Outer Space / Carry On

Album: Sounds Good Feels Good (2015)

Songfacts®:

  • "Outer Space" was written by the four 5SOS guys with producer John Feldman in San Simeon, a tiny town on the Pacific coast of San Luis Obispo County, California. They wrote and recorded the tune on the beach, sitting around a fire at midnight. Feldman explained to Fuse TV: "I go there a lot just to clear my head. I wanted to take the guys up there. There's no [cell] service. There's only one hotel, a little cheap Best Western or something. We went up there for a day."

    "We went out and plugged into this little pre-amp and recorded the whole song in two takes on the beach, at midnight. It was actually in a parking lot. I gave Luke a mic, I had my laptop on the hood of my car, and he nailed the whole thing twice. Ashton sang the really high Queen vocal once in the bridge. We just recorded there."

    The next day Feldman and the guys wrote "Carry On" together, looking at the ocean. He explained: "This idea just came across like, 'Everything is going to be alright.' When you're kids and you're standing up to the machine that is the record company that's investing millions of dollars into your band, and you've got a management company that's got the biggest band in the world that they also represent and you're standing up to them too, after five months of standing up for yourself for what you think is the right record, standing up against people who are much older and much more successful than you are, you get burned out. We were doing 120-hour weeks for months on end. At the end, it was like 'Eh, it's a good day. Carry on!' It's not like we're digging ditches. We had this flip in mentality: It's not like they're working at Starbucks or Nando's. 'Wow, as hard as this is, we're doing what we love.'"

    "We looked at the ocean, we looked at these mountains, and we wrote this whole song with stacked, Allman Brothers, Cat Stevens harmonies. (Canadian singer-songwriter) Simon Wilcox came in and we finished the whole song."

    "I had Luke sing that song at 10:00 in the morning, and he was so sick he couldn't sing high, so that's why the key is as low as it is. We wrote and recorded the song outside looking at the ocean. It was all very real."
  • Drummer Ashton Irwin told Billboard magazine about the recording of the song: "It's proper old-school producer style. At the end of it, you'll hear some ocean," he said. "There was a man who came up to us and asked us what we were doing, and you can hear his footsteps in the track, which I think is cool."

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