Behind The Tracks: Prey Drive - ‘Shinjuku’ (Single) (2020)


Shinjuku was originally just an early idea our guitarist, Steve had written in his home studio. The demo was quite up beat and punky but had an interesting rhythm and time signature (7/8).

Paul (bassist) and I would go over to Steve’s once a week to write music together and gather ideas as we were trying to come up with songs for a fourth-coming E.P. We had 3 or 4 songs completed already and chose to tackle this idea next due to the different time signature it had. I’d written pages of lyrics from an inspiring trip to Tokyo (Shinjuku), but when recording the melody ideas, it didn’t feel right or suit the lyrical theme, so we tried switching things up.

I wanted to try something different with the song itself and try a different vocal approach by singing lower than I normally would. Trying not fall into my usual singing style, I gave all my lyrics to Paul and Steve and let them come up with melodies. It was refreshing to have a outside point of view in terms of notes that I wouldn’t normally sing, but the ideas we came up with were slower and nonchalant, so we doubled them up and added a shimmer reverb over the top. This ended up giving the song a whole different ’Shoe Gaze’, dreamy vibe to it. We then had to re-visit the whole track. We re-wrote a slower, reverb laden guitar line that was similar to the sound of a Japanese arcade machine, over the fast paced rhythm guitar for some juxtaposition. We also distorted the bass guitar to contrast the softness of the vocals.

At the time we had already picked and written our next single but when we finished ‘Shinjuku’ we scrapped plans for that release and recorded this song instead as it felt fresh and new to us.

The song itself is about constantly comparing your life to other peoples, always thinking they are ahead and that they have it all worked out, while you are stuck spinning in circles and never going anywhere. With current technology and social media I feel like everyone is thinking along the same lines and other people are ‘winning’ and display a picturesque life style. When in reality they just post a lot more pictures than you do, and tend to not post about the bad stuff! There is so much change in the world and everything is so fast paced now I just wanted to explore the theme of taking a step back and slowing down.

I used a quote “It can’t rain all the time” from the cult film “The Crow” as the lead line in the song. I thought this was an incredible metaphor meaning not to give up.

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