Portrait of a Song is a new series where the music makers explain how a particular song of theirs evolved. Our second installment comes from Woven’s Ory Hodis who recalls the rocky road to the making of ‘She Blows My Amplifier’. The eagle eyed amongst you may have spotted a review I did of this recently, it is quite something and when you read Ory’s account it will undoubtedly leave an ever greater impression. KD
Ory Hodis: “With Woven our song writing style is different with every song. Each song has a story, different parent combinations that give birth to it, and many experiences that nurture the inspiration. No song has the same birthing process. She blows my amplifier is the last track on our new full length, ‘Designer Codes’. Here is its story of how it came to be.
It was a rather dismal night. It was Halloween and I felt absolutely horrible – had just ended a six year relationship, and was a total wreck. I was the opposite of inspired. I could barely write music or talk about anything. I felt like I was a lower life form trapped in a dark, dreary dream with no light at the end of the tunnel. I would wake and sleep with the same thoughts. I was a heart broken amoeba. In the midst of this chaos we were playing a Halloween show at a warehouse party downtown, and my ex shows up as a pirate in the middle of our set. She was in the front row drunk as hell, dancing and crying to the songs I wrote for her. Damn she made a great pirate. When we played “My Conditioning” she grabbed my shirt pulled me to her lips, kissed me for the last time and ran out. That show was really symbolic, because it made it clear to us that we were not going to be together anymore. When I went home that night I wrote about my experience downtown. Later on that month Rich was jamming on the Rhodes alone in our control room, and it somehow reminded me of that night. I grabbed my laptop and started recording him. It was a beautiful synchronistic moment. I then started chopping out parts, and running the line through my arsenal of effects. I wanted the song to have an ethereal feeling that would dive in and out of the pain I felt. I knew that I could not rely on drums, definitely too earthy. I created feedback loops out of the Rhodes, to create a feeling of floating on clouds of razor blades. I pulled the loops out to give relief, and then put them back in to create the pain. It was a delicate balance of creating the feel of wanting something that you know would never work, and knowing that it was better that way and feeling a little resolve. I simplified my lyrics, so that it would be a mantra repeating exactly my experience downtown. I then sung the vocal tracks that night. I should mention, that I had a bad case of strep throat. All the whispering, cracks and imperfections in the song are there because I’m in pain singing, but am too inspired not to sing. I am a firm believer of trying to keep as many first takes as possible. I played the song for Johnny and he was inspired by it and said he had the bass line in his head already. The bass line just came out in one take. He added the energy the song needed. I then gave Steve the tracks. Steve always has an amazing ability to take a song into realms that I would not think possible. The bridge to that song was now born. I bounced a copy of it, and played it for my friend Lance. He said he had an acoustic guitar line in his head. I tracked him in his closet and the end was born. I think I love the end so much because the song eventually gets rooted back down to earth with the acoustic guitar and finally resolves. Loves a bitch, but in the end its worth the gut wrenching torture, if you come out alive.”