POZ Track-By-Track: Socratic - Socratic
PropertyOfZack has teamed up with Socratic to do a Track-By-Track for their recent self-titled full-length release, which was just released on vinyl. Check out the Track-By-Track from Duance Okun below!
This song was written during a bitter period of my life. Many times in life you’re presented with the question, “Am I doing the right thing”. With any path or career choice comes a point when you question whether or not you’re being true to yourself. This song is about the feeling of being judged by everyone around you and the unsettling realization that the biggest critic, is in fact, always yourself. “There’s nothing to see when you’re living a blind man’s dream.”
I wrote this song trapped inside during a violent snow storm. I had just rekindled my relationship with my ex-girlfriend after being separated for over two years. I glanced out her window when it came to me. I began to strum a melody, “When winter whispers at my window.” That simple melody quickly developed into the first verse. There is love instilled inside of you and everything and everyone around you. The song is uplifting. It’s about saying farewell to your loneliness and embracing the world as a wonderful, beautiful place. Even when you’re alone.
Charlie Parker (Music Will Save His Soul)
Vincent our piano player at the time was the one who sparked this one. He had been playing the piano melody for a while. It seemed like every time we were around a piano he’d be playing it to me. There weren’t any lyrics until I found myself with a good friend listening to an old jazz radio station. The jockey on the station was talking about Charlie Parker, the “yardbird” sax player and influential jazz and beboop composer. I decided to write the song in ode to the late musician. It describes his troubled life as he dealt with his own fame and the fame he never truly achieved. His music was the only thing that kept him sane. Although the song and story of Charlie is tragic, the theme of the song “The only thing that he knows, music will save his soul” is strangely understood by musicians and non-musicians alike all around the world. It’s human nature. Our connection with and through music will never fully be understood. Charlie Parker understood it better than most and wanted nothing more out of life than to share it with the rest of the world.
Days I Did Not Belong
Everyone who has ever been in a relationship can relate to this song. The days when you ruin a perfectly nice time or peaceful dinner with a stupid comment or action that spoils the entire experience. It’s about the relationship struggle of communication and realizing that sometimes there is absolutely nothing you can do to remedy the situation. This song is about the times sitting in silence, waiting for that stupid comment to, well, “blow over”. I always feel extremely guilty when I do things like this. The song is about the helpless feeling when sometimes there’s nothing you can do to make the other person feel better. These are the moments I enjoy the least about being so close to someone…
Money on the Radio
After 9/11 the country went into a whirlwind. There was an immediate backlash of new laws, security, and pop culture. This song is about my paranoia living in the United States after 9/11. No one really knows exactly what happened that day. Since that day my eyes have been more open than ever.
The phrase ”Money on the Radio” means simply that. You must buy your way onto it. It’s the sad truth that everything comes down to the dollar sign. Dance music has been big for years (especially over-seas), but not nearly as popular as it is today. It seems the only thing on mainstream radio these days, especially in the New York City area, is club dance music. Rock radio has died and has been replaced by a breed of mindless robots. What happened to rock and roll?
Rock and roll was once urgent and powerful. It encouraged those who were “different” to embrace it and screw whoever told them otherwise. It was a call to arms and a rejection of the “norm”. All the radio plays now are the same top ten artists, a very small group of people that control the masses. A very small group of people that control what you are allowed and not allowed to listen to. It’s a monopoly and it has brainwashed multiple generations and will continue to do so. I’m sick and tired of mainstream media telling our country not think, not to question, just keep drinking and dancing your lives away as if solely to distract us from something else more important - thinking for ourselves.
Flowers in the Garden
I’m a big fan of Edgar Allen Poe. I was reading a collection of his short stories when I started writing the lyrics to this song. I envision the story of a man who has achieved peace and happiness in his dream home, his own personal nirvana. A beautiful house with a vast and luscious garden that he enjoys tending. By the end of the story he realizes that everything is not always what it seems. While digging in his garden he finds the remains of an innocent little girl. The music gives the whole song a very creepy vibe. A perfect backdrop to a very twisted tale.
Give and Take Two
I wrote this song when I was 18. This song is about going to college and the internal and outwardly struggles which most are never truly prepared for. The song is about peer pressure, gaining fake friends, and losing real ones. Everyone can relate to this one. “The more drugs I have the more friends I make”.
One of the more abstract songs of the record. Sister is written in four different parts. We take you through each of them, describing a girl who is never found. My idea behind this song was to paint a picture of a young lady washed away in hurricane Katrina. “She’s just as real as your realest daydream.” Did she ever exist?
We wanted this song to be one of the rockers on the record so we decided to use a ton of heavy guitars and loud, angry drums to support the main bass groove. My favorite part is the end of the song when we incorporate all the different sections of the song into one massive outro.
We realized that the majority of material on the record was dark and bittersweet. We wanted to change the pace so I wrote this “summer-like” song to ease things up a bit. It’s a song about getting back to a much happier place, a time when you were in love, and a time when you were on top of the world. Summer is infamous for being the time of the year for flings and falling in love. Even if it’s just for the summer. I picture a ride to the beach with this song playing over the airwaves.
Although summer-themed, this song was strangely written the heart of winter. Maybe it was my subconscious wish for summer to come, or maybe it was because winter was starting to bring me down. Either way, it’s the light-hearted and genuine nature of this song that I love.
Famous for Nothing
Another song along the same vain of “Money on the Radio.” I truly feel that kids have it bad right now with everything that is going on in our economy. They are forced to listen to terrible music and are all slaves to their cell phones and video games. The fist verse of the song is about the rise of children obesity. “You rarely say you’re hungry but I always find you searching for food.” Sadly, children aren’t the only ones that are struggling today. Without rock and roll, without a revolt, we are all in trouble.
All the guitar licks were written first. I wanted to release a song that was reminiscent of a Foo Fighters song (one of the only true rock and roll bands left today). We wanted loud ripping guitars and screaming vocals. “You can save yourself from anything you want to” goes along with the entire underlining theme of the record. The world is a strange and difficult place. Don’t let it get the best of you. Oh, I threw in a little jab at the Jersey Shore T.V. show in this one too.
Think In Dreams
Do you think in dreams? Well, do ya?!
When you are sleeping are you consciously aware of what you are doing and saying in the dream world? Or is it some random place where your thoughts spin out of control? You see, dreaming and death are connected. Where do we go? Embrace your dreams and embrace death as a part of life. You are the center of everything. Space and time are behind you and in front of you always. Both directions are infinite. “Forget the past. Let the future begin.”
The Truth In Lies
If there were cliff notes for this entire record this song would surely be it. No surprise why we ended the record with this one. It ties together every topic and emotion covered on the record in one simple acoustic song. A little unknown fact about the song is that it was recorded live during a private performance we had hosted for our closest family and friends. One take jake with absolutely no over-dubs or extra tracks. Just me and my guitar. I love the live and stripped down sound. This is the swan song. “Sweet and Lovely.”