You see, this is one of those songs I like to call a “problem child”. For whatever reason, it was trouble from day one. But, both my co-writer Randy Scott and I feel that if we’re irresponsible enough to start an idea, we should be responsible enough to finish it. We do our best to complete most of the songs we begin. Not to mention the fact that it may have seemed a bit hypocritical to abandon a song whose focus was on commitment and devotion.
The ongoing struggle with this song began with its influences. I’m a big fan of Country music. At the time, I had been listening to both “Woman in Me” and “Come on Over” by Shania Twain, repeatedly. One listen to title track from the former and “You’re Still the One” from the latter – and I was hooked. I wanted songs like that of my own. So the idea was born and I cut a rough demo.
RS, who is not the biggest fan of the Country genre, wasn’t as enthusiastic. “Isn’t Cherry Suede supposed to be a rock band? guitars, drums…”, he reasoned. But after a bit of a debate, we both agreed that a good song will win out, and we should give it a shot. So he began to write…and write…and write.
He first locked in on the title. “At the End of the Day”, an expression a good friend of ours often used. We are huge on titles. The sooner we come up with a title, the sooner a song starts to feel real. The rest of the lyric wasn’t so easy.
“I literally went through verse after verse, chorus after chorus, and nothing felt right” RS explains. “Once I had the idea in my head about commitment and devotion, I would think about relationships like my parents, who were, and still are together … I wanted to write something worthy of that, so I became very hard on myself … and my writing.”
Once we finally had a draft, we recorded the song at Le Studio, in Morin Heights, QC. Although the facility was probably most famous for a string of Rush albums, I was intrigued by the fact that much of “Woman in Me” was recorded there. That studio was truly a magical place and I miss it dearly. ( It also had fantastic coffee! )
Of course the first recording of the song was a false start. We couldn’t get the feel we were looking for and the melody just didn’t sit right. The sessions were scrapped and we put the song away for another time. It was only by chance during a later session that RS took a whole different approach to the melody. Suddenly, we felt like we were on the right track. A final demo came out of of those sessions, but, in the end, it still lacked finesse.
“At the End of the Day” laid dormant for years. That is, until one day, film director Sean Michael Beyer in Hollywood heard the demo buried on Myspace and insisted he licence it for his movie “Resurrection Mary.” We worked out the details and got to work.
Because of the film’s deadline, we had to move quickly. We produced the bed tracks via iChat in Ottawa while they were being recorded in LA. Once the basic tracks were cut, the guitars and vocals were finished on the road in West Virginia. The final mix was done at The Barbershop Studios in NJ by Jason Corsaro and the song was mastered at Sterling Sound, NY by UE Nastasi.
Total turnaround from locking in the deal to delivery of the song was about a week to 10 days.
The song ended up in both a dance scene and as final credits in the film.
We’ve since included the new version as a bonus track on our limited edition re-release of the first Cherry Suede album and it has become an audience favourite. We have countless stories of the song being used as a wedding song, along with heaps of other positive feedback.
“At the End of the Day” has seen yet another “rebirth” with our recent acoustic version. The “featured video” on the SAC page, was part of the development for a Cherry Suede: Up Close and Personal acoustic live show and web video series. The video cost us about $39 dollars to make (rental of 4 lights) and was edited by 16yr old filmmaker Andrew Barrie.
The spread of the acoustic version of “At the End of the Day”, along with our free music downloads, and the Cherry Suede: Up Close and Personal series has already led to talks of bringing the show to the UK in May.
It’s nice to see a song that, at its core, talks about commitment and devotion, prove it’s own message to us time and time again. Had we walked away from it and not finished the song, we would have missed the beauty of the whole journey. And in the end, isn’t that what all this is supposed to be about?
Thanks for listening.