Life Itself

Album: How to Be a Human Being (2016)

Songfacts®:

  • The first single off How to Be a Human Being was inspired by lead singer Dave Bayley's own experiences on the road. He told NME: "Do you ever play that game where you see someone on the street or in an airport and you start wondering who they are? Someone who doesn't quite fit in, or maybe they look a little shifty. And you start imagining what they do, where they live, who they speak to. We've had a mad couple of years living in a bus, waking up in a different city every night, seeing and meeting all of these characters, hearing the strangest stories, and getting in trouble. Totally surrounded by people… It only seemed natural to write about that. 'Life Itself' came from that."
  • The subject of the song is a weird man who can't get a job and becomes odder as he spends more and more time alone. Dave Bayley explained the lyrics describe, "a guy who was born a bit strange, and struggles to become part of society. Because of that, he spends more time alone in his own head, getting stranger, and it becomes an awful cycle of doom."
  • The song features a more boisterous, raw, percussion-driven instrumentation than Glass Animals have used before. Bayley told NME that playing to bigger crowds has changed the band's sound for the better. "As the crowds got bigger, they got more feral," he said. "And we got a bit more feral. We reworked all of our songs into heavier, grittier versions. Now we're pushing that energy into some of the recordings."
  • The How to Be a Human Being title came very late on in the album recording process, after everything was done. Bayley told HMV.com: "I woke up one day and it was in my head. It fitted really well for so many reasons, but it was lucky, really lucky."
  • Many of the songs on How to Be a Human Being were inspired by conversations Glass Animals would have with people while on tour and the stories they'd tell. The character behind this track went through a few changes in the recording process. "We kind of realized that maybe this character as scripted had more of a playful side to him, and it would be good to inject... rather than the kind of angsty side that's there," Bayley told ABC Radio. "There's another way of playing the song that is just piano and vocal and slowed down, and it actually sounds really sad. But I like the way we ended up doing it. It's a lot cheekier."
  • The drums on this song were inspired by Bayley's obsession with Lollywood music (music from Pakistani films).

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

dUg Pinnick of King's X

dUg Pinnick of King's XSongwriter Interviews

dUg dIgs into his King's X metal classics and his many side projects, including the one with Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam.

What Musicians Are Related to Other Musicians?

What Musicians Are Related to Other Musicians?Song Writing

A big list of musical marriages and family relations ranging from the simple to the truly dysfunctional.

Bryan Adams

Bryan AdamsSongwriter Interviews

What's the deal with "Summer of '69"? Bryan explains what the song is really about, and shares more of his songwriting insights.

Chris Isaak

Chris IsaakSongwriter Interviews

Chris tells the story of "Wicked Game," talks milkshakes and moonpies at Sun Records, and explains why women always get their way.

Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders

Chrissie Hynde of The PretendersSongwriter Interviews

The rock revolutionist on songwriting, quitting smoking, and what she thinks of Rush Limbaugh using her song.

Allen Toussaint - "Southern Nights"

Allen Toussaint - "Southern Nights"They're Playing My Song

A song he wrote and recorded from "sheer spiritual inspiration," Allen's didn't think "Southern Nights" had hit potential until Glen Campbell took it to #1 two years later.