You Won't Be Happy With Me

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Overview

Release Date: 
03/23/2010

My grandparents were ornithologists, even during the war. My grandfather, stationed in Japan, did intelligence work for the army collecting data on Japanese birds and bugs. He walked shirtless through the jungle so they could study his mosquito bites.
They had pet opossums and owls, collected wild mushrooms, made their own jellies and wine. They knew the names of everything in the forest, high and low to the ground. In the sixties, they retired and bought a small house in the hamlet of Saranac Lake, in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. When they died, as grandparents do, my father inherited the house, and it serves today as an incredible sanctuary for my family and friends from the strains of daily life in the city and the suburbs. It's where I go when things get too tight.
The house sits between Baker Mountain and Moody Pond, adjacent to a forest of ferns and evergreens. There are hummingbirds, woodpeckers, porcupines, bears, and giant spiders that hunt on the back porch. There are BB guns and slingshots, an old church organ, creaky rocking chairs, deep and tattered rugs, candles in mason jars, a giant framed photo of a puffin, and a vast library of books on all matter of flora and fauna. There's a bar in town were everything costs three bucks.
It seemed the ideal location to record an album. Dylan and the Band did it in Saugerties, NY (near Woodstock), Roadside Graves would do it in the far less hip and more remote and lonely Saranac Lake. Two songs from our last record were written there- "Take a Train" and "Valley". This is our first recording session in the house, hopefully with many more to come. Our engineer Daniel Schlett and guitarist Rich Zilg lugged up an entire studio's worth of recording equipment, built a control room on the porch, and the band played live in the living room.
Typically Roadside Graves songs are written and then presented to the band. On this EP (with exception of HEART) the music and lyrics were written at the same time. The dirt and scuffle are still present, but the songs are dark and diverse. After having had the chance to tour the country these past few summers we’ve come to expect and attempt to embrace each other’s quirks both personally and musically. Before recording I joked that I wanted the EP to sound as if Daniel Lanois recorded the Ramones doing Magnetic Fields covers. I think we were close. The songs are about relationships and how complicated and awkward they can be. Strangers sleep with each other every night. How can you tell when they stop being a stranger? You have to wonder sometimes, whom is this person sleeping next to me? If they knew what I think vs. what I actually say would I be worried? Would I want to know how they really feel? Would they be happy with me?
-Jeremy Benson, John Gleason