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"Won't you take me for a ride?"

Introducing my new single, "Take me for a Ride," Falling May 31, 2024!


‘Take me for a ride’ is a classic indie rock banger in the vain of upbeat,  uptempo and high energy guitar driven rockers. It’s unashamedly what it is, dripping with pop culture references, outsider vibes, double entendres, irony and humour, whilst still delving deep into meaningful ideas and psychological themes of alienation and dissociation.

I must’ve rewritten these lyrics 15 times, as I sorted and sifted through the dirt, whilst panning for some small piece of gold.

Cam and I had shared a bunch of musical influences with each other and had a strong vision for the direction of the album from the get go, but in saying that,  I was still blown away when he first sent through the backing track for this one.I was reading Jeff Tweedy’s, ‘How to write one song’ book, which was really enabling me to trust my instincts again for writing, after a period of writers block and struggling with self worth, doubting that my narrative would have any meaning, place or purpose in our times. Jeff Tweedy’s book was a lovely reminder to trust again.

I’d been feeling like the ghost of a dinosaur, somehow extinct and yet still here. It was around this time, I came home from working as a funeral director, a job I’d taken during the pandemic when all the gigs disappeared over night. I had just got out of my car when my then 3 and-a-half year old son came running toward me saying, “I’m a meteorite and you are a velociraptor”  crashing into my joyous embrace. I was so impressed by the creativity in his language. It seemed like one of those catch phrases Arnold Schwarzenegger would say in a movie. I laughed out loud. I was impressed because I knew he had formed the idea for the sentence himself. It wasn’t simply parroted. My son loved that I borrowed and flipped his line for my song.

My writing found some liberation again and I started to have fun. For these reasons alone, ‘Take me for a ride’ will always hold a sweet place in my heart.

I got to pour everything freely from my brain onto a page and then edit it into a 4 minute song. Many of my favourite books over the years, ‘The fear of freedom’ , ‘Man and his symbols’ ‘Mythologies’ , ‘Enjoy your symptom’, ‘The shock doctrine’, ‘Manufacturing consent’ , ‘The beauty myth’ , ‘Beyond good and evil’ and ‘The medium is the message’ - that have been the cornerstones of my thinking since my 20’s; the dots that have predicted in some ways the outline of my thoughts.

Not to take away from the influence of experience of course - it’s definitely a combination - but I did set this song “back at the beach in 96” which is around the time I moved back to Bondi Beach and started my first professional band, ‘iris’

with Adrien Siboulet .I was a voracious reader at the time, like a man with his head on fire seeking a pond. I felt at the time that I was finally being born to myself after a tumultuous and emotionally challenging childhood. A very exciting time pre 9/11 and pre- social media; a time of free expression and of questioning everything, and gaining a whole new perspective on reality. My eyes were wide open!


For that which we take for granted makes us blind,  and I was taking nothing for granted. I’d given away my television set and the daily feed of sensationalized bad news and emotionally potent oversimplifications, and their somewhat louder and manipulative ad breaks with their advertising narrative light relief from the tension of the news and promises of immortality, toying with that side of us that is petrified of death and aging and differences. Media products of supermarket products promising some religious death defyingEaster Bunny reproductive, youthful virility- like the Spring itself born of Winter white.Venus and Adonis with their life affirming youth and beauty intoxicating our gullible natures, drunk with media consumption and political promises.

Oh the fools we are for a hint of security - anything to fill that void, anything to quiet the madness of peering into endless nothingness .Our vulnerability to our condition of yearning, that sub-conscious driving force toward conformity and need to be included in the group, our vulnerability to the promise of immortality through the reproduction of potent and all encompassing advertising symbols, cliche’s and political posturing that keeps us in a constant daze of self referential denial and language beliefs; whether through vitamins and refrigerators or fashion, hairdo’s and make-up. Whether through cleanliness and cleaning products where maybe we can scrub away our dirty thoughts, our dirty past, our imperfections, our very humanness; or through eating disorders, self harm or suicide where we seek at our own detriment some small piece of control from the chaos and endless jeering and belittlement , or the promise of science and endless erections , through fame and through social media, or simply the overwhelm and escape into dissociation. There where immortality and the fear of death are madly driving our minds and our loins bat shit crazy on a daily basis.

And our fear of freedom, our escape from freedom to run into the waiting arms of the strong man oppressor who’ll gladly stomp every part of us with his boot, that we may feel the peace of such masochistic certainty.

“The cultural work done in the past by gods and epic sagas is now done by laundry-detergent commercials and comic-strip characters”― Roland Barthes, Mythologies

“The frightened individual seeks for somebody or something to tie his self to; he cannot bear to be his own individual self any longer, and he tries frantically to get rid of it and to feel security again by the elimination of this burden: the self.

It seems that nothing is more difficult for the average person to bear than the feeling of not being identified with a larger group.”

― Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom


And yet such foolishness brings more life. It’s all necessary illusion driving us beyond ourselves ,  grist to the mill, getting us back up though we feel defeated; a blinding faith in life itself which keeps us so beautifully human.

  

Anyway looking back as I have done so much of these past ten years since my Mum died and the safety net of her was taken away, I’ve often found myself like Narcissus, staring into a pond of my own reflection, cringing at my perceived mistakes and things I’ve done in my past, wishing I had been better than what I was, cringing at my flaws and cringing at my youthful recklessness; the things I’ve said and done or the things I’ve written, or sometimes even just the clothes I wore or the weight I carried.

Like a snake that sheds its skin , and then looks back and feels ashamed or disgusted by the deadness of the thing that lay there lifeless, so was I shamefully looking at myself and yet like the parable of the monks that all paddled their canoes across the tumultuous sea to the island of enlightenment and then ridiculously carried those same little boats on their heads like iconic statues to honour the vehicle that had got them there, till finally one day they were asked, “Why? For it does not matter what path or what book leads you to enlightenment or self betterment, cast it off you no longer need it here.”

Or like in the great words of Aldous Huxley, “Rolling in the muck is not the way to get clean.”

When the life is living, and being , that’s where the virility is, that trust in the process, that being in the moment thing that inspired endless bumper stickers and self help books. That spirit of the moment blinding us, and it has to; for action brings understanding and understanding can kill action; for once we know how stupid something is we are less likely to do it.

And so the beauty of age is wisdom, which of course comes at a cost.


Throughout writing this album I’ve been in therapy, working to overcome health anxiety which got so bad at some points a few years ago that I had full blown panic attacks and had to present at emergency coz I was so sure I was dying. Working as a funeral director and dealing with death on a daily basis probably didn’t help that. ;)

The therapy got me reflecting on the events of my childhood; the building blocks of my anxiety. Feelings such as….. that by having my amazing, handsome and charismatic older brother Paul, I was somehow less good. His greatness meant that I was the lesser version. My therapist used the word ‘inferiority’. I went away and thought about it.The penny dropped, “oh my god, I’ve got an inferiority complex” - I laughed out loud to myself. It seemed to explain a lot. My always trying too hard, it’s kind of sickening and pathetic really, but also endearing and absurdly clown like and even helpful to a point.It has driven me to try harder and to continue a journey of self improvement. I imagine that most people would’ve given up on my impractical dreams long ago. For example my 2018 ‘Hell is Light’ feature film. I wrote , directed, filmed, composed, and marketed the whole thing on my own with no budget to its and my detriment in some ways and yet….. what I’ve lacked in talent I’ve somehow made up for in determination.

Only a madman would continue to produce music and art in the age of Spotify with its endless pit of wasted pearls.

And yet it all begs the question, “are we really destined to simply be consumers of ai produced content imitating the sum total of human creativity past ? Trapped in some kind of post modern existential pop art museum of Elvis and Marilyn, of Beatles and Stones , of Iggy and Bowie and Kraftwerk and Sly , Madonna and Tupac?

No surely we must continue to produce art and music and literature in a continuation of expressing the essence of our human experience and the sum

of our times ; that flawed and frail beautiful human voice.


And yet this song is some kind Warholesque Campbell’s Soup Tin celebration; some piece of trivial free thought association set to banging late 90’s and early 2000’s indie rock.  It’s just all so ironic and silly - I’m silly !!! It’s silly. We’re silly. Life is silly.

It is what it is!

It was fun to write and the enjoyment drove me on.The meaning is in the doing.My partner recently gave me a book for my birthday called ’The Daily Stoic’ and on page May 10 it reads“Don’t be inspired, be inspirational”.“Let us also produce some bold act of our own—and join the ranks of the most emulated.”—SENECA, MORAL LETTERS, 98.13b

So please become a producer of something rather than simply being confined to the role of consumer.We’re so bombarded with narratives on how we should think and be and act and our emotions are constantly being manipulated and played with. By becoming a producer it is our chance to speak back and to have a voice and the more voices we hear the stronger and more colourful the fabric of our democratic co—existence.

And as a bonus you just may get to know your own self better in the process. What do YOU really think?It is purpose and meaning enough just to know thyself at such a deep level. Speak back, say something, anything, don’t be afraid ! By permitting yourself you also permit others.

What does Walt Whitman say in ’Song of myself?“I celebrate myself, and sing myself,And what I assume you shall assumeFor every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you. Harbour for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard, Nature without check with original energy.”

And don’t forget Noam Chomsky’s now somehow contentious words on the freedom of speech,“Goebbels was in favour of free speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re really in favour of free speech, then you’re in favour of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favour of free speech.”

We are flawed, we are not perfect, but our innate need for free self expression is directly connected to our well-being and mental health. That we speak at all defines us as humans. Which is not an argument against ’Negative Liberty’ or ones right to live free from threat and harm, but it is a reminder that freedom of speech and expression is equally sacrosanct, we must ensure that the dance of that balance

continues it’s age old ballet.

Ok lastly....“Your haircut is better half done”This was the first hook that opened the song for me. Things unperfected are somehow best.

The more we obsess over perfecting things the more we lose the beauty and the thing itself.In the words of William Blake,“He who binds to himself a joy

Does the winged life destroyBut he who kisses the joy as it fliesLives in eternity’s sunrise”I remember many year ago seeing an amazing exhibition of children’s art.The art teacher said “it was all about knowing when to take the work away from the children, coz they’ll just keep going”So before they were finished, she would collect them - half done :)They all looked amazing :)

The other ‘perfection’ is nothing more than the marketing ploy to keep us enslaved to consumerism and self flagellation.We’ll never be perfect and always feel like we’re not enough.

The song expresses a longing to be taken for a ride because knowledge and experience has become such a burden.Understanding kills action!A longing to be fooled again, to be part of the group, to be somehow mindless wanting to be naive, to not know, to be willing to leap once more into the abyss and free fall through life unafraid and unaware.

If everything is killing you,If life itself is the primary cause of death,Then let me dance like no one is watching and other bumper sticker slogans, let me believe foolishly once more that I am immortal and yet...........such dissociation, though necessary at times is certainly not the answer either. Maybe there is no answer. And that is ok.

Ah!!!! Won’t you take me for a ride?

It’s all somehow ironic, a celebration and a critique of all that is beautifully flawed and human .

Unashamedly generation X and Xenial.

Drive or dive, ‘fall’ into the irony, the banging guitar riffs, and the poignant lyrics of "Take me for a Ride." I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it.

NOTE:

At the time of posting this to the world via the internet I was scared to reveal any weakness or humanness to those bots and their programmers who perpetrate perspecicide and to ai and its algorithms that may one day soon use these words and every word I’ve ever typed on the internet against me. Oh how even having such a thought is so mind-blowing; something that would’ve once only been expressed on the pages of a dystopian fiction, now don’t seem so unreal.

So if I do in fact post this, you can be sure if you are a human and feel these things too, that I was sharing this for you, so that you might feel more perfectly human in who you are.With heart always,

Andy

A few other quotes to consider if you’re interested......

“Life is a battleground. It always has been, and always will be; and if it were not so, existence would come to an end.”

― C.G. Jung, Man and His Symbols


“Electrical information devices for universal, tyrannical womb-to-tomb surveillance are causing a very serious dilemma between our claim to privacy and the community’s need to know. The older, traditional ideas of private, isolated thoughts and actions - the patterns of mechanistic technologies - are very seriously threatened by new methods of instantaneous electric information retrieval, by electrically computerised dossier bank - that one big gossip column that is unforgiving, unforgetful and from which there is no redemption, no erasure of early ‘mistakes’.We have already reached a point where remedial control, born out of knowledge of media and their total effects on us all, must be exerted. How shall the new environment be programmed now that we have become so involved with each other, now that all of us have become the unwitting work force for social change?”Marshall McLuhan, Quentin Fiore ’The Medium is the Message’ - 1967


“Guns and bombs kill people no matter who or where they are - the properties of physics are global. But an information weapon has to be tailored according to multiple factors: language, culture, location, history, population diversity. If you’re building a non-kinetic weapon designed for scaled perspecticide - the active deconstruction and manipulation of popular perception- you first have to understand on a deep level what motivates people.The most effective form of perspecticide is one that first mutates the concept of self. In this light, there manipulator attempts to ‘steal’ the concept of the self from his target, replacing it with his own. Often this involves gradually breaking down what are called psychological resilience factors over several months. Programs are designed to create unrealistic perceptions in targets that result in confusion and damage self-efficacy.

 

The most susceptible targets are typically the ones who exhibit neurotic or narcissistic traits, as they tend to be less psychologically resilient to stressing narratives.This is because neuroticism can make a person more prone to paranoid ideation, as they tend to experience more anxiety and impulsiveness and place more reliance on intuitive rather than deliberate thinking.

People high on the narcissism scale are susceptible because they are more prone to feelings of envy and entitlement, which are strong motivators or rule- breaking and hierarchy-defying behaviour.”Christopher Wylie (Cambridge Analytica whistle blower)Mindf*ck Cambridge Analytica and the plot to break America. 2019

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