Ooberman - The Magic Treehouse

( Skip navigation )

TMT » Songs » Heavy Duty »

Songs

Heavy Duty

Heavy duty, heavy duty, heavy duty hardcore
Heavy duty, heavy duty, heavy duty hardcore
Heavy duty, heavy duty, heavy duty hardcore
He's going up for the high score

Heavy duty, heavy duty, heavy duty hardcore
Ever since I was a kid, I had to get the high score
Heavy duty, heavy duty, ripping up the dancefloor
He's going up for the high score

It's not enough to come, it's not enough
No, it's not enough to come, it's not enough to come

Second is for losers
Second is for losers
Second is for losers
And I'm not a quitter

Heavy duty, heavy duty, heavy duty hardcore
Life is such a lonely mission
This is what you're here for
Heavy duty, NishiKoi, WaterRats, heavy duty hardcore
Heavy duty, heavy duty, heavy duty hardcore


He's going up for the high score

It's not enough to come, it's not enough
No, it's not enough to come, it's not enough to come

Second is for losers
Second is for losers
Second is for losers
Second is for losers
Second is for losers
Second is for losers
Second is for losers
And I'm not a quitter

Hardcore

Heavy duty, heavy duty, heavy duty hardcore

Second is for losers
Second is for losers
Second is for losers
Second is for losers
No!
Second is for losers
Second is for losers
Second is for losers
Second is for losers
Hardcore
Heavy duty, heavy duty, heavy duty hardcore
Heavy duty, heavy duty, heavy duty hardcore


Written By:
A. Flett
 
Found On:
Heavy Duty
Hey, Petrunko plus...
 
Quotes:
Andy: There's nothing a fat A&R man can do to squeeze it out of you. I was sat at home one winter evening, feeling stressed out and annoyed with the way our first album had been sidelined by the media, whilst mediocre shit dominated the charts. Our label's initial promise of being in it for the artistic long-haul over a number of albums had been shown to be actual lies and worse, they were currently on a power trip, toying with us like idiot giants over whether to take up the next album option, depending mainly on the chart position of Shorley Wall. So when Radio One asked us to edit the word bastard out of Shorley Wall for "heavy rotation", we felt a glimmer of optimism. But of course, after doing the radio edit, the hint of a playlist position never materialised and besides, even if it had, the NME had successfully inoculated the indie mindset against us. It felt strange then going out on tour to promote Shorley Wall last spring what with our backs to the wall and with Independiente being almost comically shitty with us. The tour was a godsend for us, though. Every triumphant gig was like two fingers up to the fools while the vibe from the fans re-established the reason why we were doing this in the first place. I was sick of trying to write songs aimed at daytime radio and the bovine mainstream for the sake of that elusive crossover hit that would line Independiente's already gilt edged pockets. I was also tired of writing songs with the music press flapping in the back of my mind like the cultural carrion they are. I tried to write what I felt obliged to write but to be honest, those negative motivations just weren't productive. I mean, how could they ever be? What was productive was this. I decided to please myself. So I stopped writing and turned the telly on. As I was half watching Robot Wars on TV a couple of freeform strands of thought became magically entwined. I watched the ludicrous shiny metal robots bump and grind in their fight to the death to the delirious excitement of the youthful audience. Then an old PP3 9V battery from my distortion pedal caught my eye. It had a minimalist solid design, proudly proclaiming Roland, Heavy Duty for Musical Instruments. It was an instant icon. It even had some oriental writing on it and this all fit in with the Tokyo cool of robots and arcade games. I imagined a game so cool that it needed Heavy Duty batteries to play it. This smoothly connected to a guitar sound so loud you needed Heavy Duty batteries in your stomp box to play it. Cool. Now I was cooking with gas. I had a choppy chord sequence knocking around (originally it was a ska tune I was toying with) and I started strumming and singing Heavy Duty, Heavy Duty, Heavy Duty Hardcore... over it and it worked. Adding hardcore conjured up images of an ultra-dedicated gamer, a high score obsessive, maybe a serious music fan. The porn connotation was just a juicy bonus. I wanted a furious tempo, blazing guitars and lots of quick fire sections like Ooberman songs of old. By then I had a mental image of exactly what the song was going to be about. It was firstly a soundtrack to a Tokyo kid's obsessive pursuit of the high score (a latter day pinball wizard), where for this kid, coming second is for losers and he cannot tolerate that. Secondly the pursuit of the 'high score' must be a subconscious expression of my desire to continue this crazy game of being in a band trying to break through despite the sheer odds against it and how failure is not an option like, "yeah, we'll show those bastards!" In fact you can look at any high octane driven occupation and see that they're all chock-full of people chasing their imaginary high scores. I don't mean that in a greedy '80's yuppie way, no, more like it's a mental attitude. Something forced into you through years of stress, insecurity and hard work. My first draft lyrics introduced the competitive office worker as the song progressed, but as the lyrics took shape (thanks in no small part to Dan's editing) they became more simple, approaching some essential hook that you can shout on the dance floor. Repetition is the key and it seemed disingenuous to try to shoe-horn too much into the lyrical content which makes a change because I like to waffle (as you must have realised by now...) So that was that. Despite all the shite going on preventing me from song writing, by relaxing a little and looking for what was essentially fun, I'd managed to channel my frustration and zeal into an immediate tune. I can't take credit for it of course because it all came together by itself while I was staring into space. One of the things we've always done is record our own b-sides in a combination of our rehearsal room and front rooms. That's why they sound lo-fi. Every recording gets us nearer to musical self reliance and one day we'll record an amazing album on the cheap and rake it in as the doubting record companies lose out and say a collective 'whoops'. So with Heavy Duty. In the rehearsal room I recorded Al's kit onto our trusty Roland 1680 multi track using an array of mikes mixed down to a stereo pair for simplicity, after all this is actually a demo. A bit of short delay echo helped here to beef things up a little. Guitar wise I decided to use my Telecaster for a Graham Coxon-esque tone. This was a departure from my usual Gibson-Marshall combination but I like the results... After the drums and guitar overdubs were done I got Stevis round to my house to piss the neighbours off with his bass riffery. Sorry neighbours, but the groovy bassline was worth it. The tempo is fast and furious and if you listen, you can hear Steve trying to keep up with Al. That said, for such a bassline, it took remarkably few takes so cheers Stevis. After that I went in to the digital world of editing and fine tuned the arrangement by cutting and pasting an extra instrumental section after the third "second is for losers" chorus. The 'Roland' is cool for wholesale edits like that. Back in the rehearsal room I recorded Dan and Soph's vocals. We experimented with getting pissed to get that authentic shouty indie club vibe. Well, that was Dan's excuse. As it turned out we later re-recorded Dan's vocals as several industry bods initially mistook the line "Quitter" for "Queer". In fact, the industry types have only ever heard the old version and probably aren't even aware of this new version with the new mix. Then came a breakthrough. Dan was messing around with a vocoder like setting and hey presto, the robotic intro just happened. The good thing about the vocal effect was that you could play the pitch using a keyboard via midi. Later we discovered that you could get a bizarre spacey whooshing sound by vocoding the feedback produced by holding the mike near the speakers then putting the whole noise through surround sound echo. We then had loads of fun spicing the recording up by multi tracking shouting on bits like "Hardcore". I've always loved bits on other songs in indie clubs that encourage drunken anthemic shoutalongs. The new mix was a great development too. We discovered you could insert effects to the master mix, and a bit of compression suddenly tightened everything up and made the mix sound like radio airplay in the way it squeezed the dynamic range in that FM way.


« Back to Songs