10. The Substance Of Nothing
Here's another song that went through radical changes. From the start, though, this proved to be our most popular song.
I believe this was the fifth song that we wrote as The Moon Is No More. It was probably the first that we really struggled with. So much so, that I believe we moved on to the next song before we were truly satisfied with it. I can remember sitting in Joshua and Angie's bedroom/music room rewriting and rewriting, trying to come up with something that would work. Joshua deserves a lot of credit for polishing up some of the lyrics, more so on this song than probably any other. He always had a knack for a catchty chorus and that's what propels this song to its heights of popularity. Who can resist the brotherly dual-vocal of "we can make / we can make amends / we will be / the best of false friends / the best of false friends"?
In the end we took a variety of lyrics and fit them all in together. It has some of the original mid-tempo verses, the killer chorus, the stream of consciousness stuff, plus, my favorite, the old school part. It became a trademark that whenever we played this song we'd get to that part and I say, "Play the old school part; the way you used to do it." It's funny, because kept getting added, but never trimmed. Some of the later verses could probably be cleaned up a bit. The only thing I can remember cutting was the opening spoken word of "Oh, Billy!" Joshua felt that was a little over the top.
And who can forget Angie's classic interpretation of the chorus: "we can bake / we can bake some bread."
In a way, this song is more like the later songs in it's sheer length (sometimes clocking in at 7 minutes, usually 9, once it was 11) and jam-ness. There is a bit of variety in the music, with four or five distinct parts. That's one of the things that sets this song apart. That's why cleaning things up and trimming it down is kind of a toss up. Yeah, it can get tighter, but maybe it works purely because it's different.
One thing that I've noted from people's reactions to this song, beyond their love of the chorus, is their true connection to the lyrics and the message. Usually it's women that comment on how true the concept of "making amends" with "false friends" is. Every single one of them is like, "That's me. I've done that." I'm proud that it rings true. It is true.