The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
Fri., Oct. 6. 2023 1:54pm EDT
J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX here again.
Here are the stories behind the songs on our 20th single of 2023:
GET THE BARBER STARTED
Way back on February 17, 2003, I got the idea for spoofing "Get the Party Started" as "Get Your Heart Restarted," and those words set to that music rolled across the big screen in my mind like tumbleweed from time to time over the next 19 years. I thought we might follow through at some point ... until I got the idea for "Get the Barber Started" on July 8, 2022. It's one of the reasons we decided to expand our Samson rock opera (already a work in progress at the time) to a full album.
Nevertheless, I didn't really work on the lyrics until the summer of 2023. Both parodies contained the phrase "Time's running out" in the chorus, but that was the only similarity between them.
With her insistent, incessant interrogation, double-dealing Delilah proved persistence pays; the Philistine rulers each gave her 1100 shekels of silver. That's an expensive haircut! Of course, they were paying her for intel — she subcontracted the barber. Unfortunately, it was even more costly for Samson.
"Get the Barber Started" was the first time Keith Haynie's daughter Abby handled all the lead vocals on one of our recordings, although she'd shared those duties on "Bought by Egyptians" in 2016 and "I Think We're in Rome Now" in 2022. She did all the backing vocals on this one, too. As I've said before, Abby sings like a bird, with a voice as clear as a bell, but she really had to step outside of character to portray the conniving Delilah. We were tickled pink with her performance.
YOU CAN CALL WEIRD AL
It probably seems strange for somebody who is 6'6" to say people are talking down to him. However, in ApologetiX, I always presume we're operating with two strikes against us, whether it's a churched audience or an unchurched one. With the secular folks, there's an 0-2 count because we're attaching unfashionable, biblical lyrics to somebody else's beloved music. With the Christian crowd, there's the double stigma of using unsavory, secular music and the lowbrow, dubious art of parody.
Consequently, I feel the onus is on us to write, sing, perform, and produce to the very best of our abilities. Then our critics might grudgingly say, "I don't like what they do, but at least they're good at it."
I got the idea for this parody on November 7, 2019. Before we put it into production, I made sure George Elliott was willing and able to help us on bass. The funky bassline in "You Can Call Me Al" is unbelievable. I'm a former amateur bass player (emphasis on "amateur"), and I don't know if I could play it even if I devoted the rest of my life to learning and practicing that song exclusively. Of course, it came as no surprise to me that George aced it. Thankfully, he liked "You Can Call Me Al" and actually knew it already. In fact, he was excited about the opportunity. But I was even more excited.
I thought of ApX alum drummer Bill "Moose" Rieger while working on my lyrics, because he was the first person I ever met who knew all the original words.