In His Own Words: BLACK ADIDAS – My Favourite Song
by Walter Price
How’s the pandemic treating you? Have you already or are you gearing up to vote? How have you been managing your sanity? Lots of pertinent questions to be topped off with this last one, “Do you like your rock n roll flavored with pinches of Social Distortion, The Pogues, and Dropkick Murphys? Well then, Black Adidas, the Los Angeles-based purveyors of modern punk rock, just dropped a raw and emotional fireball called “My Favourite Song” that’ll move you. And in a generous and detailed account, vocalist Courtney Ranshaw shares with the GTC all the backstory.
In his own words, “I was really going for that old-time rock and roll or blues allegoric songwriting (If I’m using that term correctly). Where the obviousness of the song is just a wink to what is underneath. I always found that great about a lot of classic songs, think Shake, Rattle and Roll, or any song by the Stones. Cheeky, but not crass, I wanted this one to be a bit fun in an otherwise pretty dark and serious time.
“And like most good singles, It’s here and it’s done before you know it and hopefully, you’ll want another spin or two. Musically, I really like to play with the boundaries between what punk is these days, and how it can be a little different. Something other than a simple collection of power chords, which don’t get me wrong, I write a lot of those too. But one thing I never do is underestimate the power of the tambourine.
The songwriter continues, “When COVID hit and we went into lockdown, it was a real strange moment for artists. I really compare it to the Twilight Zone episode where the guy is all alone in the library to read all the books he can, and then he breaks his glasses. We finally have that time to create, but nowhere to rehearse, record, and share. Especially at the beginning, we were really staying away from each other to the extreme. But as we started to get used to this situation, I figured I’d reach out to my friend and long time collaborator David Newton and see how he felt about some studio time.
“I was actually surprised that he didn’t hesitate for even one second to say come in, let’s make a record. And that was it, we Brough Kari in for half-day to lay down the drums, and then the 2 of us just went at it. It was really an amazing time. I kinda felt like we were the only 2 people still at it, though I’m sure we weren’t. Everything you hear in the song was two friends making a record.
“And when Dave produces a song, he knows me pretty well, lets me do my thing, and will ever so gently either encourage something or back me off a bit. He’s made more great records than I’ve even written songs probably, so when he adds something to the song, you need to listen. Little things like “I really hear some harmonies on the chorus, mind if I do them?” Or “don’t shake the tambourine during the verse, just hit it on the downbeat. We’ll shake it over the chorus for better effect.”
“For the guitar solo, he suggested using his 60’s telecaster so we could get a different tone to really stand out against my rhythm guitars. All the little things that I love so much about going into a studio and making music, we got to experience while the world was locked down. Something about that is what I think I hear in the song, and what gives it a character that is hard to describe, but hopefully easy to feel.”
And you can stream this sonic dynamite, produced by David Newton and featuring Kari Child on drums, now at the GTC.
MY FAVORITE SONG
+ Be Cool
Artist photo via Facebook
Produced by David Newton
Written by Courtney Ranshaw (C) 2019 Thalassocracy Music (ASCAP)
Black Adidas is:
Kari Child (Drums)
David Newton (Backup Vocals)
Courtney Ranshaw (Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Tamborine, Egg)
Recorded and Mixed by David Newton at Rollercoaster Recordings, Burbank CA.
Mastered by Mark Chalecki at Little Red Book Mastering, Eagle Rock CA.
I heard you on the radio
So glad I picked you up
Been driving so long
To the same old song
That tape cassette got stuck