A few years back, I had the pleasure of having a candid chat with Jerry Jones at the Wonder Bar. Most recently, Jones released his latest full length with the monster riff-crafting group Super Snake in the form of Leap of Love.
The album brings that sweet, sweet heavy, sure, but there’s a lot more at play thematically as Jones models new character hats and uses them to examine various Ids in a vein not unlike Nick Cave’s. To learn more about what’s exactly going on with Leap of Love, we had Jones break it all down for us track by track.
Stream the latest from Super Snake in full while checking out Jone’s descriptions below and be sure to order your copy here.
“Leap Of Love”
The title track introduces what the record is all about. It’s a grim reminder of the haunting paranoia of love. In this case it’s represented as this kind of “bad trip” into a world of hallucinatory violent desire. This was fun to write but even more fun to design in post.
We used some really cool mixing strategies (e.g. the segue of dissonance and anti-drug sample before the second verse) and popped a bass drop right before the outro bridge. It took a while to finish this one, but it was a blast.
A character driven ballad about selfishness. I mean a real shitty dude. It was both disgusting and horrifyingly easy morphing into that character.
“Yeah I’m such a drag,” is something my girlfriend doesn’t necessarily have to use her imagination too hard for. Recording this was real fast for the vocals, but we spent a bunch of time trying to nail the ending musically as everything was recorded live. The climax needed to be nothing short of perfect for it to work.
More sordid tales from the suburbs. This one details a stalker in love with a young girl, particularly her feet. It’s got this funny-scary vibe that gets more maniacal as the song goes on. It’s kind of a tribute to those fantastic Bad Seeds/Grinderman songs that Nick Cave goes completely berserk and full on convinced.
Originally this was leaning towards becoming a B-side but after being fully developed it turned into a necessary component to the album. Plus Pete does this shimmering bouncing lead that reminds me of “The Real Ghostbusters” cartoon. I really can’t get enough.
Ah. One of my faves. I just loved writing the story to this one. Another set of deplorable characters. This time through the perspective of an admirer of a murderous widow. It goes full on sarcastic and mean spirited by the end. There’s also some personal stuff happening in this one.
I love Vin’s drums through the verses and Jesse plays that organ part, it just makes me smile every time. I remember Jesse and Joe spending a lot of time designing those massive riffs.
“Lavish Sum Of Dread”
We got weird with this one. Jesse came back from seeing Swans live and wanted to write a song that had all this noise building but muted until the drums hit. BANG! The song just explodes.
I wrote the vocals late night after a long work shift. I really tried to pick out melodies that I couldn’t hear in the instrumentation. I was going for an other worldly vibe. Either from a dimension beyond ours or from an alien spaceship.
I used a lot of religious imagery in my other band Trophy Scars, so it’s no surprised some of that crossed over here as well. This is a song about corruption, the looking-glass self, sexual desire, and bits of the apocalypse. B-horror and the pathology of narcissism were sources of inspiration.
Kevin Antreassian (guitarist of the Dillinger Escape Plan) did a great job producing this one. Singing the end to this song is one of my favorite things to do live.
Pete wrote this as a hardcore inspired riff. I really wanted to lay some rockabilly inspired vocals for this one. A lot of psychedelia inspired this one. From the peculiar imagery to the dissociative conclusion of the lyrics.
Things get even trippier when the outro turns into a full on, tribal, psych out. We were listening to a lot of Goat before we tracked…so, there ya go.
“Too Late, Who Cares”
Pete and Joe aren’t as into this track as much as Jesse and I are. They feel like it’s a middling guitar song where we think it just rips.
I like the story in this one too. It’s about a massacre in Florida, headed by a girl with a penchant for Red Breast Whiskey, daddy issues, and deep-seated revenge on the mind.
Eerily enough, I wrote this before the Miami shootings.
“Get Lost, Be Mine”
I definitely came to practice feeling good when we wrote this jammer. One of the most organic writing sessions I’ve been a part of. The whole thing just really came together that night. The melody and lyrics came to me in a vision. No joke. Joe’s guitar solo. Damn. Also one of my favorites lyrically.
We had a hell of a time recording this. I remember being in an altered state of consciousness while Kevin live tracked the drums. I was cracking everyone up while Vin was getting mildly frustrated with my antics. I had my eyes closed while they tracked and I could see these M.C. Escher-esque floor tiles moving underneath me in kaleidoscopic colors.
I knew we were doing something right with this one. I made Vin a Red Bull and vodka after we were done. We had a great night.
Jesse wrote and recorded this while I was working. I came home and ad-libbed all the vocals on the spot and then double tracked them. You can hear him and our roommate laughing in the background if you listen carefully.
It’s from the perspective of a gay rodeo clown who is jealous of a prostitute that hangs with all the bull riders.
See this feature I did with AntiMusic for their “Singled Out” section. It’s a very thorough description of the track.
“Take My Breath”
Jesse was messing around on a riff that sounded like Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” and I fucking love that song. It’s sexy and sweet and…well…just really fucking sexy. I always wanted to write to a song like that and here was fate just slapping me in the face.
Of course, our version is meant eviscerate and disembowel you by the end, but it’s still my homage to Berlin. It’s personal song and probably the closest thing to a “sweet” love song we have on the album. It’s got the sexuality and sincerity in there. It’s a little cheese, but aware that it is. I wrote the lyrics with my wonderful girlfriend in mind.
Musically it’s my favorite song on the album. Everyone just brings their A-game of weird and slays it. The sample comes from a very strange drug intervention television segment. The segment is so tripped out it actually made me feel like I was on drugs while watching it.