12 Days of Apologies – 1. You Are A Runner And I Am My Father’s Son
Part 1 of my talk with Dan Boeckner :
The first recording session we did (in Portland, Oregon) we had only 2 weeks to get everything done. But I also remember it being really really compressed for the vocal days cause basically we had taken a lot of time doing bed tracks and then we had gone over budget on the record. It was kinda a shit show, that whole recording session. We went over budget on the record, and it was crunch time. Isaac basically told me we had one maybe two sessions to do all the vocals. So I cut all the vocals for the record in one day. And that was pretty intense. I didn’t really know how to pace myself and my voice was already pretty blown out. I basically destroyed my voice by the time that session was over. It was pretty intense.
When we got to Portland and everyone was staying in a hotel, like a pretty decent hotel. And it was exciting because you know we were all pretty broke. It seemed very luxurious. I was spending a lot of time staying at Issac’s house and most of the band was at the hotel. As the recording session went on and we spent more of Sub Pop’s money the hotel accommodations changed. First we were at this nice hotel, and then we were staying at Kennedy School for a while. Which is still nice, a quirky old school hotel. But the last week we were there we got moved to basically one room at a fucking quality inn across from the university in downtown Portland. Window at street level, open the blinds and there’s just people walking by, kinda a sketchy hotel. And we ran out of money, all of us collectively. I remember having dinner, I think it was Canadian Thanksgiving, eating dinner and just basically having thanksgiving dinner with .50 worth of Taco Bell spread out between the entire band. I remember driving the van through the taco bell drive though and that was like the last of our money.
I do remember that there was a Mexican restaurant right down the street from the studio in Portland. Isaac would go there and order a bucket of margaritas, or a couple of beer pitchers filled with margaritas and he would have them delivered to the studio. The server from the restaurant would walk into the studio with a cardboard box filled with the pitchers and the bill, which we were paying for. Which is why of course we went over budget. We didn’t really know anything back then right. I think a lot of us thought that everything that was happening was some sort of magic that was related to Sub Pop. We didn’t really think about it. Like Sub Pop was magically turning the money tap on. But the truth is we owed all that money that we spent recording back to them.
The drum pattern that kicks off Apologies to the Queen Mary is mountainous, using rests and empty space to claim more land than The Louisiana Purchase. A distorted keyboard matches it beat for beat, employing a simple i-V7 progression over Spencer Krug’s pitch perfect lyrics of estrangement and genetic inevitability in “You Are a Runner and I Am My Father’s Son.”
“You Are a Runner and I Am My Father’s Son” joins organ stabs with short drum fills against a starlit circus shuffle, all the madmen unsoaped, unshaved, unbathed and free to rape the night. Co-lead Spencer King drains low, and the band seems to look the other way with its distant backdrop, “I was a hero early in the morning/I ain’t no hero in the night.”
“You Are a Runner and I Am My Father’s Son.” That song begins Apologies on an eerie note that never quite lets go.
You Are A Runner And I Am My Father’s Son was the first Wolf Parade song i fell in love with. The strange tones of the vocals, with the simple instrumentation really changed how i looked at music. Before these guys, I listened to shitty electronic music. After these guys, and a few other independent artists, I never looked back. This album still rocks my world.
Fun random fact, there’s apparently an episode of American TV show One Tree Hill named ‘You Are A Runner And I am My Father’s Son’. However the episode does not feature the song for some reason.
Check out this alternate version of the song that was recorded for the OST for the movie Norman. You can purchase the soundtrack from Mom + Pop Records:
Here are some quotes, fan tweets, covers, videos, and photos inspired by this track:
You are a runner, and I am my father's son… So starts one of the greatest albums of my childhood. #wolfparade