It's Only Paper

Album: Fire Away (2010)

Songfacts®:

  • This is the first single from Latin fusion collective Ozomatli's fifth studio album, Fire Away. The song features Hawaiian singer-songwriter Jack Johnson and warns against over consumption.
  • In our interview with Ozomatli bass player Wil-Dog Abers, he talked about how they hooked up with Johnson: "We've known Jack since Jack's been making records, and we've always been cool. He has a studio called the Solar Power Plant here in L.A. that's fully self-sufficient with solar panels. It's a green studio, if you will. And we're there all the time. So he just happened to be next door editing a surf video, and he walked in and heard we were struggling with writing a song, and he came in and came up with a really beautiful chorus for it. He's like, 'I've got an idea.' It came out really natural."
  • Speaking about the message of this song, Wil-Dog told us: "You know, there's so many ways that you can look at it. But it's really about, a guy that's struggling with that. Because in a capitalist society, the more money you have, the more power you have, and the more rewards for you. Like, how much are you worth? I think that's the funniest question. 'He's worth over ten million dollars!'"
    Ozomatli is from Los Angeles, and when we asked Wil if he encountered a lot of people in the entertainment industry who fit the description of the man in this song, he replied: "You know what, most people in the entertainment business are not wealthy, and that goes for most people in any business. There are very few that are. L.A. gets a rap for being that place, but, L.A.'s made up of 95% working class people, raising their families. That's what L.A. really is."
  • Ozomatli take their name from the Aztecan word for the Aztec astrological symbol of the monkey, which is also a god of dance, fire, the new harvest, and music.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Songs About MoviesSong Writing

Iron Maiden, Adele, Toto, Eminem and Earth, Wind & Fire are just some of the artists with songs directly inspired by movies - and not always good ones.

Yoko OnoSongwriter Interviews

At 80 years old, Yoko has 10 #1 Dance hits. She discusses some of her songs and explains what inspired John Lennon's return to music in 1980.

Scott StappSongwriter Interviews

The Creed lead singer reveals the "ego and self-fulfillment" he now sees in one of the band's biggest hits.

Max Cavalera of Soulfly (ex-Sepultura)Songwriter Interviews

The Brazilian rocker sees pictures in his riffs. When he came up with one of his gnarliest songs, there was a riot going on.

Tom Waits Lyrics QuizMusic Quiz

Pool balls, magpies and thorns without roses - how well do you know your Tom Waits lyrics?

Gary Louris of The JayhawksSongwriter Interviews

The Jayhawks' song "Big Star" has special meaning to Gary, who explains how longevity and inspiration have trumped adulation.