Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Foreign Land

I want to kick things off by writing about an original song by Indigo Rush, called Foreign Land.

(Note: this blog will contain posts about our individual songs as well as memories about stuff we did.)

We used to rehearse at our guitarist, Brett Steven's workplace. It was a carpentry and woodworking place in a large warehouse style building on the main highway, just 2 k's out of Bathurst. The acoustics weren't so great but it was good of Brett's boss to let us rehearse there.

We would open the front roller door during the evening and we could see over to the homes that covered the slopes on the other side of the highway. The lights of the homes were a trippy setting for a jam session!

Foreign Land came together at one of our rehearsals. As best as I can remember, Dap was noodling on guitar during a break in practicing. It was an arpeggio in D minor he was picking out, and I remember feeling it had a strange, haunting, almost Eastern feel to it. I improvised some lyrics about feeling alone, and we jammed on it thinking hey this is going somewhere.

Brett came back in and heard what we were up to, and he was inspired to add his own arrangements and riffs to the tune, changing it up just enough so that it had extra polish. Garry laid down a chugging but effective bass line, with extra bits that punctuated the bridges nicely. Cameron added a suitably dramatic drum score and with a full set of lyrics - and getting over the obstacle of forgetting a whole verse that I'd written!! - the song was complete.

Foreign Land is my second favourite song of our catalogue. Like Deep Inside (which I now call "There's A Way"), the lyrics have personal meaning for me. They were prophetic, because they summed up how I felt about leaving my hometown, moving out of home for the first time and venturing into the unknown. Change has not been comfortable for me in the past, but I've had plenty of practice since!

So the song is about change and how it makes you feel; it's also about conformity, and encountering pressures from others when you're out there adrfit in the world and feeling vulnerable. It's also a call to stand up for yourself and resist the pressure to conform.

An early demo recording of the song has Dap (Dave Powter) shouting out one of the ending refrains, he was so excited to hear the song that he had originated coming together on tape. I love that moment, and I still have the demo cassette. A driving, pumping song with a strange feel and great backing vocals from the guys, this song sits fondly in my memories of my Indigo Rush days.

Lyrics (c) Anthony Tobin, 1997, 2011.

Driving down this road toward my home
I'm left with nowhere left to roam
Say goodbye, say goodbye to all I've known
And find a new way to be, yeah

Way to be, way to be yeah
Way to be yeah

Tailoring my soul to suit your scene
I'm not quite sure what this could mean
I make my mind with all I've seen
You try to give your thing to me, yeah

Thing to me, thing to me, yeah
Thing to me, yeah

Like a stranger in a strange land
I am guided by a foreign hand

Summer comes and so another night
Taking my sight, leaving me blind
The words I cannot seem to find
This is not the way it's mean to be, yeah

Meant to be, oh yeah
Meant to be, yeah
Mean to be, yeah yeah

Like a stranger in a strange land
I am guided by a foreign hand
Guided by a foreign hand
In a foreign land...

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