Heroes & Villains

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[Digital Download]

Track 3 from Plaid On Flannel's 2017 EP Get On!

Produced and mixed by Ruben Huizenga

Mastered by Michael Kossov @ Aurganic Studios - Toronto, Canada

Personnel includes:
Nolan Randall (Vocals/Guitars)
Jen Doyon (Keyboards/Vocals)
Les Cassling (Bass)
Minas Hatzigiannatzoglou (Drums/Percussion)

Words and music by Nolan Randall

I make amends with the odds and the ends
Seems like the end, now what do you recommend?
I sleep away when I walk in the dark
With all the journeys that I will soon embark

Heroes and villains goin’ through my mind
Feelin’ I have more to prove
Lookin’ for what I might have left behind
With so little left to lose

To travel far while you’re against the wind
Know where you are when you’ve committed a sin
It’s all so easy never feelin’ no shame
This time tomorrow, I’ll be feelin’ the same

Heroes and villains goin’ through my mind
Feelin’ I have more to prove
Lookin’ for what I might have left behind
With so little left to lose
Heroes and villains goin’ through my mind
Feelin’ I have more to prove
Lookin’ for what I might have left behind
With so little left to lose

Flow into a bridge of hope, it’s never my concern
What I see in front of me may not ever return
Through the fear and into the light
What I’m aiming to learn
Fascinating objects of life I guess I’ll have to earn

All of the perpetrators work alone
So they don’t get caught while they’re in the zone
Follow your leader but don’t imitate
Better to be early than to be late

Heroes and villains goin’ through my mind
Feelin’ I have more to prove
Lookin’ for what I might have left behind
With so little left to lose
Heroes and villains goin’ through my mind
Feelin’ I have more to prove
Lookin’ for what I might have left behind
With so little left to lose

© Copyright 2017 Plaid On Flannel

*Song Description By Noles*

The origin of "Heroes & Villains" can be traced back to my Peterborough days. I wrote the music for "Heroes & Villains" on July 16, 2012, shortly after I released Plaid On Flannel's debut album Fairbairn Meadows. The lyrics for the song were written later that same month on July 29, 2012. "Heroes & Villains" was originally recorded for POF's sophomore album Mission Of Mercy. The initial recording of the tune started on November 19, 2012 and finished on November 27, 2012. The entire 20-song Mission Of Mercy album was released the next year on May 20, 2013.

I moved to Toronto in the fall of 2013 and eventually started the Plaid On Flannel band on February 15, 2014 with Les Cassling on bass and Adi Taylor on drums. "Heroes & Villains" was part of the 1st batch of original songs I brought to the new band. Using a capo on the 1st fret of the guitar, the song is in the key of G. It became a mainstay in our live set immediately. We even played it at our first gig on April 24, 2014 at The Sister on Queen West in Toronto. When Jen Doyon joined the band on February 22, 2015, she added a great keyboard effect to the tune that sounded like a distorted synthesizer. The timbre of that keyboard sound basically played the role of a 2nd rhythm guitar. People have said that "Heroes & Villains" reminds them of Deep Purple. And the keyboard does sound like something in the style of Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord.

The verse rhythm of "Heroes & Villains" punches on the offbeats and really chugs along as a headbanger. I deliberately played the guitar a bit behind the keyboard to add tension and thickness to the rhythm. When I wrote the tune in 2012, I knew there was already a song called "Heroes And Villains" by The Beach Boys from their 1967 album Smiley Smile. But I was fascinated with that song title, so I decided to use it on my own song. The lyrical theme for "Heroes & Villains" touches on the Id, Ego and Super-Ego psychological model developed by Sigmund Freud in 1920. The Id is the devil (villain) on your left shoulder telling you to do morally wrong acts for pleasure. And the Super-Ego is the angel (hero) on your right shoulder telling you to do the right thing. While the Ego is your own central consciousness that makes the ultimate decisions. It's often portrayed like that in T.V. and movies.

The Get On! [EP] version of "Heroes & Villains" sounds a bit like Queens Of The Stone Age. Especially with the extra whisper effect that's used in the verse vocals. On this version, I used my Digitech whammy pedal for the 2nd guitar riff and final guitar solo, and my wah pedal for the middle guitar solo. There was no final guitar solo in the Mission Of Mercy version of "Heroes & Villains", but we added it as a band to finish the song. I'm glad we did, because it really adds a proper finish to the tune. This is a song I'm sure will be included in POF's live repertoire for a long time.