It certainly wasn’t intentional. We didn’t even notice it until well after we’d finished recording, mixing, and mastering the record. Actually I remember thinking several times while we were recording that this group of songs shouldn’t go together, but somehow they did. There was something strange that locked them all together. Listening to the entire record in the dark, in a car with the window down, riding down an empty highway on a hot, humid, Southern night it all came together. Every song on the record put the same images in my head- the same buildings, the same people, the streets, smells and sounds. We had created our own little town.
We knew some of the songs were about the same people, we just didn’t know that they were all about the same place. It’s a little town with lot’s of ghosts. Ghosts of people who used to live here and ghosts of industry that used to live here. (both, by the way, left nasty corpses) We’ve also got your cheaters, losers, backsliders and even a few bank robbers. (Well, the robbers don’t live here anymore- the state pretty much takes care of them in the next county over, but the families are still here.) There are people who are stuck here and people who only pass through every now and again.
Our town is populated by real people that we know and by people that we made up. Some of the songs started out about real people and ended up being entirely fictional. It doesn’t matter in our town, though. The real people interact with the made up characters every day, and they’re just too polite for the most part to tell them they don’t really exist. Everybody, real or imagined, just gets by the best they can. And they all have to depend on each other, too. That’s how it is in a town this size.
If you want to know what our town looks like, go for a drive. You’ve got to get out of the city, though. Head down an old two lane highway and keep driving until you pass that church with the witty little sign out front that says “Get Right or Get Left!”. After that, you should see some crumbling smoke stacks or a shut down factory or mill. Find a baseball field with a gravel parking lot and take a right. Cross over rusted, unused train tracks and roll right on into downtown, right where those two department stores used to be. Now they sell antiques, Chinese furniture and knick knacks, but you can still see the shadow of the fancy lettering on the bricks up above the front door. Just park right there, get out and walk around a little bit.
Welcome to our little town. We hope you enjoy your visit. Oh, and if you’re going to stay a while, be sure to steer clear of the riverbank and the train tracks after dark.