Den + Shai found himself in the middle of a tour of the main arena when COVID-19 stopped touring and life in general in March. But as their new single “I’m Probably Going to Sleep,” released today (July 31), shows, they spent most of their time in quarantine.
Dan Smiers and Shay Mooney began the song with co-authors Sean Douglas and Jason Evigan at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles in January, where they took home their second consecutive trophy / band trophy.
Just before the lock, they pulled out the song and tried it again for size. The couple finished writing it, and then Smiers, working on his home studio – a spare bedroom, which he converted and deftly names Abby Road in honor of his wife and the famous London studio where the Beatles recorded ̵1; created and designed the track. He also played every instrument, including piano, drums, bass, acoustic guitar, synthesizer and string strings.
The result is a lush, heartfelt ballad with a beautiful composition and multi-layered harmonies, which pays the debt of The Beatles, Queen, Electric Light Orchestra and, apparently, the groundbreaking album Beach Boys Sounds of pets. Mooney’s vocals Mooney surpasses anything he’s done before.
Smiers and Mooney talked Billboard about creating a track, the first single from their upcoming album, two days before its release.
This is such a soulful song. How did two happily married men and your co-authors return to the mind of a man crying for lost love?
Laughs: I think that’s the beauty of writing. This almost allows you to acquire character for as long as it can be a session. Also, thanks to the beauty of co-writing, you can draw from the past life experiences of many people to create it. We knew we wanted it to be a situational thing where someone struggled with temptation and they were vulnerable to any temptation. In this case, it is someone from whom they can not completely refrain.
I think we were all in that position. The fact that we knew that the message was very relay and direct allowed us to be a little more experimental and incorporate it into a large number of productions and get a lot of different influences.
How much did you write in Los Angeles against how much was done after the COVID-19 crash?
Mooney: We wrote a poem and a chorus, and maybe a little second poem, as in Los Angeles. [Then] after quarantining for a few weeks, and after Dan and I realized we were healthy, I went to his house. It was a big deal. We have been in quarantine for so long and for obvious reasons we have not seen or communicated with anyone. We started jamming on the piano, and in the first 20 minutes we fell in love with music together again. There seemed to be magic in the room.
We played the song a few times in the soundcheck, and we knew we loved the song and the sound, but it wasn’t quite there. Dan had just started playing the piano, and I started riffing on things, singing random tunes, and I had this little groove for the bridge. Maybe in the next hour we’ll finish this song.[Pre-pandemic], we have shifted all our attention to the tour, and when you switch to this mode, you probably forget about the importance of the song. When we returned to that room, we began to remember how everything we do revolves around great music. In order to move forward, we must truly bring great meaning. Our fans deserve it, radio deserves it.
And that’s why we really had time to really think about our music and be able to methodically make a plan and be able to record it the way we want. It takes a day, perhaps, four days, when only one shock is heard. If it was the last song we ever released, it wouldn’t be, but if it was, we’d be so proud of it. This is what we have been trying to achieve so far.
How long did it take to come up with this deal? It’s very reminiscent of beach boys Sounds of pets and Brian Wilson’s way of layering vocals.
Laughs: It was the inspiration for all harmonies. It was Sounds for pets – all the genius and magic behind it is something I’ve always studied. Because we’ve evolved over the course of our careers, we haven’t really had the opportunity to really dive into it as much as we’d like. And it gave us a moment when we just had nothing but time on hand to really have fun with it and experiment and extract those influences.
There is Sergey. Pepper’s group of lonely heart clubs there is some influence of the queen, some Prince. All sorts of crazy things, and we add our modern touch to this.
I would lie on the bus at night while we were driving on the road, and one crazy night I came across Sounds of pets vocal compositions a capella. I like that I studied inside and out and tried to draw inspiration from it. It was time to have a home studio, which is essentially just a bedroom for guests with a mattress, leaning against the wall and blankets on the floor to just think and just experiment and try different things.
As soon as I heard Shay start singing his impressive vocal acrobatics on the microphone, I said, “We need to agree on a production that supports this,” and the vocals deserve it. That’s why I spent so much time on sound sounds, realizing that I shouldn’t overdo the production or replay the instruments to interfere with what’s most important. From the fans’ point of view, they just hear, “Wow, this is crazy vocals.” Shaya’s lead vocals are amazing. Therefore, everything that is there is meant to support it.
Shay, how do you feel about singing this at a concert and trying to hit those high notes?
Mooney: I feel like I’ve put myself in this corner and I’ll have to sing it for the rest of my life[[[[laughs]. Dan and I started talking and singing all these random things, and I felt inspired and made all these crazy notes. I thought about it later, like, “How the hell am I going to do this live? These are some ridiculously high notes. ” It will get nervous every time. But I think we can do it, especially with Dan, who gives me that confidence.
This is a very pop song. Do you even worry about the backlash from the country’s programmers?
Mooney: From the beginning, we had such a wonderful relationship with country radio, and they supported us so much. It is amazing to watch how music developed and how genre lines blurred. And I think they know we stayed there. We are not trying to deviate from the country, we are just trying to write great music. And I think it’s beyond genres, which is very difficult to do, but we’ve managed to do it on a few now.
We try to give them a great song that the listeners want to listen to. I think clicking and blurring these lines is good for all formats. We’re just trying to get the most people in the world to hear our music because we’re so proud of it. We spend so much time trying to make it great.
The video is also coming out today. What was it like shooting a quarantined video?
Laughs: Everyone had to be tested on COVID on departure, and there was a COVID compliance officer who walked by and made sure there was never a time when people would take off their masks. It was crazy, but, you know, that was what we had to do. And I think it was good for people to get back to work. People wanted it. I think that moment made us step back and appreciate, “Hey, we all need to make music for life. It is incredibly. This is a dream. “