain Dig

I have a vivid memory of being about 8, and at some point in a fight with my older brother, really leaning into the insult “Nobody likes you,” a few times in a row. It was a really effective way to hurt his feelings, and I ended up feeling pretty sh*tty about it. We didn’t fight like this often, so it meant a good amount to me. Haven’t ever spoken about it with him. May be way more of a big deal to me than him, but it has certainly stuck with me, and I credit it as my first conscious pivot away from, ya know, spewing hate.

 

In the heat of battle

I drew my most wicked sword

Upon my only brother

And leaned into his heart.

I said,

“Nobody likes you”

 

Just one cut was fatal,

But I dealt him several more.

And to my room I retreated, only to hear

that weapon’s echo still ringing in my ear.

“Nobody likes you”

 

And I remember how it felt

The hateful trance that worked so well

But I am changing I can tell

I’m done

Trying to tear you down.



Looking for feedback on

While it's an actual quote and very much in line with the assignment, is "nobody likes you" just too harsh of a thing to sing repeatedly? lol had fun with this one, but it may be a little much.

Discussion

  • 24 Comments
ryan.mp3 July 20, 2020 9:04pm

This track is fucking excellent. You are low key one of my all-time favorite bass players/programmers. I am certain I have mentioned this to you before. But this track is a ~very good example~. Bass tone also a damn dream here. Mind sharing how you got it?

Love @@Z‘s suggestion to transition into “nobody like you” so that those big choruses that come later are more reasonable to sing along with. But it would definitely need some preceding re-contextualization. Big freaking dig on the 90s harmonic world used here. Makes me feel like you really mean everything you’re saying.

A mix note: at around the 2:20 mark when that sweet distorted key melody comes in, the mix shifts to being a bit harsh for me. Not overly so, necessarily, but definitely a bit harsh. I think it’s that between the overdriven guitar, fuzzy bass, fuzzy key-line and pretty crack-y drum tones, it’s all a little too mid-high’s. I think you could definitely get away with darkening the drum sound for the whole track (particularly the snare). More umph less crack. That warmth will make even more listenability, I think.

Freaking great work on this one, man.

nick July 21, 2020 4:48pm

Well I’ll tell you what, you know I’m slapping a limited edition D’A Ludlow + Fuzz Drive (v rare default preset on Logic). But hey, thanks man—gotta be my favorite part of recording music. I’ll definitely try that mix note. Cheers, bud.

alechutson July 20, 2020 7:36pm

Great guitar and drum sounds! Really dug this, it’s calling back some of your earlier work for me.

Personally, the repeated line works for me but I probably would have varied it up a little bit. Maybe singing “nobody” every couple of times without completing the full phrase.

Also hearing you sing reminds me that it’s possible to be evocative using minimal vibrato. Thanks for the submission!

nick July 21, 2020 4:45pm

Yeah totally hear that.. didn’t put as much time into that “nobody” section as it needed. Glad you dig the vox style!

Z July 20, 2020 4:16pm

Great sounding track as always.

Change the hook to “nobody like you?”

Z July 20, 2020 4:20pm

Certainly less harsh, and to me get would get a little deeper into the heart of why we hurt the ones we love the most.

ryan.mp3 July 20, 2020 8:56pm

Oh man this suggestion has some great potential if a preceding verse could smoothly transition into this sentiment.

nick July 21, 2020 4:44pm

Love that. YOU get a writing credit, and YOU get a writing credit. Let’s make some money bb.

Z July 27, 2020 8:34pm

Let’s get these imperial credits, fam!

Nate July 20, 2020 12:54pm

Yo this beat is dope. What a good hook. IMO the first minute is lyrically flawless. and then the beat comes in hard and its great.

After that, I can’t make out the words in the same way — though I just listened without my BeyerDynamic Dt770’s (aka headphones) and I can understand way better now. Hmm.

Yeah, it is “nobody likes you” is very on the nose. I think I could use some variety to show more of the range of emotions around it — or show lyrically that the “negative emotions” being dwelled on have more to do with the singer in regards to themselves. Using “trying to tear you down” as an outro feels a little, weird, and counter to the message & your actual experience of the situation.

Maybe to remedy that, you could –> clear out (like it does at 3:11) much sooner, add in a different timbre and get a different vibe/mood with the lyrics. Maybe layer in “I’m done” on another vocal?

OR –> change the lyrics and make it more about yourself feeling bad that you were hateful

Not sure if its a question of “do I keep the song?” or “how do I de/reconstruct it to be better.

FWIW: I’m hearing: Spoon + Tame Impala + those 90’s hits that had a good — IDK why but bittersweet symphony came to mind too, just listened to verify that I am crazy and it doesn’t really sound like your song lol

Great mix, great beat, great melody — good stuff!

nick July 21, 2020 4:40pm

Hey Nate! Glad you dig it. Including the “I’m done…” line more often would definitely help clarify the true sentiment of “…trying to tear you down.” Once that was super clear, I could probably get away some of the more abstracting of the full phrase.

So glad you got involved in this assignment—can’t wait to hear you on the next one!

Ben July 20, 2020 9:40am

Might this be the origin story for why you’re nice? It’s certainly a great reminder that a lot of the time, the worst things we’ve said to people in the heat of the moment end up haunting us more than them in the long term. Your brother was crushed that day, but here we are 22 years later and you’re writing a song about it and he’s going about his day. 

This is a great, intimate look into what essentially still seems to be a governing factor in how you interact with people to this day. It’s nice to know that you, and probably everyone, have had experiences that we can pinpoint and attribute to a change in our lives. 

Question – You said you credit this as your first conscious pivot. Did you know it was a pivot-point that day, or did you just never forgot about it and, as you pivoted, kept thinking back to that day, crediting it weeks, months, or years later as a pivot-point? 

I’m fascinated by being in moments that you know are going to impact you forever, especially when that moment is a fairly mundane event, not a tragedy or major surprise. It’s rare to recognize that a moment, in real-time, will be a life-long memory. It’s a similar effect as “remembering where you were for JFK’s assassination”, except there aren’t other people/news/culture building up how important it is for you. In fact, nobody else even knows what you were thinking. I play around with that a bit in my song this week.

I also love the metaphor. Checks all the boxes for fantasy: you found the secret weapon, forged by the Ancients in Mordor (Mordfield) that Only You can weild, and it’s the only weapon that can pierce the armor of your Foe, your Brother. And once you thrust that Ancient weapon unto him, you feel the damage tenfold unto your heart. You’re mortally wounded but you survive and as you’re healing up later, the wizard explains to you that the weapon may only be effectively used by Evil. “And That, my boy, you are not. So rest up now, for we ride north by daylight.” And you but cast that Ancient Weapone upon but for whence it came, otherwither, and but see that it is destroyed.

As for repeating the phrase “No One Likes You”, I think it depends on how you’re feeling about the story years later and if you’re willing to have fun with it, and it looks like you are: It juxtaposes well with the epic battle imagery because “No one likes youuuuuh” is such a 1998 kid thing to say. It almost reminds me of Tenacious D or something: Epic battle and fog, and as soon as the dark clouds part, it’s just Jack Black standing there in a funny hat singing some anachronistic modern rock lyric.

Stray notes:

I love how the beat drops. It kind of sneaks in under that sudden guitar line. 

That chord change at 2:05 is great.

Also dig how I thought that “No Body Likes You” would be the main, final repeated line that is repeated over an over in this big finale, especially judging by your feedback blurb, but it kind of turns out that “Tryna tear you down” is the phrase that is repeated to the end.

Ben July 20, 2020 9:41am

wield* dammit

ryan.mp3 July 20, 2020 8:58pm

Definitely the origin story for Nick’s kindness.

Ben July 21, 2020 8:53am

lol wow fuck me, i meant to write “nobody”, not “no one” in that last main paragraph.

nick July 21, 2020 4:31pm

thanks for this, Ben! Love your breakdown of the metaphor 😂 In regards to your question, ya know, it’s tough, right? It feels like that was turning point, but I may just be applying it to the memory. So, I would actually say in that moment, I could only recognize the impact, not the lasting effect it would have.

nurphgun July 20, 2020 9:03am

Love this so much, esp the simple/satisfying chord progression and guitar tone. I think if I heard this without listening closely to the lyrics, I would interpret the phrase “nobody likes you” as a phrase sung by the songwriter to himself – the hypnotic feel of the song makes the phrase feel more like an intrusive negative thought one thinks to themselves, rather than an insult from one person to another. Given how this incident has haunted you, I think it fits. It’s harsh but that’s why it’s effective, it’s the type of phrase you don’t expect to hear in a song. (It’s a nice companion to “Everybody Hates Me” by the Japanese House!)

nick July 21, 2020 4:27pm

thanks nor 👻

trumpeteer123 July 19, 2020 11:16pm

the progression of the energy was great, the build felt very natural and i also liked the conveyance of a sibling relationship, with ups and downs lol

nick July 21, 2020 4:26pm

yeah, i just wish I got my brother to make the beat on mine! maybe next time.

Carseat July 19, 2020 9:30pm

I DIIIIIIG the guitar tone oh my gosh. YES. YES. yes. okay. yes.

Also I’m a fan of “nobody likes you.” Very upfront. To the point.

nick July 21, 2020 4:26pm

hey thanks! i pretty rarely record electric guitar, so that is nice to hear.

kurds July 19, 2020 9:15pm

Fits strongly in a playlist with Creep and other songs to make you groove and feel bad 😉 loved this one, especially the strong picked guitar, very catchy riff! Also, it doesn’t feel excessive, it was strongly in line with the narrative.

nick July 21, 2020 4:24pm

😥💃 thanks man