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Mega Emotion: Sick Burn (single)

release date: 24 November 2017

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ET: I'm not going to ask you the details about the struggles referenced in your press release- but easy to say this song is derived from a series of shitty life events. I hope things are getting better. Move Motherfucker is going to be a cool album.

Iain: Thank you! Things seem to be better and I want to say we're all as happy and healthy as we can be at the moment without jinxing our lives or some such bullshit. But thank you and I hope you are good also. Actually I wrote this song (although we all developed it) as a kind of tribute to Jan, who had been so ill for so long that we didn't know if she could perform again. So it was longing for her to be OK. And then a lot of other awful tragic stuff happened. But we're all still here, and Jan's a tough old cow and came through it, and is back to berating me as per normal.

ET: How did you come up with the layered structure of Sick Burn?

Lisa: Well, we kind of just started off with the chords on a loop and went from there building it up with new ideas, new riffs coming in and out. It was actually while we were on a creativity retreat. We were wearing our robes, walking on the beach, swimming in the sea, making music, getting inspiration from all sorts of new places. We wanted to really free our minds and think of music in completely new ways. All of which sounds really hippy and psychedelic, which it was.

So the basic structure is that there's not really a verse, a chorus, a middle eight in the conventional sense. It's just a building loop of sounds and noises.

Iain: We got into the idea of deconstruction. I hate how I sound when I say this kind of thing, but we built the song up to be too huge and too long, and then we took stuff away until it was a proper movement or progression rather than a straightforward song. I'm trying not to puke because I said 'progression' but it's true.

ET Did everyone in Mega Emotion play every instrument? There is a ton going on at the end- I can hear the guitar and it really shifts the dynamic.

Lisa: Yes we did. Except for the drum machine, which sort of plays itself. And the finger clicks are a sample. The hardest part has been playing it live and it involves various loop pedals but after a lot of practicing I think we've pretty much nailed it live now too.

Iain: That's me and Jan playing guitar, although when we play it live, she somehow plays all the parts at once. I can't look at her when she's doing it because it's not of this earth. And we're all playing real drums at the end. It's really a stupid stadium rock song, now I think about it, but we play quite, um, modest venues.

ET: How the fuck did you do this?

Lisa: I'll let you in on a secret - because it's the same over and over, it was actually pretty easy. Everything is one big loop, so we just played the loop and played the loop till we came up with everything else. Iain was the mastermind that came up with the idea to do it this way and he had a plan about how the final structure should be.

Iain: Oh, I was for sure the 'master mind'.

ET: How many tracks are on this song?

Lisa: I have absolutely no idea!

Iain: I think Owen said it was about 90 but that sounds ridiculous.

ET: How long did it take to record Sick Burn?

Lisa: Hmnn, that's a tricky one because we were recording other tracks at the same time, but maybe two days?

ET: Was Sick Burn thought-through before you started recording or did it evolve in the studio?

Lisa: It was mainly thought through, but we did think of some extra bits in the studio. It was hard not to just add more and more. When Jan suddenly came in and recorded a keyboard riff which we hadn't heard before, it just totally made the track complete. The main thing we didn't know was how long it would go on for. We have another version which is about 8 minutes long.

Iain: And Owen the producer was well up for making it longer and longer. But then we would've been turning into Queen behind the mixing desk in the 70s, but without the coke or the budget. So we made a more 'sensible' 5 minute cut.

ET:Where was it recorded? Who mixed it? Who mastered it?

Lisa: Sickroom Studios, produced and mastered by Owen Turner (he does all our songs and we've been working with him our whole lives pretty much!)

ET: Did you get on a label or self releasing this one?

Iain: Self releasing, on our own label which we've called Fake Feelings. We're keen to get a proper label on board though before releasing our album.

ET: Do you have a funny story about something that happened when you were recording this?

Lisa: Um, we were using the Brian Eno Oblique Strategies cards for inspiration and interpreting his suggestions as best we could.

For example:

Assemble some of the instruments in a group and treat the group.


Since 2013, Mega Emotion (Iain, Lisa, and Jan) have released a string of super-sonic singles and EPs. Admittedly, 2017 has been rough for the Norwich trio. Their solution? Turn. It. Up. The latest single from Mega Emotion, Sick Burn starts out poignantly and almost painfully as a post-modern ballad. But the basic theme is looped and layered to epic proportion by their brilliant engineer Owen Turner. Hopefully this single will end up on their much anticipated full length, Move Motherfucker.

We sent them some questions about the making of the single- and as always they were open, honest, and clever.

This band rules- and they deserve more attention.

You can connect with Mega Emotion via twitter or go to their facebook page for more info and tour dates. And don't be cheap- buy this single.


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