Chris DeLine

Cedar Rapids, IA

The Non-Commissioned Officers “Fire Standing Still” (Influenza)

Published in Blog, Culture Bully. Tags: , , .

Non-Commissioned Officers Money Looking for Thieves

Simply put, had it not been for a bit of chance the Non-Commissioned Officers would not exist. A phone call from an old friend about an indie film that was set to be produced in Nashville—which would become Make-Out with Violence—drew brothers Eric and Jordan Lehning together from opposite sides of the country, and out of the scoring and subsequent performances in support the film, the band began to take form. Now seven members deep, the group is releasing a new album, Money Looking For Thieves, which continues to find the band bridging pop elements with guitar-driven rock; not quite a “knock out rock assault,” but not some lazy noodling either. One such track from the band’s new release that exemplifies this coming together of influences is “Fire Standing Still,” a rhythmically tireless piece that isn’t above meandering between genres as the song transitions in and out of its chorus. In this edition of Culture Bully’s Influenza series, lead vocalist Eric Lehning elaborates on the creation of “Fire Standing Still,” getting philosophical in describing the evolution of the song’s lyrics. While Money Looking For Thieves won’t be released until March 14, the album is presently streaming in its entirety over at the Non-Comm’s Facebook page. The band will be holding a CD release show for the album tomorrow night (March 11) at Mercy Lounge.

Where: The night before the album has to be mastered and I’m still working out the lyrics for “Fire Standing Still.”

Why: Because the last draft of lyrics was about Joan of Arc and sucked.

I got to the first chorus and Jordan stopped the track. I’ve never abandoned a castle to the sea so swiftly as I fled into the office to unravel newer better words from the music we’d made up. Jordan suggested repeating something for the first couple measures of each verse. Once my own tension aligned with the tension in the music it seemed pretty clear that describing events which imply a narrative was going to be more efficacious than trying to sing a short story. So I just rambled about tension that has no conscious release. Maybe it’s about hell too. The eternal flame can mean hell or undying love. One and the same when sorrowfully exiting the mortal coil. At least according to that movie, Jacob’s Ladder. Maybe going to heaven or hell is an arduously slow process of aeons. Like grade school. Then one day you wake up and it’s time to pay your taxes. Or you have a moment of clarity and realize you’re burning in eternity or bathed in the holy light. I’m not sure there’s an adequate climax for metaphysical tension, at least not in this dimension.

[This post was first published by Culture Bully.]