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Song Notes: Cool Mother

Peter talks about the lyrics:
Being cool is a fool's game … but is also so much fun. Being cool means transcending your old dork-wad self … all your shame and pain and other baggage you are carrying around. The punk scene was fantastic for this. Never has a bigger group of loser, bone-headed, odd-ball, circus geeks had a better chance at attaining some semblance of coolness by dressing up like Che Guevera and striking a defiant pose. And all you had to do … was be brave and take a chance. Of course when you attain coolness you soon realize that it is a charade and there is always someone way cooler than you who will bring you back to earth, and make you realize what a true nimrod you really are. I always wanted to write a song about certain punks who were too cool to dance or express any emotion beyond distain, but I dig these lyrics because they also can be interpreted as first person loathing.

Stephan talks about the music:
I hated this song. Peter originally brought it in as a riff and it never went anywhere musically. Regardless, we kept practicing it and practicing it…for over a year! But, he kept picking away at us to keep at it even though we all resisted. One day after practicing it again with no real progress, I remember feeling I just had it with the song and decided to schedule time to sit down and try to rework it. I promised myself that if nothing would come out of it, then I would advocate to shelve the song (i.e., no longer play it) until someone comes up with new parts. I had Pete's lyrics with me and it was the first time I sang and played parts at the same time - the goal was not to sway from his original melody as I knew that it would have ended in the bin. I think the parts worked, even though I ripped myself off with the chorus, which I realized just recently. Oh well, I was probably happy to have this song go somewhere that I was not critical with my writing. This song was also a first for me in that some of the back-ups ideas I had were used - I rarely contribute to vocals.

Peter Adds:
This is my one (and to date my only) attempt at writing a song on piano. I had just read a piano lesson about chord inversions. I was really impressed by how much easier it is to play inversions on the piano than on guitar. I came up with four chords that cycled endlessly. Despite the way Stephan felt about it, I liked those four chords, but his additions improved the song immensely. His other contribution to the song is that he got me to change the lyrics of the chorus. The original version was "you're a cool motherfucker, yes you are." I always have a keen ear for commercial potential.

Cool Mother

Take a walk in stormy weather
You don't get wet in the rain
Put your hand in the fire
You don't get burnt by the flame

Cause you're so cool … yes you are

Steal a kiss from a stranger
You don't feel any shame
When the walls crack and tumble
You don't take any blame


Cut your skin with a razor
You don't feel any pain
In a world full of wonder
Ice flows through your veins