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Shot in the Dark

Sob Rock Zine Volume 1
Introductory note printed in Sob Rock Zine Volume 1

DW: "Shot In The Dark" was a song that we wrestled with a bit. I think we're both thrilled with the way it came out. What made it more difficult to capture than the others?

JM: A bit?? [laughs] — you know I still don't know why it was so hard to get that song down the way I hear it in my head. Everything else on the album, to a certain extent, was point and shoot. Even if we had to try a few times to get there. But "Shot In The Dark" took us both for a ride! I think there are some musicological aspects of that song that made it tough to get right, but also, man — sometimes you just have an impossible dream for a song. You have an idea for a scene in a movie that you just can't shoot in a practical way. But I'm so happy to say that all we had to do was try our best, stay true to what the song wanted, and once it was mixed and mastered, and I gave it a month or so? It's one of my favorite songs on the album! All I had to do was listen to what was there and forget what I had in mind. That happens sometimes. It won't be the last time, unfortunately. You just have to make the record. Just follow your heart and take your head out of things sometimes. Doing that allowed me to have this song, which I'm so happy about.

Sob Rock album release stream
Via Clubhouse app

Coming up next is a song that is about to be my single, because it has a video dropping tomorrow. It's called "Shot in the Dark." And I think lyrically it's to the 80's what musically "Last Train Home" is, which is kind of an homage to a certain type of vocabulary. "We're searching for the night together." "Casanova." These are kind of lines you don't hear anymore. People don't reference "casanova" in songs anymore. But I do. 

This was a really really tough one to record. I didn't know I'd gotten it until after the record was made. Which is why I'm getting to know it now and really enjoying it. Because every other song was incredibly fun to make. And this song was incredibly hard to bring to fruition.

I remembering thinking to myself, having a "hit" with this song, in quotes, would be just getting this song on the record. I just want to be able to lift this song up, this heavy little thing, just up enough to get it on the truck. Good or bad.

I love this song and really want it to work. And I would have killed it, as we do as producers and writers and creators. We sometimes look at things and go, look, you have a lot of potential but I got to let you go. And I just didn't want to do that.

Now what's the anatomy of my disappointment of "Shot in the Dark" when I was making it? It's the next single. So that shows how much I like it. Nobody quite knows why certain projects or certain songs are interpreted with all of these biases, that this isn't working, this isn't right.

And again, there is Maren Morris, seemingly used sparingly, but really to great effect because of her doing these "doo, doo" background things that are so glaringly feminine in a way that obviously I cannot get to. And the presence of that spirit all of a sudden at the end of that song, for me, is one of my favorite moments of the whole record. So again, I gotta tell you, for Maren Morris to come into the studio, and we put a song up and she goes "doo, doo, doo, doo," and I go, that's gonna be incredible! I just felt, she's so overqualified for that, but the effect that it gives, I think, is so beautiful.

So that's "Shot in the Dark," and I'll be very very intrigued to see what people think of it. Especially the video, which continues on with the Sob Rock theme, for sure.

Podcast interview with Cory Wong
"Mayer is King," Episode 1 of 2 from Wong Notes Podcast
We are working that nuanced on making records. Where I was working on a song, and I went, the only person who can play bass on this is me. Pino [Palladino] had played on it a bunch of times. Sean Hurley had played on it a bunch of times. I go, it's gotta be me. And it's, "Shot in the Dark." And if the bass were any smarter, the whole song would have fallen apart. And the bass just had to be my, [plays "Shot in the Dark" bass line on guitar]. It just had to be that. And whenever it was a proper bass player it wouldn't work, you know?