Behind the Song: "Hit The Town"

Photo courtesy: Ethan Reiss

After the listener gets through the fist-raising anthem "Teenagers Too" on Friends in Low Places, the chaos continues into the very next track.

"Hit The Town" is Track 2 on the debut studio album for Bobby Mahoney and the Seventh Son, and unlike the rest of the songs on the album, was composed entirely by rhythm guitarist Jon Alba. 

The site talked with Bobby and Jon about this song in the lastest edition of "Behind the Song."

How did "Hit The Town" come to be?

JA: "'Hit The Town' started as a lick that actually has never seen the light of day. The main chorus progression you hear started as extended riffage, but played higher up on the neck based around the G and B strings. There were also many more chord changes in the chorus originally, but they proved to be too choppy and got rid of some of the groove. Eventually, it worked into its own, and the song is undoubtedly my own personal tribute to the essence of hard rock."

The song was written in late-2012. What made you want to hold on to it for the album?

BM: "I felt that it definitely worked in the story I wanted to tell. It's also one of those songs that I think deserved studio recordings treatment. The main section of the song is actually the fastest BPM on the album. It was a perfect fit for the story."

JA: "The song is a great capturing of what our early run as Seventh Son was about. Hard, balls to the walls rock. This is a song, like 'Teenagers Too,' that gets away with its simplicity due to what it offers to the ear. I also personally love the reckless intent; there's no love subject, there's no happy ending. It just goes."

Why is the song the second on the album?

BM: "The groove is so different from 'Teenagers Too' that opens the album, so it stands out in the second slot. It also rocks hard and is a perfect second song, both on the album and live."

JA: "It also continues the thematic elements presented in 'Teenagers Too.' The song makes literal references to gambling, but it is also metaphorical in that regard; a Friday night for the youth is rarely ever easy going, and this song explains that adrenaline rush experienced by many."

Is it weird having a song essentially entirely composed by Jon on the disk?

BM:  "Not for me. A lot of our writing is a team effort and there are a few songs on the album that were mostly me, so I like that we have an abundance of songwriting going on. I just have to put up with Jon constantly reminding me that he can write good songs. It's a friendly competition." 

JA: "Because I CAN write good songs...he just has to hope this isn't the song that gets him a record deal. On a serious note, as I mentioned earlier, this song is a tribute for me. It is in honor of some of my favorite hard rock acts, namely AC/DC, and most definitely a nod to the late, great Bon Scott."

What is your favorite element of the song?

BM: "I just love that it is a no frills rocker. The intro builds up and just explodes. The solo is always fun to play as well."

JA: "Personally, I'd probably say the intro. I don't get many moments to display my craft, as most rhythm guitarists shouldn't because I believe their skill should be displayed subtly. But that is one of them. I also take a lot of pride in the lyrics. While it may be a little wordy at parts, I think the chorus is super catchy."

How does "Hit The Town" differ from songs found later on the album?

BM: "This is one of the few songs that I doubled my vocals. You hear it in octaves for the choruses. It gives it a cool effect. In the 'story' of the album, this is the 'Hey, get off your ass, let's go tear up this night' song and it is definitely a call to action."

JA: "It's probably the most aggressive song on the album, possibly next to 'New Age Outlaws' and 'Teenagers Too.' The later parts of the album turn more into dispair, and this offers a glimmer of optimism.

You try to change up your sets as much as possible. Why is this song a mainstay?

BM: "It is one of the band's favorites to play, and when we have talked about cutting it for a show, the guys were sad and heavily protested. It's a kick-ass, balls to the wall, rock tune. I'm really glad Jon wrote this one."

JA: "I noted in the last article that it's super important for us to feed off one another for energy during our shows. If the energy isn't there, we can't have a good performance. This one gets the blood pumping."

How do you look back on "Hit The Town" at the end of the day?

BM: "It is extremely fun to play and just go apeshit. AC/DC on steroids."

JA: "I always joke it's the best AC/DC song since 1990...but honestly, I will always have a soft spot for it, and am glad it has become a staple of our sets and made the album.

Friends in Low Places is available via iTunes, Bandcamp, Spotify and various other outlets.

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