Heavy Cross

Album: Music For Men (2009)
Charted: 37

Songfacts®:

  • This was the lead single from the Portland, Oregon alternative rock trio's fourth album, Music For Men. Guitarist Brace Paine described it to Spin magazine as "basically like Donna Summer singing a Bauhaus song."
  • The single was especially successful in Germany, where despite never reaching #1, it broke the German record for the longest selling track in chart history, having spent 97 weeks on their top 100.
  • The Gossip were the first new band to be helmed by Rick Rubin since he was installed as an unconventional co-head of Columbia Records in 2007. Dazed and Confused magazine asked him how he knew that he wanted to work with The Gossip. Rubin replied: "When I first saw them, it felt less like a concert and more like a party. It felt like a celebration, and I liked that. You could feel that everyone - the band and the audience - were very much on the same page. I just want to find music that I feel emotionally connected to. I really love the Gossip's music. It' really unique and everybody in the band is great."
  • Paine told Spin magazine about working with Rubin: "He came in when we were laying down instrumental tracks, and he loved everything we played. He helped us a little bit with arranging, because that's one of the things we're not too good at. We're open to new sounds, but sometimes it just turns out that our songwriting is verse/chorus/verse/chorus. We never went to music school, and neither did he, yet he understands the structure and mathematics of a song. We have one song that's just a bass line going over and over, and he was like "keep repeating, keep repeating." It was really cool. It was great working with him because he was just a hilarious guy, too. We would just hang around and listen to records. It was fun."
  • Paine explained the album title to Spin: "It's a poke at people who would say that we were a band for girls. There were a few times when guys would come up to me and say, 'Oh, my girlfriend loves your band.' So it was a funny take on that."
  • Vocalist Beth Ditto explained this song to the NME June 27, 2009: "I know so many amazing people who devote their lives to undoing things, and I feel that's the essence of punk now because punk's already been done, it's old. It's about recreation and my friends, who I feel like are the ultimate creative re-creators."
  • Paine told The Quietus how the writing dynamic worked on Music For Men: "Beth (Ditto) likes me have full reign, she trusts me and my tastes and what I was doing. Hannah (Blilie) did her drum tracks in a week, and I stuck around for a month and a half just building and building on her drum tracks. I'd be emailing Beth tracks, and we went on from there. It felt like a true collaboration."

Comments: 1

  • Emma from Adelaide, Australiathe opening rift sounds exactly like "edge of seventeen" by stevie nicks...hmmm
see more comments

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.

Billy Steinberg - "Like A Virgin"

Billy Steinberg - "Like A Virgin"They're Playing My Song

The first of Billy's five #1 hits was the song that propelled Madonna to stardom. You'd think that would get you a backstage pass, wouldn't you?

Jimmy Webb

Jimmy WebbSongwriter Interviews

Webb talks about his classic songs "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman" and "MacArthur Park."

Millie Jackson

Millie JacksonSongwriter Interviews

Outrageously gifted and just plain outrageous, Millie is an R&B and Rap innovator.

Phone Booth Songs

Phone Booth SongsSong Writing

Phone booths are nearly extinct, but they provided storylines for some of the most profound songs of the pre-cell phone era.

Corey Hart

Corey HartSongwriter Interviews

The Canadian superstar talks about his sudden rise to fame, and tells the stories behind his hits "Sunglasses At Night," "Boy In The Box" and "Never Surrender."