Gospel Claws, "Summer Nights Lakeside"

Gospel Claws: They'll drown you if you want them to.
Gospel Claws: They'll drown you if you want them to.

Local indie rock outfit Gospel Claws' first album is causing quite a stir.

It's not hard to see why the band has caught the ear of everyone up to and including National Public Radio's All Songs Considered with songs like their first single, "Summer Nights Lakeside," ostensibly about a beach party/assisted suicide at an area lake.

It's a wonderful little mid-tempo ditty with a memorable refrain ("No worries, no school, it's summetime") and memorable lines like "I'll drown you if you want me to," that just sort of stick in your head.

But what is the sing about, really? As part of a new series creatively titled "What's This Song About?" Up On The Sun interrogated songwriter Joel Marquard by instant message.

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Hear the song and get the inside story below.

Summer Nights Lakeside by Gospel Claws

Joel Marquard:
hey man

Up On The Sun:
ready to do this thang?

Joel Marquard:
fire away

Joel is offline.

Up On The Sun:
hey dude you there?

Joel Marquard:
you still there? facebook is really slow today...

Joel is offline.

Up On The Sun:
keeps showing you offline

Joel is online.

Joel Marquard:
wtf

Up On The Sun:
you keep disappearing

Joel Marquard:
I'm not sure what's going on
hmmmm... maybe i should restart my computer or something

Up On The Sun:
so this song "Summer Nights Lakeside" .... what's it about?

Joel Marquard:
it's about two friends and one has got the teenage blues

Up On The Sun:
are you one of these friends?
and what sort of teenage blues?

Joel Marquard:
i don't know if i am... just kinda characters i made up

Up On The Sun:
so in your head these characters are going to which lake?
one around here? it seems like not that fun to go hang around a lake in Phoenix in the summertime


Joel Marquard:
shit...did i miss the first half of the question and did you get my answer?
it's not really clear why he's sad and may not be important.

Up On The Sun:
i got the impression it was over a girl
maybe that's just the obvious conclusion

Joel Marquard:
so the other friend feeling sad mentions he wants to kill himself


Up On The Sun:
He seems very sad though... his buddy offers to drown him, a funny joke
i am not sure i got the first part of that

Joel Marquard:
so the other friend says we can go to the lake and i'll help you if you want to...but it was his way of getting his friend to a change of scenery
and maybe get a lake party going

Up On The Sun:
yes, a wonderful trick to use on friends
now, have you ever been to a "lake party"?
i must confess i have not
but you make it sound really fun

Joel Marquard:
Yeah, a lot of people think it's over a girl or between a girl and boy

Up On The Sun:
(except the cheap american beer; i'm a snob)

Joel Marquard:
  I could be over a girl though... it's not clear
but his other friend gets him to the lake and he brings a tent and some beer just in case they want to spend the night and they do and call more friends to come hang out/camp and cheer him up
I was just thinking they were teens and couldn't afford expensive beer or find...

Up On The Sun:
ah, makes sense
so do you actually have fond memories of lake parties or just something that sounds super fun?

Joel Marquard:
whoa, i was just starting to type that out.
Yes, I love the lake in the middle of the night under the moon light
staying up late and what not...


Up On The Sun:
it seems like a lot of people really, really like this song... are you especially proud of it or just think of it as another track you wrote?

Joel Marquard

Yeah, I have like a billion songs, but i am proud of this one.
it all started with that little guitar lead that i recorded on my computer and went back to it like a month later and it just kinda fell into my lap

Up On The Sun

The whole story and all that?

Joel Marquard:
which is really how the best songs come about... from thin air.

Up On The Sun

I must admit I am disappointed you did not actually have this conversation with a friend

Joel Marquard

Oh, well, I think the drown you part just popped into my head and then i wrote the verses

Up On The Sun:
so that was the beginning of it?
that's a great line
i can understand how you would want to build around that

Joel Marquard:
almost like his friend loves him so much he would even do him a favor and take him out... haha

Up On The Sun:
haha yes
or that he's just razzing him
like "quit whining, i'll drown you if you want me to -- but maybe we can just drink some beers"
this is the sort of thing i would say to a friend
put things in perspective

Joel is offline.

Up On The Sun:
you still there?

Your chat message wasn't sent because Joel is offline.

Joel is online.

Joel Marquard

Yeah, totally

Up On The Sun

Man, fbook is terrible today

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