When I first had the idea for All Hail The experts, it was before the COVID-19 pandemic even began. Thankfully, people pretending to be experts on any number of topics on social media is an evergreen topic! The song started out as just a chorus which had kind of this odd cadence to it. I’ve posted an early demo recording for you to hear. I shared it with a couple of friends and they thought there was something there too so I got kind of excited about it and started to develop the song into a more complete thought.
Over the next several months I wrote the verses then and had music that I liked for those as well but what I ran into was that the music for the chorus and the music for the verses just did not feel right together at all. And I liked both of them. Joe Wenger was over at my place to work on some recordings one day, and we spent over an hour just trying to rewrite the music for the verses to fit what I had for the chorus. And we really didn’t make much progress. So All Hail The Experts sat unfinished for months until one day I decided to try to rewrite the music for the chorus instead even though I had originally really liked what I had. The resulting chorus in my own opinion is musically one of the best choruses I have ever written. I just love it. And it matched with the verses perfectly and totally changed the dynamic of the song. When it came time to write the bridge again I rewrote the music entirely because it was OK but it didn’t really fit the way I liked so what I ended up doing was basically just copying the music for the choruses but taking out the electric guitars adding an acoustic guitar and slowing the tempo down pretty significantly. This gave it a completely different feel and made the song feel like it had a lot of energy coming back into the final course then.
Lyrically the bridge also went through some changes. I originally had some lines on the North Korean part referencing Dennis Rodman and used then President Trump’s nickname for North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un calling him “Rocket Man.” What concerned me with these lines was that the Dennis Rodman reference would probably be lost on a lot of younger folks and certainly listeners not from the United States. And I also felt like the Rocketman reference would be easily lost to time especially if President Trump went on to lose the election which of course then he did. So I’m glad I made those changes. I think the original lines were probably a little bit funnier, but it is what it is. I think the end result will stand up to time a little bit better than what I originally had.
The other concerns I had with lyrics on the bridge were the opening lines about Mexico because everywhere else in the song I reference a country that we are farcically blaming our problems on but with Mexico I actually say Mexicans in the song and of course I’m talking sarcastically there again but I didn’t want anybody to misconstrue my meaning. I also made a very poor attempt at singing in Spanish. Eventually though I left those lines the way they were and I felt like it worked OK. My hope being that the tenor of the rest of the song would get the point across how I intended.
As I said previously, this song was written before the pandemic which of course also means it was written before Russia invaded Ukraine in February of 2022 and I want to make very clear in case it gets forgotten in time that when I sarcastically reference in the chorus that we are going to blame our problems on Russia and it’s a brilliant scheme, that of course I was not talking about their actual invasion of Ukraine. Russia has been used as a bogeyman by American politicians for decades for whatever domestic issue they currently want to distract from or just need someone to blame on. A prime example that is happening concurrently with the invasion of Ukraine is our government blaming inflation on that invasion. The inflation that was already happening well before Russia even built up troops along Ukraine’s border. And of course any thinking person knows that inflation was caused by rampant government spending of money that we don’t have.
The production of this song kind of took an unexpected turn. At the time when I was trying to finish up work on it, I knew that the guitars were really sloppy and needed to be redone and normally I would’ve just done that myself. I was suffering from a lot of arthritis pain in my picking hand and I couldn’t play even one song. I knew that the work needed done, but I also knew that I was not the one to do it and I ended up hiring someone from South Africa over the Internet to redo most of the guitars in the song. The end result was honestly better than what I could’ve done. I don’t regret the decision one bit. Most professional music you hear has had some studio musicians play some parts of the music on an album. So this was just me doing the same thing.
All Hail The Experts has been received well I think by fans. Amusingly, one of the countries that has played it the most other than the United States is Russia. I’m not really sure what that is about but somebody in Moscow likes it.
Next song: We Were Just Kids