Some time ago, I mentioned that Breathe was the song that set the record for amount of re-writes, and this is still correct, with a total of about 5 different versions before we settled on the one you can purchase at your local Best Buy.
Philip in the lotus position.
Version one had something to do with a boy nobody liked named Savrola Wriothesley. He makes a giant robot in his garage to terrorize all the kids that give him a hard time. It came to me some time after the 57th listening of What's He Building? by Tom Waits, and maybe one too many viewings of Chopping Mall. Which is one.
Version two is a bit foggy now but I think it had to do with someone stumbling upon some sort of clandestine now-you-see-it-now-you-don't vampire meeting of some sort, kind of like a mix between a creepy Levi's commercial from the late '90s (with modern vampires living in a NYC factory loft, wearing stylish jeans), and a 1935 short story by Arthur Machen. Weird Tales fans take note.
Then there were a couple other versions that attempted to milk various episodes of Tales from the Darkside and The Outer Limits, but we ultimately decided we could get by with some simplified lyrics that didn't go too far off the deep end, and certainly would have nothing to do with Bush's Machinehead. Though we do love the 90's!
What Breathe looks like live. Note tambourine. (Pic by Kendra Griffiths)
Musically, Breathe was an idea spawned by Nic, and like Cameo, was recorded in straight-forward fashion. Most of it was recorded live with little to no studio-trickery, nor the ubiquitous noise track, at least until the dance party outro. This was the first song we heard roughly mixed through the Tarbox monitors, and I remember it making me smile like a stoned hackysack. When I commented on it a few days later whilst hanging out at the Fridmann household, Mary (or Mrs. Fridmann, rather) said matter-of-factly, "Dave can do rock." To which we all ululated a manly, "Hear, hear."
Rev. J. Christopher Newby of the Glorious and Blessed Nation of Brazil