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.

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