Behind The Tracks: Waiver Wire - Brain On The Box (Single) (2023)

Brain on the Box is over 3 years in the making, the longest gestation for a Waiver Wire track, by far. It originally came about at the beginning of the pandemic; locked down and isolated from one another, the band was attempting to stay busy and productive by sharing files and collaborating remotely. Our then-drummer shared an instrumental track with us that immediately got my wheels turning. I wrote and recorded all of the lyrics and vocals in just a couple days and shared a nearly finished song with the group. I was extremely hyped about it and thought it had the makings of our best song to date. Sadly, that version of the band was soon undone by the pandemic and broke up not long after. By the time the band reformed with a new lineup, I'd all but forgotten it.
Fast forward to last fall, I was thumbing through my notebook and perusing old ideas when I came across the lyrics for Brain on the Box. The melodies immediately came back to me, and I decided to resurrect the song and write my own music to it. Once I had a solid outline, I brought it to the band, who quickly latched onto its potential and worked their collective magic to bring it to life. Their biggest contributions were to the intro and the breakdown section; in a bit of serendipity, their suggestions for the breakdown actually fit perfectly with some additional lyrics I had written and scrapped, so I resurrected those, as well.
Lyrically, I was trying to capture the feeling of trying to present a sanitized and "socially acceptable" version of one's self to the world, ala the "work persona" people feel compelled to adopt in order to remain employable. The line from the chorus "Caught the actors in the act" really sums up the theme of the song. As the (paraphrased) saying goes, the world is but a stage and we are the actors. This song grapples with that idea, and the way the true person feels struggling inside the costume they are forced to wear for public consumption.

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