Track Commentary: “Gifted Student”

by Adam WarRock | Originally posted on tumblr

All this week, I’ll be doing track-by-track commentary on the new EP. You should go grab the new EP at my bandcamp site, PHYSICAL COPIES OF THE CD WILL ONLY BE FOR SALE ON MY SITE UNTIL END-OF-DAY FRIDAY. If you want a copy of it, get it now, or get it at a show. 

First up, the title track. In a lot of ways, “Gifted Student” was one of the last songs me and kHill finished for the album. Wait, let’s go back and start over at the beginning.

About four and a half years ago, kHill and I met randomly on twitter, because my debut album coincided with the release of his group’s album, Cold Winter. In a last minute add on to their album, he asked me to guest on “Earthbound” along with Mega Ran. It was a time when both kHill and I were being welcomed into the fold of “nerdcore,” and both of us had no idea who was important other than the huge names. Later on, kHill would admit to me that the only reason he friended me was because my debut album was so official looking, he simply thought I was a bigger deal than I actually was. Little did he know, that I just had a lot of expendable income at the time, because of my full-time other job; and even more ironically, I friended him because I thought they were a bigger deal than they were. Little did we know, we both were in relatively the same place in our careers, and I had sold all my hair to buy him that watchband or whatever.

About a half year later, kHill and I had become good friends, and started working on music together. What started out as a loose idea in my head, that I formed in a joke while sitting at a table at Emerald City Comic Con 2011, turned into The Browncoats Mixtape, the album that would in a lot of ways, make our names. It’s funny, we rushed the end of that mixtape so fast, because I had just been signed on to be an opener on the mc chris tour. Where we thought we had a few months to work on it, turned into four weeks, and we zoomed to the finish line. That album also has the distinction of being maybe the only fandom-related project I’ve ever done that I can still listen to without cringing at all. I’m genuinely proud of it. It was our best shot.

Fast forward to four years later, kHill and I had never really done an official album together, i.e. never “made cheddar” together. We’d been intending to do an album for a while, and finally our schedules lined up. “Gifted Student” was the second-to-last song we did for the album, and it was a very deliberate single that we knew would lead the album off, almost in a misleading way, betraying the more serious, thoughtful stuff that was on the album. It continues my tradition of trying to find new ways to talk about nerds and geeks, without SAYING nerds and geeks. Something that I sought out to do on songs like “High School Reunion” from my last album.

Being a nerd or a geek isn’t just about liking D&D or whatever – a lot of us toe this line between being extremely smart, excelling at school or games or whatever – and feeling incredibly deficient, in social situations, in jobs, in life. How do you mix the two, where people are both salty with you for being too smart for your britches, and for not being good enough at life? The answer, as with most things, is to stick your nose up and keep doing what you do, regardless of what people think. It’s a cliched lesson, but hey, it works.

I guess I talked more about me and kHill’s history than the actual track. I mean, it’s a fun party-ish single, what more do you need. Why not come and see us on tour in a month? We just added MILWAUKEE to our tour dates!

Feb. 27 – Pittsburgh Comics – Pittsburgh, PA (facebook event) FREE
Feb. 28 – Shumatsucon – Columbus, OH
Mar. 1Green Brain Comics – Dearborn, MI (facebook event) FREE
Mar. 342 Lounge – Milwaukee, WI (facebook event)
Mar. 4 – Legend Comics – Omaha, NE (facebook event) FREE
Mar. 5 – Challengers Comics – Chicago, IL (facebook event)
Mar 6 – Singers Karaoke Club – Syracuse, NY  (facebook event)
Mar. 7 – Bombers Burrito Bar – Albany, NY (facebook event)