“And down along the barbed wire, the sirens rang high, it was late and we were tangled in love”
Dog Days was inspired by the 1989 uprising in Tiananmen Square China. It occurred to me that even during a revolution or war, you could still fall in love
It was written fairly quickly with most of the original lyrics still intact over the various changes in the music. A recording on LBS’s first album would feature a multi-tracked effect of various noises to generate the feeling of a revolution. The re-worked 2017 version would have an additional bridge that we affectionately referred to as the ‘Sabbath bit’, that both Rob and myself need to keep asking each other of the chords. The big change came when Rob came up with this funky bass riff that changed the course of direction on the song and a new melody was needed. Dog Days has always been a workhorse, easy and fun to play and has not caused near the woes to record as the others would. The only odd thing is that every time I sing the final pre-chorus, I am always wanting to push the song into another key as I feel this need to make a key change, perhaps if I was a much better singer, I could do that, but alas I am not.
“The bass work following the noisy guitar section, it’s like pulling up on the emergency brake and spinning the car around 180 degrees”
Many versions and mixes making Dog Days one of LBS’s most mixed songs. Despite how easy the drums and bass were to record, the guitars and various different vocal arrangements meant there were many different paths to take the song and completely different feels. There are many mixes to choose from and on occasion when a different mix comes up on the potential playlist, I second guess that perhaps that should have been the mastered version.
Some of the melody and additional pieces were done at the time of the mix and the finished product was a bit of a surprise to Rob and Lisa. The “ohhh dog days of august” was a throw in at the time I was recording vocals, just to amuse myself before I could start verse 1, and they just stuck. Songs with lots of options are the more difficult ones to mix as they need to be nailed down. A song like The King and the Killer, I simply said, I want it to be like a jet leaving an air craft carrier, and the sound never changed. With Dog Days, we could go in several different directions, and it would be a song that I wish someone else would just take control away and say this is what you need to do.