United Dictators of Mars: The Music of Tom Mody & Jeffrey Harris







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Tom Mody :::.::::..:..:.:.
Tom Mody
Fighting 50

The Chosen Won
Music: Mody, Zaia Lyricss: Mody

album cover art for Tom Mody's album Fighting 50
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Burning rocket fuel you might ignite into space man.
As silver streaks the sky, couldn't get more high.
Breaking all the rules with an inner form of vibration.
You’re constellation- an interstellar sensation.

Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Always out for the glory- as you leap past the sun.
Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!Blazing like a star child. We know the chosen won

How you keep your cool-as you prowl like the cat man. Beats the drum of a madman.
Lights flashing to the fanfare. Rising through the rockets red glare.
Try to take ‘em alive- but leave the doubters behind.

Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Always out for the story- with the slip of the tongue
Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Bat crazy like a demon. That's how the chosen won.

Always dressed to thrill. Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!
To keep them under your thumb.
You say you wanted the best. Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!
That’s why the chosen won.

Shout it out.
Love it loud.

Tom Mody song liner notes"Kiss isn't my favorite band, they're just my favorite band to talk about." This was such a great quote I heard from journalist Chuck Klosterman on a Kiss PODcast show Three Sides of the Coin. So now do you understand the lyrics? It's a song about Kiss... the rock band. It wasn't really intentional at first. But turned out to be a really fun track and was almost forgotten. The song was fully conceived a few years back with more killer bass riffs from Matt Zaia. I didn't really know if it would develop into a vocal track. Matt had been considering trying his hand at vocalsand Jeff seemed to have more of a different direction he wanted to devote his time to musically so it sat in my hard drive. But it was a really catchy groove with a go-for-it wild "wah" solo and I suppose it could have been turned into an instrumental... but I just forgot about it. So midway through the process of compiling music for another album I revisited this track and again what caught my attention was the clean recording and production. I had started to approach the idea of attempting some vocals on other tracks and went through the exercise of writing lyrics. Strangely the "hey hey" sections are what I came up with first and if you're going to use them the song needed to be somewhat anthemic or inclusive in theme. Through some word play I came up with the "Chosen Won" concept and started developing a winners theme with some cool phrasing. One of the phrasings was the word "starchild." As a life long Kiss fan the light then sorta flickered on and I thought maybe I'd use another Paul Stanley reference hideen in the track or another Kiss reference in the second chous. But quickly it became more interesting to use superlatives and narratives all about Kiss. And so it became the first song I know written about Kiss. I did kind of tilt it as a slam on the Rock and Roll Hall of "Shame" for their horrible disrespect for bands like Kiss and other extremely deserving influences that they make wait or slight for many years before giving them their well deserved due. So now I had to sing this and I have to say it fit nicely within my very small window of vocal range. But it isn't really the range issue that makes the song. I found a personality. Keep in mind in my 30+ years of writing music I sang on half a track, Piece of Heaven. Even after being really pleased with the outcome, personally, I spent many listens trying to find the holes and the inauthenticity telling myself I'm hearing what I want to hear and not trusting what I am hearing. But over many listens I became use to hearing my voice, a cross of Alice Cooper and Gene Simmons, and realized it's limited but unique and if used right can be a valuable assett to my songs. That's a big hurdle to overcome at age 50. Maybe old dogs can't learn new tricks but middle aged dogs can. The final analysis of the track is that as a song about Kiss it sounds nothing like a Kiss song, and hopefully that is why it may stand on it's own. The video concept was a hard one for me. I thought about it for almost 6 months. I really wanted to do a stop motion video with Kiss dolls but I'd never attempted anything like that and couldn't invest the time and risk having it come out like crap. I watched a number of music videos one evening to try and jarr an idea out of my brain and I there was a Joan Jett video that had close-ups of her face and imagry scrolling across her and that was the seed of the idea to have Kiss imagry go across sunglasses. I just needed to make green screen sunglasses with spray paint and then impose my personal collection of Kiss paraphenalia scrolling across the glasses. Using my own Kiss colectibles also likely protectected me from any image copyright issues. In the end I made the imagry much more subtle and harder to catch as I had so much other things going on with the background graphics. The Kiss imagry became more like video "easter eggs" that you needed to find when the glasses were hanging from my shirts. Can't say it was my most exciting video ever as I had to keep still so the Kiss image overlays would stay in line with the glasses- but it has a level of fun to it I can appreciate.


Jeffrey Harris song liner notesAs soon as Tom played this for my review it was a proud moment. It was at that point I realized Tom has come into his own and no longer needed me for vox on his recordings…well in part some of that is true. What a great concept and vision. The lyrics and vocals fit perfect for this song. When Tom approached me to sing some backing vocals in the chorus, I took it home tossed it in the blender and came up with nothing. Translation, as I stated to Tom, there was nothing I could add to this song that would enhance it. It is a masterpiece on its own merit. Kudos to Tom.
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