Long Shot


It's so familiar -- somebody trying to involve you in their trip. The time is wrong or the circumstances are bad, yet you feel drawn in anyway. When someone well-meaning is trying to pull you in, it's very hard to resist. We had to do a clean version for radio, which is ridiculous because you get the "f" and "ck" and the "ed." There really should be a context consideration. To say "You fucked it up" is different contextually from saying "I fucked him in the backseat"; one is a little more explicitly sexual than a generic curse.


Choice in the Matter


A simple song of recognizing that someone has a tendency to be deceptive and just saying, "You know what? I can't go there." You go to somebody's house and their answering machine is clearly packed full of messages, but they're pointedly not going to play those messages back while you're there. And you think, "Okay, secrets." Somebody's got secrets, maybe not big secrets, but the tendency toward that is there.



The song's about Bernard [Butler]. He'd left Suede and the press was intimating that he was some spoiled rock star. And you meet him and he's the sweetest guy. But everyone else gets sugarcoated and he comes out looking like the bad guy. I was in London and I'd read how he'd quit his band and wanted to work with other people. So I called him up. We wrote a song and Jon [Brion] was with us -- there's your drummer and there's your second guitarist. So we recorded it. The whole thing took two days.


You Could Make a Killing


People get fixed on a certain thing and they just have to have it at all costs. As a bystander, you're likely to get trampled underfoot. It's not even that big a deal; it's just a habit. It's the habit that will trample you. I don't sing really high, so Juliana [Hatfield] was perfect for high harmonies. She's got that kid thing; I love that. I have this vibrato that I can't really get rid of and she has absolutely none.



You're a million places at once. With a superball, one little throw and the thing never stops. It's like, "Don't get me started; you have no idea what you're getting into."



That's a song I wrote with Jon. I wrote the lyrics. His plot instructions were: "When you and I broke up and we were trying to get back together and all my friends were saying, 'Why would you go back to that nightmare,' this song would be your answer to them.'" The word amateur means you do things for love, but all the good intentions in the world don't mean that things will go the way you want them to.


All Over Now

The classic tale -- some manipulative person trying to control your every move. For a while you go along with it, but then you hit your limit. There's real maliciousness behind it. This is, "You are trying to fuck with me, and because you are stronger I let you. But those days are over."

Par for the Course

I saw a friend of mine getting into a situation where he was just going to get his heart broken into a million pieces. Mr. Pattern Guy. It's happened before and it'll happen again. You're not even in the situation, but you know it's all gonna end in tears.


You're With Stupid Now

Kind of about my past record company situation and kind of about a big fan of mine -- I have the most bizarre fans -- who's a politician in England. He's very dedicated and altruistic. He really tries to do good work and change things and is always frustrated.


That's Just What You Are

A typical Mann/Brion composition. Jon told a friend that he'd frequently behaved in an appalling fashion. But the friend said that to change would compromise his personality. He was using 'Hey, I just am what I am' to justify acting like a jerk. A lot of words on this one.



This is about creating a Frankenstein monster of a relationship out of bits and pieces. I was writing it in the studio when Jon was working on something else, and I told him what it was about. So I hear him go into the storage room and he's got a stick in his hand and he's just hitting things. Forty-five minutes later I go to tell him that I've finished the song and sitting in the studio is this drum kit he's pieced together out of joint compound boxes and ashtrays where when you hit the stand it rings in tune with the song. This other box of bolts was the snare. Of course I said, "That's all very cute Jon, but does it sound good?" And it sounded perfect--it was not only sonically ideal for the song, but it had the concept of the song in it.



My love song to my imaginary friend, to a person you've never met and probably never will. Sometimes you need to write a love song, and so what if there's nobody there? You have to invent somebody, an imaginary friend for grownups.


It's Not Safe

It's completely, 100 percent about feeling that professionally you're involved with people who don't understand what you're doing, don't care what you're doing and thwart your every move. And because it's of such a personal nature, you just question the whole process. You wonder, "Why am I doing this; why bother?" I hadn't written for a long time before I wrote that song. I felt like I didn't want to tell these people anything; I didn't want to give anything away.

Aimee Bio page

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