Behind the Song with "Give It Back"




Happy Monday, everyone. Here we are in the first full week of May and some states are finally starting to roll back on the quarantine restrictions. If you live in one of those areas, lucky you! We’re going to tell the backstory to “Give It Back” today, which you might find amusing.


This song, or the chorus of this song at least, started out as a joke between one of my close friends and me. This dates all the way back to 1990 and it was actually about witnessing a petty theft. The chorus used to go, “Give it back you dirty sucker, Give it back you mother f#$ker!” I don’t think that would have been quite as memorable...or would it? In any event, my friend was a MASSIVE Van Halen fan, mostly of the David Lee Roth era. I swore to him that one day, I’d mold this “inside joke of a chorus” into a full fledged song. It took a minute but “Voila!” He’s heard it, by the way, and absolutely approves!


So what’s it about? Well, if you’re reading through the lyric sheet, you’ll pick up that it’s all about sex, fire, and desire! I mean, it’s no Gene Simmons set of lyrics but that notion is definitely implied. It’s probably the biggest feel-good, party song on the album and it’s all about finally having a shot with that special lady you’ve been longing for. If you’re asking, “Is this life experience?” I can only answer, “Maaaaaaaybe.” ;)


Musically, this is my absolute favorite song on the album because it really showcases just about everyone’s talents in the band. Perhaps Tony had it easiest on this song and to be honest, there was a point when we were thinking about not even putting keys on it. I’m glad we did. Yeah, it sounds like Van Halen...but symphonic Van Halen thanks to Mr. Stahl! When I was arranging this one, I really wanted to pay homage to that mid-80s VH sound. I wanted something like “Hot for Teacher” for the main direction, perhaps with a little “Mean Streets” opener. There’s even a little “Everybody Wants Some” attitude thrown in at the bridge for good measure. The rhythm section beginning, along with the tear that Jason and I go on, really set the tone for this one, as does BJ’s killer swing beat that takes us through to the rest of the song on that tempo change. Roy just went pure 80s badass on the vocals and captured the essence of the song perfectly. Erik simplified the chorus’ backing vocals and Ty got those guitar tones dialed in perfectly. I think I worked those solos till my fingers bled.


All in all, I’m beyond thrilled with the way this one turned out-even if I was waiting with baited breath since the beginning of mixing for this one and it was the last damn song Ty sent me! We hope you dig it.


Don’t forget, peeps. We’re going to have a May promotion in the store and every single person who picks up a CD and/or some merch will be entered. We’ll be announcing what the deal is this week! Drop on by www.shopsteelcityband.com and take a look around for some killer swag.


Stay safe and be well, peeps.

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