The last time local alt rock band, An Honest Mistake released original music was in 2016. The following years, the band released a remix album (2017) and a covers EP (2018) as well as a Christmas cover (2019). The band has finally got into high gear again seeing that it is 2020, a brand new year of change with the release of an original titled, ‘I Don’t Give A Damn’ or stylized as #IDGAD. The single features trap beats, a big chorus with funky dance guitar riffs, melodic R&B inspired verses yet retaining their signature ‘gang vocals’ that can be heard in the first few seconds of the song as well as a resounding tag of, ‘I don’t give a damn’, to close the song. The song also features a guitar solo which is something never really present in their earlier material. Listeners are also greeted with a glitch of a blurb from the 1939 film, ‘Gone With The Wind’, ‘Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn’.
In any band’s career, there is always a season of writer’s block. The band finally got out of it at the end of 2019 when a sudden spur of a moment brought this song to life. It started with bassist, Sonny Wan shouting the words ‘You don’t give a f*** about me’ out of frustration who had just gone through a painful break-up during a rehearsal. It was honest. It was pure. It came from a place of hurt and that usually is a sign of raw emotions. However, the line was later on changed to ‘I don’t give a damn about you’ turning it around into something empowering instead. A catchy funky groove immediately formed and the song started to take shape.
The lyrics then took its form deriving emotions of anger, dissatisfaction and pain; all of which were subjects that the band initially stayed away from. Quoting Darren, the main songwriter in the band, ‘When Sonny screamed those words, I knew it came from a place of pain and I wanted to tap into that. Everyone has been in a painful relationship before, I’m sure. It could have been abusive; verbally or physically. It could be a relationship out of fear. It’s crazy the reasons why people stay in relationships sometimes. But I didn’t want it to end there. I wanted to write based off of those experiences to encourage listeners to stand strong and to be brave to exit such a relationship. Instead of playing the victim, they should be the ones calling the shots. Simply put, ‘I’m done. This is over. I don’t give a damn about you’. I know too many friends who are in similar situations so I dug deep to really put my thoughts together. I can’t take credit for all of it though because Sheryl, our ex-singer put her touch on it for the lines in the chorus. We’ve written cliche love songs for so many years and it’s about time we get real’.
The band got into the recording studio early March 2020 and with one more session to go, the country had gone into lockdown. This halted the recording process and the band decided they could not wait so they proceeded to record some of the gang vocals at home to be sent back to JD (guitarist of Pop Shuv It/Project EAR) at Studio 21:05. Studio 21:05 has been home to the band since 2009 when they recorded their first ever release. Regular mixing sessions would require the band to be in the studio but a Zoom call was all it took to get the job done.
A music video was also in the works but due to the MCO, the ‘work around’ is a lyrics video instead catered to viewers who especially have a sweet tooth. Doughnuts colliding, a revolving doughnut, pasta, various nuts and origami are what viewers are treated to while having a resemblance to the artwork of the single; all of which were made with stock stop motion videos from the web.
2020 indeed has been a very weird year for the entire world but An Honest Mistake is very optimistic that even such a time as this, the nation of Malaysia could still celebrate music and stay positive by saying, ‘I don’t give a damn about you’. Expect more releases from the band this year as they’ve gone into a writing mode with multiple demo tracks already written.