Competition

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[Digital Download]

Track 1 from Plaid On Flannel's 2013 album Vol. II: Mission Of Mercy

Performed and produced by Nolan Randall

Mixed and mastered by Hector Viola

Words and music by Nolan Randall

We're only human and we don't know
where we're gonna go from here
It's time to realize that someday
we are gonna disappear
Too many winners keep on losing
and they don't know what to do
Maybe they went to far and
tried to bite off more than they could chew

The competition will phase you
in ways you'll never forget
Trying to remember how it seemed so immaculate
The competition will phase you
in ways to make you upset
Can't find a shadow when you're in Colorado
And you forged your own silhouette

You try to figure out
why someone told you who you outta be
Another guy will tell you
who you are and he will disagree
Given the circumstances
you should not worry about a thing
Two balls and one strike is an indication
you should try to swing

The competition will phase you
in ways to make it a threat
Trying to calm down every time you smoke a cigarette
The competition will phase you in ways
You're pouring out sweat
Can't find a shadow when you're in Colorado
and you forged your own silhouette

Got a second wind, got another chance
Got another glance at failed romance
Fighting off the curse, go ahead and see
Go ahead and start your own philosophy

© Copyright 2013 Plaid On Flannel

*Song Description By Noles*

There are certain songs that work quite well as opening tracks for albums. The types of songs that get right to the point, and introduce the listener to the journey they're about to embark on through an album. "Competition" is one of those tunes. The writing of "Competition" was scattered over the course of a couple of years from 2011-2013. In the early days of Plaid On Flannel, I was writing new songs while I was recording tunes for POF's debut album Fairbairn Meadows that I wrote mostly in the 2000s. Many of them were acoustic numbers. And leaning more towards folk rock. But since I wanted to make hard rock songs I could play with a band, the new material I was writing had more teeth to the tunes. The first part of "Competition" I wrote was actually the outro of the song. Written sometime in the spring of 2011. This part was influenced by Deep Purple's "Child In Time" and Rush's "Anthem".

The next year, Plaid On Flannel's debut album Fairbairn Meadows was released on July 1, 2012. I subsequently wrote a big batch of songs to be featured of POF's sophomore album. After writing about a dozen tunes, I wrote most of the music for "Competition" on August 29, 2012. I began producing the Mission Of Mercy album on September 4, 2012. With 20 songs on the record, it really is like a double album. When I finished the first 10 tunes, I felt like the next 10 were a completely new album. I was inspired by System Of A Down's Hypnotize/Mezmerize 2005 albums when it came to this concept. The first 10 songs recorded for the Mission Of Mercy album were softer and more acoustic-based. So I wanted to make sure the next 10 songs were rockers that I could play in a rock and roll band.

The lyrics for "Competition" were written on January 12, 2013. The words address the competition we all face in our daily lives. With friends, family and co-workers. But from my perspective, it was the competition I faced with other musicians. I think the moral of the song's story is that competing with other people as a level of comparison is detrimental to one's own personal growth and potential. We compete with each other when we really should be competing with our own selves to get better. "Competition" was finally completely written when I came up with the verses for the tune. Those verses use the E-minor pentatonic scale with the guitar following the vocal melody. That was inspired by the styles of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. But in a modern sense, it was influenced by Wolfmother. They use lead vocal and guitar in unison quite a bit.

I began recording "Competition" on January 23, 2013. The song is filled with guitar riffs and solos. In a lot of cases, the guitar solos blend in with the riffs. I finished recording "Competition" on February 1, 2013, and the Mission Of Mercy album was released on May 20, 2013. After I moved to Toronto from Peterborough in September of 2013, the Plaid On Flannel band started on February 15, 2014 as a 3-piece. "Competition" was one of the first original tunes that I brought to the band, and it soon became a staple at live shows. We never recorded the song as a band, as I was never pleased with the way that specific personnel grouping played the tune. "Competition" is a song I would like to play with a band again if given the right personnel.