“I remember the past, I relive the pain, another worthless trip, wasted down memory lane”
Many years ago, I had this Tex Mex western movie riff on the high E string to add tension to what I would want a song to break into. Later, I was travelling on a plane, and I remember looking out the window when the chord structure for the verses came to me and it would remain roughly the same. There is a western movie in the inspiration of this song, though not any particular one.
No other song I have written would have so many completely different versions than Sad Times. Complete overhauls to the lyrics, the melody and the various chorus’s and bridges. It has been a blur of all the different arrangements. There is a version on LBS 1st album that is uniquely different.
“The sheer challenge of trying to mesh 4 different vocal ranges and arrangements to cohesive tell the story. The bass from after the instrumental break is really great. But for pure giggles, it’s the almost buried lead guitar riffs in the pre-chorus, if for no other reason than to drive Rob crazy”
A slower version was originally recorded in late 2015 and mixed. It was the second song completed after The King and the Killer. I was so completely dissatisfied with it that I left it un-listened to for months, knowing that it would be tossed out unless I did something with it. At some point I pulled it back into the console and began trying new ideas, new melodies, some new lyrics and I felt it had some life. The problem now, was the tempo. I convinced the band to re-record at a faster tempo. The good news was that the recording of the drums on that particular day was great and everything sparkled.
The vocals for me were an extremely difficult task as I needed to be lower and softer in the verses, louder in the pre-chorus, and at my complete range maximum for the choruses. Added to that, there was simply no place to breathe. I resolved both issues by singing every other line on a separate track and mixing the two tracks together.
There was a sloppy Gibby recorded riff in the pre-chorus that caused Rob much angst, so I practiced it over and over, re-recorded and kept it in the final mix, not very loud, but just to add some tension.
Second, only to Expensive Mistakes, the sheer number of mixes of Sad Times was massive. I simply just kept sending them to Rob until he was finally satisfied with whatever he needed to hear to keep Sad Times as a favourite. It is the only LBS song with a vocal fadeout.