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Feel Good Drag by Anberlin
Album: New SurrenderReleased: 2008
This track was originally included on Anberlin's 2005 breakout album Never Take Friendship Personal. In 2008 the Florida-based quintet re-recorded the track for their New Surrender set. Vocalist Stephen Christian explained this was because the tune "was at the end of one of the records we put out 3 years ago and we never ever thought it got the shot it deserved."
The Music Scene Today
asked Christian how the revamped version differs from the original one. He replied: "The guitars are just thick and heavy and just dirty and huge. Vocally, we took a minimalist approach. Almost like punk rock, you know? Just like a raspy and intense passion instead of clean auto-tune. It's not clean anymore. It's a very dirty song."
Christian told Artist Direct the story behind this song: "The whole underlying theme is talking about going into a relationship that you know is destined to fail. It talks about lies and crush that allow you to go into that relationship but in the back of your head. It's kind of like cheating, like she's dating someone else or you're naïve to how something works. With naivety you just get sucked in. That's the song. There's that underlying story—just being a nice character walking into a relationship."
The re-recorded version was released as the first single from New Surrender
. After 29 weeks on the Billboard Modern Rock chart, it reached the summit, meaning that Anberlin broke the record for the longest trek to the #1 position since the chart's 1988 inception. On the Billboard Modern Rock chart dated Feb. 20, 2010 French band Phoenix's 1901
reached the pole position in its 31st week on the tally, thus usurping Anberlin's achievement.
Christian explained to Artist Direct the reasoning behind the New Surrender album title. "I think that the last record was very introverted, a little too introspective. I wanted to address a lot more things. I feel like in everyone's life there's something that they know they should give up or have to give up in order to correct their life. For a kid, it can be television. For someone else, it can be cigarettes or even fear of failure. In each of our lives, we are going through the next step towards our dreams. The definition of the title is going to be different for each and every person."
This was named 2009's "Rock Song of the Year" by radio industry trade magazine FMQB.
was produced by Neal Avron, whose resumé includes Rock acts such as Linkin Park and Disturbed as well as Pop stars like Sara Bareilles. Speaking to us in a 2012 interview, Stephen Christian
described Avron as "a mathematician," adding "he is a genius when it comes to songwriting, and so the fact is we just learned from him." According to Christian, Anberlin had "never, ever worked harder on a record than we did with Neal Avron. It was grueling, it was tedious, but it was so stretching and pushing that we felt like it propelled us as songwriters and musicians."
This song has been on Anberlin's set list for a number of years now, but Stephen still enjoys performing it. He told us: "My favorite part of the entire set is just looking at the crowd and watching them and seeing this whole sea of momentum. And 'Feel Good Drag' is one of those songs that will continue to push the crowd into a frenzy. And that's kind of the goal of the music is to make you feel something. And for me, that song still makes me feel."