Understood

Album: When the Wind Forgets Your Name (2022)
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Songfacts®:

  • Daredevil Evel Knievel infamously attempted to jump the Snake River Canyon in Idaho in September 1974. Knievel built a steam-powered rocket called the "Skycycle X-2" for the jump, which he hoped would propel him across the canyon. The jump did not go as planned and the rocket failed to achieve the necessary lift to clear the canyon. Knievel parachuted to the bottom of the canyon, narrowly missing the water, before the rocket crashed on the opposite side.

    Built to Spill frontman Doug Martch finds a powerful metaphor in Evel Knievel's failure to clear Snake River Canyon. "Knievel attempted that stunt in my hometown of Twin Falls when I was 6," Martsch told Mojo magazine. "I like the idea of his failure, the image of him floating down the canyon in a rocket."
  • Built to Spill released "Understood" as the second single from When the Wind Forgets Your Name, the band's first album for new label Sub Pop. Martsch worked with the Brazilian rhythm section of Le Almeida and João Casaes of the psychedelic jazz rock band Oruã on the record's nine tracks. Martsch's temporary bandmates also assisted him with mixing the album.
  • Evel Knievel was famous in the 1960s and 1970s for his daring motorcycle jumps over cars, buses, and other obstacles. He became an iconic figure in American popular culture. Other songs inspired by the legendary American stunt performer and daredevil include:

    Stoner's 2021 tribute to Knievel, "Evel Never Dies."

    Radiohead's 1995 track "High And Dry," which uses Knievel as a metaphor for success and failure.

    The video for Kanye West's 2006 single "Touch The Sky" portrays Ye as a character similar to Knievel.

    In B.o.B's 2010 single, "Magic," the rapper compares himself to the daredevil performer ("I break all the rules like Evel Knievel").

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