Better Place

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[Digital Download]

Track 12 from Plaid On Flannel's 2018 album Vol. IV: Independency

Performed and produced by Nolan Randall

Mixed and mastered by Hector Viola

Words and music by Nolan Randall

All in all, what we need is covered out there
On the wall, from the lies we see everywhere
Big or small, many things we need to prepare
Hear the call, of the people we want to spare

What is true? What are we to do?

View the border, new world order
Lost in a fall from grace
Make the motion, state the notion
We need a better place

In the street, silent people carry no weight
Feel the heat, of the foolish world they create
Take a seat, wait for this to all dissipate
Friends we meet, look for something to celebrate

Walking through Parkdale Avenue

View the border, new world order
Lost in a fall from grace
Make the motion, state the notion
We need a better place

View the border, new world order
Lost in a fall from grace
Make the motion, state the notion
We need a better place

View the border, new world order
Lost in a fall from grace
Make the motion, state the notion
We need a better place

© Copyright 2018 Plaid On Flannel

*Song Description By Noles*

It usually starts with the riff. I wrote the music for "Better Place" on March 4, 2018. The thunderous guitar riff was where the idea for the song started. Much like with a few other songs from the Plaidalog, the guitar riff follows the chord progression of the song's chorus. Those riffs usually happen after I've written the choruses of the song. Typically writing the guitar riff last before finishing the writing of the whole song. But it was the other way around for "Better Place". The guitar riff wrote the chorus. It's a riff that moves around and uses some arpeggios. The bass guitar really growls while playing along with the riff. Similar to the style of Rage Against The Machine riffs.

In the late spring of 2018, I was entering the home stretch of finishing the Independency album. With a few songs to go, I wrote the lyrics for "Better Place" on June 11, 2018. The lyrics were fueled by the politics in North America at the time. Doug Ford had just been elected premier of Ontario, and Donald Trump had been president of the United States for about a year and a half at that point. These so-called politicians were complained about constantly by the media and public. It was Ford's election that fueled the lyrics to "Better Place". I try to stay away from politics in my music out of respect for the fans who have differing opinions. I don't want my music to represent that and divide people. But I couldn't help but analyze what was going on at the time. There are a few other politically-based songs from Independency, but "Better Place" was the most political of them all. The real message though is how we need to do a better job in our society in the 21st century. We've evolved too much for everything to be this out of place.

I started recording "Better Place" on June 12, 2018. It was the lowest register I had ever sang lead vocals on. I wanted to do something different and make it sound spooky. The low lead vocal gave a lot of room for a backup vocal. The chorus backup vocal is an octave above the lead vocal. That was inspired by System Of A Down's "B.Y.O.B.". The "Everybody's going to the party" part of the song has a backup vocal like that. The verses have a harmony vocal in the style of Alice In Chains. Those verses also have a variety of chord combinations and melodies.

There are a few different types of keyboards used throughout "Better Place". Because the guitars are playing power chords, I needed other instrumentation to bring out the harmonic qualities of the chords. The pre-choruses use an electric piano, and the choruses use a regular piano. The guitar riff and 2nd verse use an organ that sounds rather scary, and provides lots of colour for those sections.

For the guitar solo, I did something I had never done before. Near the beginning of the solo, I used a tri-tone. A tri-tone is known as the "devil's interval" because it sounds satanic. Music students were banned from playing it back in the classical days. The combination of notes are 6 semi-tones apart. So it's between a perfect 4th and perfect 5th. Black Sabbath used it on their riff for "Black Sabbath". So the "Better Place" guitar solo was the first time I had used a tri-tone, and it made the song even scarier.

I intended for all of these spooky elements to illustrate the place that we live in. Rather than the better place we need to go to. I finished recording "Better Place" on June 24, 2018, a little over a month before finishing the Independency album. This is a song I've never played with a band, but would love to eventually play live!