TOTW #5: “I Know”
…And here we are at Track of the Week #5! If you’ve been following this series, you may have noticed that I’ve been alternating each week between Eric’s songs and my own. It’s another Eric week, so I thought I’d post about the Eric song which brought me into the band, and which seems to be his biggest “hit” overall:
“I Know” is a bristling, chugging, crunchy slab of indie-rock, draped with feedback and ethereal harmonies. It’s equal parts punk-metal and shoegaze, owing much to bands like Hum and Deftones, but with a melodic sensibility of its own.
Eric developed the song with our original drummer, Matt “Chuckles” Taylor, before we were an actual band. The two are longtime friends. Both are originally from St. Joseph, Missouri, and both relocated to Tulsa in the early aughts. Eric bought a house in Tulsa, Matt rented a room from him, and they used to jam regularly in Eric’s garage.
Eric played bass for an eclectic Tulsa band called Rewake in the early aughts. Given that I knew the guitarist in that band (I’m calling you out, Paul Benjaman!), that’s how I originally made Eric’s acquaintance. By the time 2006 rolled around, Rewake had more or less disbanded, I was starting to borrow microphones and other equipment from Eric for my own small recording projects, and Eric and Matt were starting to consider the notion that they might want to form a band around some of the material they’d been developing.
Some time after that they enlisted Andy Jenson — a mutual friend — to play bass, and I was invited to sit-in on guitar. “I Know” was one of the songs we played together during that first jam-session, and I’ll just say that “I Knew” that I liked what was happening here. It was an easy enough song for me to wrap my head around, and yet it contained some slippery moments that really caught my ear — like that serpentine chorus riff.
The song developed somewhat after I came into the band. I added some leads and harmonies, and of course I mixed the recording that ended up on our first album. Truthfully, it has continued to evolve a bit as our rhythm-section has changed over the years. (We are still friends with Matt and Andy, but they both moved out of Oklahoma, and we don’t see them often enough these days.)
Eric once told me that the lyric for this song is about a kid being taught how to shoot and kill. Perhaps he’s being taught how to hunt; perhaps something darker is happening. One can take the lyric on its surface-level, or one can read it as metaphor. It’s hard not to see, though, how it essentially boils down to a story about a boy being stripped of his innocence.