Deftly defying their namesake, The Duds’ Phil Goodridge and Melanie O’Brien talk influences and inspirations behind the debut album These Words I Can’t Forget
Diverse and dynamic the duo of Phil Goodridge and Melanie O’Brien, affectionately known as The Duds, have been performing and collaborating for nearly a decade ahead of the release of their debut album, These Words I Can’t Forget.
Ahead of the album release on March 28th at The Ship Pub in St. John’s, Goodridge and O’Brien checked in with The Newfoundland Herald for our latest album deep dive!
SEND ME A GHOST
Phil: I was thinking about the whole idea of death bed repentance, this idea that you can confess your sins at the end of your life and suddenly be absolved, a get out of jail free card, and how that can be a license to just be a horrible person. And funny enough it brought to mind Ebenezer Scrooge. He was afforded three spirits to come and show him the error of his ways so he could change, be a better person for the rest of his days. So this song is really the story of someone who’s led a dark life, who wants absolution, but who is looking for someone else to do the saving for him.
Melanie: Phil wrote this one and I loved it right way! I got to play some fun guitar stuff here and we dove into more harmonies for me than usual, which was fun for me and a good learning curve. There’s such a great groove in this song and Phil and I both enjoy anything with a spooky element so we leaned into the whole eerie mood of this track. Ian Foster, our producer came up with some amazing effects and sounds that complement the theme, he had a very clear immediate sense of what we were going for and we are so thrilled with how it turned out.
MIGHTIER THAN ME
Melanie: We have been playing this tune of Phil’s for years and I love it! When I first heard it I was reading The Hunger Games series. Yes, I read teen fiction … a lot. Haha! And I thought he must have read it too because it seemed to me to be what the song was about. But he hadn’t even heard of it! Anyway, this belongs on the soundtrack so someone call them. Thanks!
Phil: Yes, someone get The Hunger Games Prequel people on the phone and we’ll make a deal! Haha! It’s funny, after Melanie said that about those books I actually ended up reading them and was like “yeah that totally fits!”
I do love that songs can be interpreted differently for everyone. The heart of the tune is when you’re in conflict with someone who just wants SO much to be RIGHT, to be the stronger one, they want everyone to know that they were the winner of the argument and you’re like “ya know what? You win. You’re actually wrong and you’re being ridiculous but it means more to me for this mess to be over and I don’t care what people think.” That was actually a really important lesson I learned over the years, being “right” is not always what’s right.
Melanie: Had a lot of fun recording this one. Ian had great ideas and ways to add to the original version we had done so it was really fun to take an older tune and look at it with fresh eyes. We took some harmonies out and added some more complex ones in that we really dig.
Melanie: I started writing this song like 6 years ago and it wouldn’t quite come together until Phil and I started working on it and Ian and I tried recording it a couple times. It’s a story song that I wanted people to really be able to see and feel. A key change and some brilliant Phil and Ian Foster moves later and we got it!
Phil: Our Time makes me feel like a forlorn teenager and that is a HUGE compliment hahah! This is another one we had recorded a few years back along with The Chase, never really gelled. It was a cool version but really it just wasn’t what the song was meant to be or what Melanie had envisioned. This final album version belongs on the Dawson’s Creek soundtrack and I just eat it UP!!! It’s my 90s heartbreak fantasy haha!
ONE MORE NIGHT
Melanie: This song is brand new. I wrote it like a month before we recorded it so it feels pretty fresh and dear to me. We have never performed it live so we are very excited to do that for the first time at our release on March 28th! I woke up in the middle of the night and started writing this one on my phone. I eventually got up and tried it on guitar and piano. I had a lot of fun with the key change in this song and I love Phil’s harmonies and piano here especially. Love the gravelly bits and big percussion crashes we got to use. Ian has endless ideas and sounds which is a dream!
Phil: I knew right away this would be the last track on the album. Ian agreed. We hadn’t settled on our 6th and final song but Melanie sent me a demo of this and immediately my head was swimming with ideas and possibilities for how to build this story. I just think it’s such a perfect closer.
Tickets for the album release show available at eventbrite.ca and at the door. Stay tuned to nfldherald.com for two additional song deep dives from The Duds!