The Story of "Masquerade"

“Masquerade” is one of the oldest songs on the album and is definitely the oddball for how poppy it is. I remember so vividly writing it. I was about to go to bed one night but started noodling on my guitar and what eventually became those very Maroon 5-ish picking parts started coming out of me so I knew I needed to chase this idea. The whole song became, “what would Maroon 5 do?” Musically, melodically, everything: what would Maroon 5 do? Not then nor now have I ever sounded like Maroon 5 - even though “Songs About Jane” is one of my top five favorite albums - but I thought this idea could be cool and different and could have some universal appeal so off I went (a future manager immediately described it as "Maroon 5 covering a fun. song). I made a conscious effort not to write relationship lyrics on this album, as that had been a crutch in the past and I wanted to show some versatility. However, having recently gone through some hardships with several girls, I couldn’t help myself, and the song ended up being a hybrid about these two vixens who had kicked me to the curb.

One thing that happened with this song that I think is very emblematic of me and Jack’s writing dynamic was the creation of the bridge. As it is now, the song has that concise, killer riff. This was not the case in my original demo, as it went in a very different, drawn-out, Snow Patrol-meets-Coldplay, emotional direction. Jack heard this and, in a way that is very much his personality, just simply said, “eh, cut the whole thing, it’s gotta have some cool riff that starts like ‘dun-dun-dah-dun-dah-dun.’” I picked up a guitar, we went back and forth, and voila! The section was born in a matter of minutes. He could not have been more right. Hear the original version below with the old bridge. Also take note of my quiet singing - done at about 2:30am because I was on a roll, but didn’t want to disturb my neighbors.

Recording the song was a blast (as was everything done with Rocky Gallo). Love all the stacked vocals, love the cool bass chords our then-bass player James added to that quiet section before the last chorus, as well as all the trippy effects that our then-guitar player Cullen graced that section with, including that fade-in which was done live, completely analog.