Inspiration and Composition:
“Fabrication”… like “fictional”, as in seeing things, or a figment of your imagination. Between my own family history and all these (wonderful) not-so-grounded musician types surrounding me, I have perhaps more than your usual share of brushes with insanity. Early on, the syncopated long 7/4 ostinato that is the foundation of this song seemed like shaky ground to build upon, like an imaginary song, so I titled it “Fabrication”… something you would see but no one would believe.
Not including the intro/outro, is this song a twisted, fake blues? If you call F over E tonic, and the move to Bb subdominant, and the B7 dominant, it almost works. I’m always sharpening my main weapons and in this case it was triads (again) with open strings. Both the fundamental F major over the E pedal section and the “turnaround” chords of Bb and B with open E strings ringing are cool, special-use guitaristic sounds.
The chords and ostinato existed on its own first. It was improvising over this progression that led to the melody, which really is about capitalizing on all the ambiguity created by the F/E sound. Is it E-, or E7, and what’s up with the D#? In hindsight, the melody ends up being many notes borrowed from the “A blues” scale, but you never hear that against such a skewed background. The melody over the turnaround became our tag to end solo sections, and was developed from a short melody in A- pentatonic.
The intro was built around a real specialty guitar voicing: C D F# G E A (low to high). No big deal for a piano player, but on guitar there are few places where you can actually play two triads together simultaneously. Why not write a section of a song that features such a thing? I adapted the ostinato to this chord and fixed a nice melodic sequence above. It became a really nice bright moment at the beginning and end of what can be a very dark sounding song.
“Fabrication” has historically been a difficult song to capture, I believe due to it’s crazy nature. It’s been around long enough, and I think I’ve played it with every working configuration of Kenosha Kid. It’s been a great vehicle to get wild over, and if you have an afternoon I would challenge you to choose your favorite live recording. There are some incredible versions out there! It’s a song that lends itself to risk taking. You want to take chances, and when you gamble, some times you win big and other times the shit gets crazy and explodes. For this recording I worked hard to express the essence of the song and still keep it in balance, and under 10 minutes long. I got into the idea that the studio version would have to be something different from the live versions.
I liked the concept of going straight into “Fabrication” after “Vanishing Point”, an epic one-two punch of arena-jazz. I kept that in mind when I began arranging. It was really juicy having three horns on the intro line and chord. I stuck with my concept of every melody having a counter line or a harmony line. The intro has the melody up top and two harmony lines under it, which gets continued in the first A section while the guitar takes the melody . Roles are reversed in the second A, and the guitar goes to chords and the horns play melody in octaves with Peter on this cool moving inner line. We shortened the solo section post production (Peter will forgive me eventually I hope) and added the evil-robot ring modulation to the guitar to up the crazy factor. Like in “Funhouse” the horn soli section that follows gives a nice break before the last melodic phrase, and to wrap up Jacob slays the dragon over the outro.