While You're Young
The tune for this song was actually one of the very first I wrote, back when I was about 11 years old. As with all the tunes I wrote back then, I didn't come up with the lyrics until much later. I knew I wanted it to be a tribute/loving parody of the Blink 182 song "What's My Age Again?" (hence the similarities in the structure and arrangement) but it took me quite a few years to find the right balance of irony. Some of the original lyrics I wrote were pretty crass and judgemental, so I'm glad I ended up re-writing them to be a bit more sophisticated, and not quite so 'anti-kids'!
The pre-recorded live sounds we added were Joe's idea - the middle section sounded a bit empty without them, and I like the little joke at the end where the cheers end when the guitar is unplugged (so everything is turned off at the same time - even the fake crowd!). It's a bit of a departure from my usual style (I can't think of any other songs I've recorded that don't feature a piano, my main instrument) but I'm think it's a track you can sing along to and enjoy even if you don't know the song it's spoofing.
Grumpy Old Man
Both songs on 'Young & Old' are told from the perspective of someone who has a rather low opinion of today's youth, and I have to admit that sometimes that's me! It just seems that kids nowadays do, say and get away with things I never would or could have at their age. While I find their sense of entitlement and general rudeness very depressing, I have to admit there's also a small part of me that envies their confidence.
To counter this dreary viewpoint, I thought I'd write an incredibly bouncy tune to go along with it! I think Joe did a great job with the deceptively simple (but actually quite intricate) rhythm parts, and I think the key changes I came up with work really well, particularly in the guitar solo.
Fun fact: this song features my kazoo-playing debut! I wanted some 80s style horns for the instrumental verse after the second chorus, but Joe suggested giving the kazoo a try, so on our lunch break we popped into a local music shop and bought one. I was initially skeptical, but after coming up with a couple of phrases that worked and recording several layers of it, it ended up sounding so funky and different we just had to keep it!