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T.Q.D. “The Appetizer” EP Interview

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TQD Appetizer

Following the release of the Background Noise Crew’s Everybody Does This, the group’s T.Q.D. dropped an extremely limited release of The Appetizer EP as a supplemental CD in preparation for the emcee’s sophomore album, Clench, Grit, Breathe. Speaking of the EP T.Q.D. explained, “When I was making my full length Clench, Grit, Breathe, I wanted to have a certain number of songs that I was proud of, but decided to leave off the album. These are the six songs.” And the emotional tone of the songs is a dark one, one that strays thematically into the world of addiction and inner conflict, T.Q.D. writing from experience and as a storyteller. “I tend to draw from my own life or other people’s lives. However, there are a couple songs on this EP I decided to take some creative liberty with, for the sake of trying something new.”

And with that, here is The Appetizer EP, accompanied by a track-by-track explanation from T.Q.D. himself.

On “Destroy the Cure”: I got this beat from Chickenbone and it it blew me away from the moment I heard it and it still does. I made this song in the fall of 2007. At the time, there was a two and a half month period where I can honestly say I had a drinking problem. The plot of the song is a relationship gone wrong due to a drinking problem. The dirty little secret is that while the drinking issue was very real, there was no actual woman. I thought it might be fun to stop being autobiographical for a moment and just make a “what if” song from a first person point of view. It’s not my story, but I’m sure it’s someone’s story.

On “I Want It All Back”: This is the song that I had the hardest time leaving off of Clench, Grit, Breathe. It just didn’t fit as well as it could’ve. I received this beat from Poorboy and the sitar hooked me. This song was created last summer. It addressed being new to the dating world, which I was at the time and struggling with devoting time to a relationship and my music, which both require lots of time, and when you add in a day job, it gets more complicated. It’s about wishing I had a much less complicated busy schedule, but knowing that if things are important, then being busy is just a part of the deal.

On “Broken Vase”: This song was created in the Summer of 2008 for and about one of my ex-girlfriends. It was originally going to be a gift just for her and not go on any CD. However, she ended things before that could happen, but I wasn’t going to scrap a perfectly good song.

In terms of the song itself, she was going through some things when we met and this was basically me letting her know that, while I couldn’t change what happened before, I can be something different and for her to realize that. That is best exemplified in the “Recycle her tears plant a new tree” line. The part where I say “Follow the words and the path to sun rays/Maybe temporary but at least a new phase/A phase that you’ll always know/The kind you’ll regret if let go/Let hope set sail let the rest prevail” further drives the point home.

My favorite part of the song is right after that when I start singing after the “follow the words” portion, “Take my hand now, you won’t be sorry.” I still get chills when I hear that, because even though my singing is talent is whatever, it’s just me showing my raw emotion for someone I had fallen for. The “in love” feeling I expressed at the time is long gone, but at one point it was true and I still think the song is very good. Not to mention, my amigo Vividend gave me quite a nice beat.

On “Ponder Reasons”: I remember writing this song like it was yesterday. This, like “Destroy The Cure” is me deciding to forget about my life and play a character. I got this beat from Poorboy in February of 2008. At the time, I had never been in a relationship, so I never had a reason to make a love song. There wasn’t anyone at the time for me make this song about, but I just wanted to give it try and see what happened. I think the song turned out well. I think this was more about me building up my skill as a writer rather than anything else.

On “Growing Up Part 2″: I got this beat from Bam Bam Beatz. I totally fell for the aquatic sample. This was created in the winter of 2007. This song is about shedding the past and starting over. The song basically addresses what we all do when stuff goes wrong, which is sulk. However, at some point you have to move on. We decide when we’re done with things. The line “Rebirth is’ coming it’s already here” has to do with working toward the point where you’re no longer “wanting” to feel better and get to the point when you do feel better. I made other a couple other songs for Clench, Grit, Breathe along the same lines that I thought were better, so I left this one off. However, I still like the song.

The song “Growing Up Part 1″ actually doesn’t exist anymore. I used some lines from there and threw away the rest to make a whole new tune that will see the light of day in the future. I’m sure a demo still exists of part one somewhere on my hard drive, but I’m not a huge fan of it.

On “Time Travel”: This is one of the first beats I got from Phingaz when I met him a little over three years ago. I was going through the “find myself” portion of my life and this is all about moving through time aimlessly and one day waking up to realize that even if things haven’t changed, they needed to. I love the song, but always had a hard time finding a home for it. I’m glad it’s on this EP.