Origins is a recurring series giving artists a space to break down everything that went into their latest release. Today, producer Bob Rock digs into his posthumous Gord Downie collaboration “Greyboy Says.”
Prominent producer Bob Rock (Metallica, Motley Crüe, The Offspring) and Gord Downie, the late frontman of The Tragically Hip, have released “Greyboy Says,” the latest preview of their upcoming album, Lustre Parfait.
Downie worked with the producer for over a decade to create Lustre Parfait. Serving as the opening track of the album, “Greyboy Says” was inspired by the work of Led Zeppelin, Bo Diddley, David Bowie, and more.
After Downie’s passing, Rock retained the original vocals and tempo of the song while rearranging the instrumental aspects. “The track that Gord wrote the song to is not what you hear today,” Rock tells Consequence. “There was an uneasy feeling I had after hearing the melody and lyrics that Gord came up with which made me think that the music was not right, so I kept his vocal and a basic tempo map.”
The single harkens back to the glam rock of the ’80s with slick electric guitar and bombastic energy. Downie’s rousing vocals easily shift from a light falsetto to a hearty chest voice, while still retaining power with each change. Striking percussion centers the spirited track as Downie sings, “Whether laughter, sorrow, anger, tears/ You can do it and if you can’t, I’m here.”
Watch the music video for “Greyboy Says” and read Rock’s Origins breakdown of the single below.
Lustre Parfait is set for release on May 5th via Arts & Crafts. Pre-orders are ongoing.