« Song Exploder

Aimee Mann - Patient Zero

2017-04-21 | 🔗

Aimee Mann is a Grammy- and Oscar-nominated singer-songwriter. In the 80s, she fronted the band Til Tuesday, and in 1993, she released her first solo album. In 2017, Aimee released her 9th album, Mental Illness, and in this episode, she tells the story of how the song "Patient Zero" was made. I talked to Aimee along with the song’s co-writer, Jonathan Coulton. The interview was recorded in front of a live audience, on board the JoCo Cruise, a music and comedy themed cruise organized by Jonathan Coulton.


This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Listening to song explode, where musicians take apart their songs and piece by piece tell the story of how they were made. My name is recognition. Your way. sarasota sponsored by the new starbucks via energy drink. They want you to know that with calf. In naturally found in coffee, fruit, its energy, that's good. It comes in three flights, mango guava, raspberry lime and pineapple passion fruit each time. Whilst ninety calorie can contains a hundred sixty milligrams of caffeine. So I can give you a little boost. What are you trying to work through a creative problem or danced your favorites on starbucks? by energy drink is available online. A grocery stores, convenience stores and gas stations nationwide. This episode is sponsored by the official prince podcast, which is back with a new season in it. Here from the revolution and friends in Musicians, managers, production, designers and more here first hand stories about
everything that happened during the purple rain tour, both onstage and behind the scenes. How did prince deal with pressures of fame? Why was the tour abruptly cut short, listen now on apple pie casts or wherever you get your the cast any man, is a an oscar nominated singer. Songwriter in the aid is she fronted the ban till tuesday and in Andy Thracian released her first solo, album in two thousand. Seventeen Amy released her ninth album mental illness and then this episode, She tells the story of how the song patient zero from that was made I talked to Amy, along with the songs, corredor jonathan coltan. The interview was recalled in front of alive audience on board the joker crews, Is it an comedy crews organised by John difficult here's Amy man
on song exploiter via is an end to it. my name is Amy man this always originally written or in spain heard by meeting. Actor andrew garfield at a party I had seen him and social network of his big fan of social network, and I thought he was really great and husband was with me, so we met and we were very excited to meet him and we were talking, and it was one of these big I would parties this is but we're a spider man, so he had just sort of landed in los angeles and was completely freaked out by being around super famous people and huge amounts of money and studios like this. The whole thing seemed to be not his thing at all and so
That kind of gave me the idea for story about some who comes to hollywood real artists, with the promise that they're going to be in a big movie and then kind of gets chewed up. then spit out by more corrupt influences. The crimean voice memo on my iphone, I wrote it as a waltz. It was three for a time. You know. I love writing Walters. because they are so it came. Really easily for me, but it also because it was so much my bag is twisted guitar waltz time, that it
now that exciting to me, I thought- these something, but I just Didn'T- have any sense of perspective about it. and so you know I was kind of at the point where I knew that I had run out of ideas for it and thought, while just handed to somebody else for me this record. I wanted it to be very soft and who stick. Pressing melancholy and I thought I should have johnson, of course, I am all of those things sing his sad soft seven. these style vocals. I take that as a compliment. My childhood coltan- and I this
with Amy Amy, sending their voice bhamo end. I listen to it on the computer, my office and she had said the song is dead, May I can't make it go. You can do whatever you want. You can really record. I don't care it's a little. but I can't lose situation because if you come but something then great, and if you dont, then it was a piece of garbage. I was never going to use you're taking somebody else's song and trying to change it, what you do want to do is learning to well, because you will gets in the same right to fair and so I like to listen to it a couple of times just get it and then let it unfold the way it wants to unfold
france will respects like france. into four four came pretty easily to me because it once I started doing in that way, it made a lot more sense and the lyrics straightened out, and I dunno hills to describe it. It sounds a little pretentious, but it felt like it wanted to be in, for I thought it was great I loved it and it really What I was hoping it would do, which is complete, revitalize the song for me. It afforded me of a rhythm met, come as naturally to me, but made it more interesting, We finish this record last summer. My prayers
Paul Brian studio. We were going to keep its pretty simple, but this is probably the fullest production on this record. It's just irresistible, I mean you're in the studio in your, like. You know we Bobby should put some precaution: Gabriel rose play drums. He is such interesting drummer- and we wanted to have him play on this because he doesn't approach it like a drummer play the drum kids necessarily he picks drums sounds and uses are percussion that he thinks fits in with the song he's kind of an odd bar. As he was plain, I kept picturing the traffic going through LOS angeles.
like it was blocked going through veins, and I said something to have about, and he said that's what I was thinking that it was blood going through veins. He's got this very organic evocative feeling to him. Well now that there's percussion, you really want her. Some base Paul played on this song is my base player on the road. My name is Paul. Brian. On this check, I played an old nineteen sixties. Vocs base called a power for it's a pretty cheap basin. It doesn't, it seem very well, you can kind of here that attitude notes. I like this in a base, I'm very influenced by a bright players, and I think what a pity this adds personality then Paul is psych. Limited rights of string charts, so there's so called tinsel town in the rain by this ban,
the blue nile. It's another los angeles, some kind of evocative addressing flavour and it's got strings. and so I wanted to help it's kind of strings to certain of that originally, it was not. Gonna have strings on that many songs, but his charters, so fantastic and different, is the great ranger
that's jamie, edwards, that's Paul's, piano its steinway, that's old and dark sounding and sadness built right into it. Jamie, The person you can say this is what this is about. This is the vibe, and then he really rebel so. beautifully is, is the greatest. You know it's not a happy song, it's not that best that hollywood has to offer in the sun and also there's a lot of references to day the local since the raymond chandler, like the version of los angeles, that darker
more and more and more disturbing There's a lyric. That's refers to someone named carmen sternward, which is a character in raymond. Chandler. Novel and then stern, would probably pooh bear true for fun Sternward is the daughter of a wealthy man and she's, just a nut bag who it's a guy because it's hilarious and she's crazy, but it's really and implication of wealth and hollywood and beans. boiled narcissistic- has brought her to this. So I, But like it was a character that made sense to reference but as I was, writing it. I thought that sherwood and then after it was me Next, I realized it was the wrong thing, and so it came in and saying, stir my lead vogel, but we did not do it on the back row vocal. So you can hear that had sherwood on the back row, vocals
Governments were probably ball, their true good for fun or the song. It's dead fictional buds My brother in law sean ten. So there is an occasional brushes with movie stars seen, how they are and have been. conclusions about what is good about being a star, but maybe it is not too good for people. I think also just my own experience being a musician where the spanned I was, I was pretty popular for not very long, but I got enough of a taste of that to feel like I dont know how people do this, have and follow you home and get your. number and call you up and, like I know, understand how people cope with that. That freaked me out and so I think when I met andrew garfield and felt like it's a
you're a world. It really is a very strange world and you have to certain resources to navigate that world. So a word about him. You know, but that was partially based on my brief brush with aim. I came out after most of the songs put together to do the background vehicles He was just singing a little melody that either was really greatness and we should make that a bridge. And asked him to write words for the bridge such a constant gump close enough to laws starts its work, the line in the hills, the hope is such a constant companion felt like the topic sentence, the sort of
summary of the story, the other half of the couplet, is close enough to almost touch the lights of the canyon. I am not really that familiar with the geography of los angeles. So when I sent that I was an entirely sure what that would mean that was a thing that you could look and see lights in the canyon and It would mean that you were living in a place. That was a fancy place or less fancy place, I wasn't exactly sure what it meant, but I like I had heard other songs about los angeles talking about canyons and I was probably pretty safe in mentioning it, and if it was completely off the mark amy, but tell me firm ground to lost It didn't know that I wanted a particular sound in the background vocals
Don't really know where I got. This idea from, I think, probably more easy. Listening records from, like those seventies, scrubby Jonathan, florence, with his fellow vibes Amy man does not like the major seventh court. It has a certain cheese ball quality. I suppose, but I like it a lot I slatter my songs with major seventh courts. There is a point where it, we have put some layers on, and there were too many major seventh courts for Amy's comfort and so the first time through you notice it. Go to the major seventh. It goes all the way up to the tonic again, and so we the major seventh for the second time through it, makes him. Or of attention rather than statement,
by the end, if painted a picture it had sort of soundtrack elements to me of What this story was it. very los angeles at night and you see the lights in the canyon I want. To have a sense of compassion You know it's sad when good people can't negotiate, corrupt system, this person comes to hollywood and there like this is going to be great and it's just terrible, this dog, herbage and they have to leave. I mean it's a sad story, and now here's patient zero by e mail.
In its entirety, they, sir you shall live around when you landed someone candidature back from here on your face and soon smell. Eighty two as a hand, you rat dies. You look around and thank god name just smooth, then via this grand and word and July, to dispel this with some man. There were people via, thank god, just as well that day is filtered trends that ended up with you, pay due respect cycle. So to a moment, tat was doomed from the start
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Transcript generated on 2022-06-07.