In an attempt to shine a light on each individual song on Starlight, we’re doing a blog series entitled “Track by Track.” Each week a different member of TRN will write about the 10 songs that make up our new album.
BY GREG NERGAARD
This is Greg, bassist for The Right Now. I'm really happy to talk about "That's Enough" because it speaks to some of the non-musician parts of my life. I've been working professionally for organizations that address food insecurity, homelessness, and poverty for more than a decade. Falling under the general umbrella social justice, this is my other passion besides music. Currently I work at Lakeview Pantry supervising emergency food programs.
"That's Enough" continues a thread of two major themes that I see all over Starlight: compassion and dystopia. Along with other songs from Starlight like "If It Was You" and "Everything Is Broken," "That's Enough" addresses social issues. Unemployment, food stamps, and desperation surface in the lyrics sung from the point of view of a partner or a caretaker (perhaps a spouse). "That's Enough" is also a hopeful song illuminating need in our community and asking for social change.
The picture this song paints reminds me of the Rust Belt which is never too far away if you live in the Midwest states. Closed factories, broken dreams, industries that just won't come back...beginning as long ago as the late 1970s or early 1980s this is a situation that was all too familiar to me growing up. Some parts of the Rust Belt are just starting to find stability now after three decades of decline. I think about places in Northwest Indiana that are a part of the Greater Chicagoland Area where TRN hail from. And let's not forget about layoffs at the Chicago Assembly Ford plant in the 2000s or the US Steel South Works which closed in 1992--both located right here in my home town.
Getting back to the music for a moment: because of the "lost industrial rust belt" theme I heard in the lyrics for "That's Enough" and other songs I tried to make the bass line in the verses here sound a little bit Motown. Detroit is the biggest example of lost industry I can think of (or was-I know Detroit is mounting a comeback) so it was an easy connection for me to make. It's a small thing in the context of all that is going on in this song but it keeps me connected to an idea when I'm performing.
This is the only song on Starlight that wasn't engineered by Vijay Tellis-Nayak, although he did mix it along with all of the other tracks he recorded with us at Transient Studios. We asked Vijay if he wanted to start over and record "That's Enough" again so that all of the tracks on Starlight would have a similar sound to them. I remember Vijay saying something like "I don't want to re-record this one because it has an energy and a vibe to it that is really special." I agree. There's an powerful sound in the rhythm section on this one that hits hard. This is also a testament to the talents of Neil Strauch, the original engineer. Most of what we recorded with Neil wasn't used for Starlight because at that time TRN was searching for a new sound, trying new things and even songs that didn't really work out. However, Neil really captured "That's Enough" for us and helped us relax in order to get great performances and some emotional content in the track.
One other thing I remember is me and Chris Corsale both using a vintage Big Muff distortion pedal that was sitting around Shirk Studios. It made everything sound SO GOOD: guitar, bass, etc. We both wanted to track with that pedal and we were trying to convince each other to let the other use it. I'm pretty sure that sound is a part of what we're hearing and why this song made it onto Starlight.