Thanks for your texts – send me in any freakin’ question you want via text message at 801-6-TEXT-CM. (801-683-9826) Include your first name. Or make one up.
my dad said your song “metaphor” gave him a headache. i told him it was because your songs are too lyrically elite for his feeble mind. was i wrong to say that?
I actually wrote that song to try and incite a headache in the listener, so I’m glad it worked. In actuality, that was a demo I recorded long, long ago. I’m amazed that you have it somehow. Or was it a Tuesday Tape? Either way, I agree with your dad. But I love the “waffle-house town” part. Here it is:
What was your inspiration behind the song ‘the mexican border’? And why is it so ridiculously amazing? -James Skipp
Thanks for the cool comment. I think it was about depression, in a way. I was in LA and practically suicidal for a while, not to bring the mood down. I was just so young and slowly becoming aware that the world is incomprehensibly tragic. OK, now I’m really bringing the mood down! It was weird though, I really didn’t think I would make it to 24. Pretty girls did not like me. Fast-forward a year, I was in SLC feeling like king of the universe. No sign of depression. Pretty girls liked me. Then I wrote that song about how life can go in waves like that, so if you’re depressed, just remember it will probably get a lot better, even if it takes a while.
Although, then it can get worse, too. I’ve had big rearrangings and uprootings of friends and family and my whole life multiple times now. It’s good though, you get stronger. You start to forgive people more, and realize we’re all just morons. There’s no fate or true love, you just have to do what you can. I’m lucky enough to have a couple lifelong friends too, which is really more than anyone could hope for. You know, the kind of friends you could make out with their mom and girlfriend at the same time and they would still probably be friends with you.
Wait, did I answer your question? Sort of. That’s better though, because I don’t want to explain the song too much. It’s more magical that way.
Chris, can i get the backstory/inspiration for the song “always on my mind”? its one of my favs! Also how old were you when you were in paperface (or when you recorded rock scissors)? -Jazz
Always On My Mind started as a bunch of gibberish, like on a demo. I just had the lyrics “always on my mind” in the chorus. The verses were a bunch of like, gibberish. Then I recorded a version with this awesome man named Carlos as Paperface was moving to LA. I don’t know what happened to that version, but it was really great. Then we tracked the version for Hello, Little Captain, and Carlos was going to track it again, but now we had this full band version of it, with Chris Walvoord (drums) and Fuji (bass) and I was going to track the vocals, and I thought, “oh crap, I need some words to say when I sing these notes”, a.k.a., “lyrics”. So then I thought, what is always on my mind? A special lady who I love and crap? Like that hasn’t been done eight million times. So I figured I would make it about money. I was broke in Orange County at the time. The OC. Don’t call it that.
As for Paperface, I was like 19 or 20, MAYBE 21 when we recorded Rock, Scissors. Crazy. Freaking crazy. Eight years later, I still think that’s a great little record. It deserved more attention. Jake Thro, Tristan Siple and I were a special trio (I think we probably weighed 300 pounds all together at the time). I do feel like I’ve improved since then, too, which is a good feeling. That’s my only goal, really, to get better. I was young, so I couldn’t write lyrics to save my life. Anything about love and life on that album is just embarrassing because I didn’t know anything about either of those things. I was I also misused words and didn’t really put much effort into lyrics in general. There wasn’t much meaning behind most songs. The vocal performances are all one take. The melodies are all above average, but all over the place, and too many notes. The time signatures are interesting, but almost arbitrary. All these things, not necessarily bad, and maybe part of the charm of the record, but I care about those things more now.
Although, I’ve got to say, the biggest lesson I get from hearing that record now – I LOVE the strings on that record, which I wrote, and Angela Baird (college girlfriend) performed. Why haven’t I been putting strings on anything since then? WHY?? It sounds so great. Next record. Virginia Is For Hoverers (Part III). Strings all over the place. Don’t let me forget.
what are “the legends of the potions” from that nick and kat wedding toast song? Im so intrigued. I want to hear a Chris Merritt song about them ala She Wolf or Sanctuary. Thanks! Chris McCulloh, of the Indiana you played a show for us we will never let you forget McCullohs.
Thanks for your question! I will never forget you guys. That was a blast. I hope we can come back soon. Please tell your mom I said hello! The ‘legend of the potions’ is a pretty inside reference. As a kid, my brother and I had two cousins, Nick and Francis, who were our age. I don’t know how it started, but we used to go visit them every summer in Arizona. It was such an amazing time. It was sort of like, the older brothers, me and Francis, vs. the slightly younger brothers, Andrew and Nick. Francis and I would make these ridiculous “potions”, as we called them. We would mix things together – anything we could find that was interesting (bathroom chemicals, cleaning chemicals, bird crap, black widows, spider eggs, soda, wine, medicine) and try to get insane results. I remember once we mixed a bunch of stuff together and our resulting potion burned our skin and melted a plastic spoon! It was nuts. Once, we made a brown potion and put it in the freezer in a YooHoo bottle, and Francis’ dad found it thirty minutes later and thought it was YooHoo. Man, I’ve never seen him so mad.
So anyway, then Andrew and Nick started making their OWN potions. We started trying to steal each other’s best, most prized, potent potions. Then we started hiding the potions from the other “team” and making secret maps with codes and stuff so we could find them later. We started booby-trapping the potion hiding places, with sometimes disastrous results. We’re talking big injuries. I remember one incident, for example, we had a “fake” potion (not one of the really good ones) hidden in a tree, to distract from the real hiding spot, with some kind of pulley system that triggered concrete blocks to swing down. It worked a little too well. We got in trouble. I remember actually feeling bad because Nick or Andrew got hurt pretty bad. There were lots of broken limbs when we visited Nick and Francis!
Dear chris merritt, i know funds are low but are you planning on playing in utah any time soon? It would be nice… Your fan, jess dimas
Actually, I funds are NOT low! I don’t even know what to do with all my funds. I’m eating sushi a lot and buying nice suits. Wait, no, you’re right, I just checked, they are low. Anyway, yeah, I need to get out there. We’re having a booking meeting tomorrow. Thanks for your question!
Hey can you post some of your sheet music up on your website?
In time, my friend……..in time.
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