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  • Writer's pictureIan Galipeau

Creation Stories: Where It Begins

Updated: Feb 7, 2023

This is one of the more intense songs on the Like We Were Never Here At All. It’s a meditation on the cultural and societal forces that shape us... the beginning verses are meant as the whisperings of a metaphorical devil on the shoulder - telling us to doubt ourselves, and encouraging us to accept the worst stereotypes about our world. Violence is built into your core. Fear and weakness are your nature. Strength does not indulge in emotion. Failures must be absorbed and suppressed. You know... all that bullshit.


One of the elements of the lyrics that I’m proud of is that the last line of each stanza rhymes with the first line of the next one. The 3rd verse’s last line would, following that last/first rhyme, lead back into the first verse, creating a cycle. Instead, the 3rd verse explodes into that breakdown solo section, which then resolves into a quieter fourth stanza - a plea for help to end that cycle.


Dynamically, each verse grows more intense as the song develops. My good friend Sam Vendt killed the drums on this track, and his part really helped bring the vision for this song to life. I spent a lot of my high school and college years listening to Dave Matthews Band, and the way this song grows, I definitely had the song "Don't Drink The Water" in the back of my head. (And I hope, in saying that, you'll hear inspiration and not plagiarism...).


The song is played in drop D tuning and based around the main guitar riff that opens the song. It sounds more difficult than it actually is, like any of my hard-sounding guitar parts... It's mostly played on open strings. The structure of the song is rather unusual, in that there's no real chorus - just verse and a simple chord structure, with a riff between them. The whole song is 3 chords, and 90% of it is just a D chord without a 3rd. It was fun to write over that simple base though, as it allowed me to do some weird things with the melody. For my theory-appreciating readers, some of that tension comes from the melody shifting between the D minor and D Mixolydian modes... the 3rd varies between major and minor, depending on where I am in the verse.


It took me a long time to settle into the final arrangement for this song, as I was struggling to make the guitars sound as big as the drums do. I tried doubling (and tripling) the main riff with more guitars, but it wasn't having the desired effect. After a bit of experimenting, I landed on a second guitar part that could compliment and sit behind/beside that riff. I feel like the contrast fills the space well. I am still not completely happy with the mix, but that's because I mixed this one, and I only kind of know what I'm doing. One more fun fact about "Where It Begins" - playing this song at my release show was absolutely one of the highlights for me, and it made me want to assemble an actual band to play with. I'm not about to do that on a regular basis... but it made me think about it more seriously than I have in years.


"Where It Begins" is track 9 on my album Like We Were Never Here At All. Listen here.



Lyrics:


Brother, don’t you know

Violence is the end you’re meant to seek

Boiling in the blood that runs beneath

Sister, don’t you see

You were born and baptized in the flames

Guilt and fear are burned into your brain

Father, don’t explain

All of your regrets and broken hopes

Bottled up like marrow in your bones

Mother, make it end

Break the cycle right where it begins

Save us from these demons trapped within





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