After spending a minute with "Phuket"—a minute because that's exactly how long the punchy track from Curious Hands is, I put out a call to the quartet's Tyler Riggs to tell me about it. Turns out the title is a phonetic spelling of sorts for a much more well-known euphemism while at the same time a reference to a city in Thailand; not just a random city, but one that factors heavily into the lineup of the group. Take a tour of the words below to find out about that Asian adventure while also learning about the track's Danzig inspirations and its five minute creation. And of course at the heart of the matter there's a love story... One based in Salem starring Riggs, a college girl and summer nights spent in a parked car.
I wish I was more of an interesting story teller but I am not so I will just stick with the truth for these questions. The original title for that song was "Fuck it," being that I wrote the song but we didn't have a title yet, so it was known simply as "Fuck it."
I wrote the lyrics and the basic arrangement for the song before bringing it to the band. As with every Curious Hands song, the band makes the final arrangements together and in some cases collaborates on some of the same parts, but in this case the basic idea was already there when I wrote it. The "whoaaaaaaaaaaa" at the beginning was inspired by Danzig, who was our hero during that particular the recording session. We were trying to sound tougher, so the motto was "Do it like Danzig."
Anyway song specific, I was trying to just write something simple that we could just bash our way through. At the time I was bringing in more complex songs only to have them wilt in practice, so this was sort of a response to my frustration. I wrote the basic idea in about five minutes, three chords and tons of attitude—easy enough.
Eventually we decided that we didn't want to release a song called "Fuck It," so we simply changed the title to "Phuket" which I believe is a large city in Thailand. Our drummer at the time Nick LaRue had been on an extensive trip to Southeast Asia and suggested the name. He was always mister trickster when it came to stuff like that. He quit the band to go "find himself" on the East Coast but I expect he will be back in the fold in a year or two.
The song is literally about the summer between my junior and senior years of high school. I had a girlfriend named Jenny at the time, this worldly college girl; truly my first love...but that's another story. Anyway there was a neighborhood in Salem that was recently being developed (I'm from Salem). All these paved streets and half-built houses out in the middle of nowhere, essentially. A single street lamp was lit up but at night you could still see all the stars in the sky. It was a very romantic place, and to admit I still occasionally drive through that area whenever I am in Salem... I'm a very nostalgic person. Anyway we used to park her car out there, turn up the stereo and hang out every night that entire summer. It was a "summer love" kind of thing. Once September hit she went back to college in Idaho and I never heard from her again—so the song is basically about getting it on with her in the back seat of her car. She was a rich girl and her family didn't exactly approve of our relationship so the line about "don't tell your dad" is very literal. He was a big scary dude who probably would have done something nasty had he caught us in that car.
The album Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!
, from which this track was lifted, is available via CD Baby and iTunes. Curious Hands' third full-length effort is set for a spring release under the title Banging Like a Fox
. Riggs assures us that it is indeed "banging." I suggest the outfit should copy-right the motto "Do it like Danzig" to its list of pre-release activities.
Curious Hands' next live outing is October 26th at Rontoms.
"Orion" - Previous Curious Hands Cut of the Day
Photo care of Myspace