Drum + Fife

Album: Monuments To An Elegy (2014)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This fast-paced percussion and flute-laced tune features Mötley Crüe stickman Tommy Lee banging the drums. The cut was originally a folk song. "We really had a problem getting it off its almost dour Irish balladeer aspect," frontman Billy Corgan told NME. "And I must give a lot of credit to Tommy Lee, because he's the one who turned the corner."

    "Without saying it he was reacting in a way that told me he thought it was a bit boring," he continued. "Tommy loves energy. Tommy wants to feel excitement. So he's playing the song and he's like 'I know this is a good song but it's just not working.' And he said to me 'Do you mind if I tinker around with it?' And so he got on the computer and used his experience in dance music and kind of turned the corner and found some loops and some beats and suddenly I was like…'wow'."

    "It's almost like mid 80s new wave or something and it reminded me a little bit of early U2 or Big Country," Corgan added. "The open strut made the Irish ballad part of the song come alive and have more of a expansive quality and from there on it got a lot easier."
  • Asked by The Wall Street Journal what the "I will bang this drum til my dying day" chorus means, Billy Corgan replied: "I don't know. [Long pause.] We were once a nation of individuals, and if you [as an artist] could bash your way through the gauntlet, and come out the other side with your individualism crystallized, there was a great promise [and an audience] in America."

    "I don't think that's there any more. We've set up a sociopathic system of celebrity that is like a disease that's not going to be easily killed off. In the spirit of the American individual, I'm one of the few left standing that actually has a life, a personality, a history. Sometimes my path led to a lot of idiocy, but I'm not going to turn around and swim back. I'm going to swim on."
  • The song's music video shows children engaged in desert warfare. Billy Corgan said of the clip: "I asked, albeit in an allegorical way, for the video to represent what our returning soldiers are going through with PTSD, and I feel that the directors captured that with poignancy. I couldn't be more proud of the message we're sending that we care what happens to those that are out there hurting."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

How "A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss" Became Rock's Top Proverb

How "A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss" Became Rock's Top ProverbSong Writing

How a country weeper and a blues number made "rolling stone" the most popular phrase in rock.

Gene Simmons of Kiss

Gene Simmons of KissSongwriter Interviews

The Kiss rocker covers a lot of ground in this interview, including why there are no Kiss collaborations, and why the Rock Hall has "become a sham."

Alice Cooper

Alice CooperFact or Fiction

How well do you know this shock-rock harbinger who's been publicly executed hundreds of times?

Jon Oliva of Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Jon Oliva of Trans-Siberian OrchestraSongwriter Interviews

Writing great prog metal isn't easy, especially when it's for 60 musicians.

Phil Hurtt ("I'll Be Around")

Phil Hurtt ("I'll Be Around")Songwriter Interviews

Phil was a songwriter, producer and voice behind many Philadelphia soul classics. When disco hit, he got an interesting project: The Village People.

Why Does Everybody Hate Nu-Metal? Your Metal Questions Answered

Why Does Everybody Hate Nu-Metal? Your Metal Questions AnsweredSong Writing

10 Questions for the author of Precious Metal: Decibel Presents the Stories Behind 25 Extreme Metal Masterpieces