The Acidic Herman Dune Brothers
David-Ivar Herman Dune talks to SUPERSWEET about making the majority of new studio album Next Year In Zion in one take, how horn parts sound better played on a horn, as opposed to, say, an electric guitar for example, and that opium can make you feel really, really strongly about staying put for a while. Just say no kids…
1) MY HOME IS NOWHERE WITHOUT YOU
David-Ivar Herman Dune:
Once I got the chorus, the song was pretty much there, I mean, the chorus was what drove the whole song. I remember this show in Providence, Rhode Island, I did opium with Turner Cody, and we thought about staying there for good. I mention that night in the song.
2) TRY TO THINK ABOUT ME
I wrote the song with a Calypso sort of groove. Then in the studio, Dave, the guitar player (who knows me very very well), complained that my "signature beat/strumming" wasn't on the album. I couldn't sleep that night, and played the song with different chords and a different beat. First thing we did in the morning was cutting the track. It's a first take.
3) WHEN THE SUN ROSE UP THIS MORNING
I love Muddy Waters and this songs comes from his 'Blow Wind Blow' where he's like: "When the sun rose up this morning / I didn't have my baby by my side"
, everything goes wrong for his character since he woke up without his woman I kind of felt the opposite way one day, and wrote the song around that feeling of being unbreakable.
4) WHEN WE WERE STILL FRIENDS
I used the Babyskins the way Cohen uses backing vocals on this one, and of course a lot of people mention him about the song. But apart from the vocal texture, I was more writing some kind of a country tune when I wrote this. I learnt to deal with the end of friendships along the years, but it still hurts when it happens, that's kind of what the song's about. I wrote the horn part on guitar, and when the horns came in and played it, it really gave me the chills, hearing my theme played by these great musicians was amazing.
5) ON A SATURDAY
Again, once I got the chorus, the song was there for me to write, pretty much. I love that Surf kind of beat that Neman plays on it, and, man, Those high notes that Kelly hits on trumpet at the end, they are incredible. Saturday is a very special day for me, I try to read and study on that day. It brings me a lot of joy, and I needed a song to express my gratitude.
6) MY BABY IS AFRAID OF SHARKS
I think this is another "first take" in the studio. The feeling was right right away, and we didn't feel we needed to play it again for the recordings.
7) LOVERS ARE WATERPROOF
I love playing this song Live and get people to follow the story and everything. Again, the horn part I wrote sounded a lot better that I could possibly Imagine when the Jon Natchez Bourbon Horns played it.
8) NEXT YEAR IN ZION
The title track. The Jews in Exile prayed to spend the next holidays in Jerusalem for thousands of year, and it never happened. At the end of a friendship, saying "see you next year in Zion,"
is kind of a way to say, "see you in a thousand years, when everything is different, and all the deeds are undone"
. Although based ona sad feeling, it was a very fun song to write.
9) SOMEONE KNOWS BETTER THAN ME
Dave's guitar is incredible on this one, and The Babyskins did a supergreat job timing their phrasing on mine. There was a great vibe in the studio that night. I wrote the song at my parent's place in the woods in the North of Sweden.
10) MY BEST KISS
Sometimes it's hard to get a song right without a chorus or a recurring rhyme or no particular pattern. This song is driven by the melody, and the repeat of the last line of each verse. I guess it's the first time I use this kind of structure for a song, it made me want to use it more.
11) BABY BABY YOU'RE MY BABY
Neman (Herman Dune, drums) started the song so fast. I couldn't believe it when we were playing it. It totally took my mellow love song to another place. But I really like it this way. I love throwing names of cities in my songs. They sound so different from regular words. They are like someone's name, except that a lot of people kind of can relate to them.
12) NOTHING LEFT BUT POISON IN THE RAIN
David-Ivar: My father had never been in a recording studio but I think that I was more stressed out about it than he was, when he came in to record his vocals and his Harmonica... What a great moment for me, to see him there. He's such a great musician and singer, I was a little scared that he wouldn't like the song. One thing with this song, eople think it's about the environment, but it's about poluting your life with sour feelings, resentment, bitterness and sorrow. Well, I guess something wasn't clear enough in the way I wrote this.
Illustration: Richard Forrester