Comments: On The Outside 2.1.

I first had the idea for the music of this song when I was on tour in Brasil in 1993 for Peace & Love, Inc., still with Paul and Jim. At that time, I thought it perhaps could fit into the old Information Society style, since it was fairly pop. At least, in my head it was. I got back home and added some lyrics that I had already been thinking of, and recorded the demo in 05/93. This version 1.0 appeared in the 3DO game "BALLZ".
Steve and I recorded version 2.0 in 02/97. When I sequenced the album, I added the cinematic intro/outro, and called this version 2.1.

If you like this song at all, then you have to give some of the credit to Steve. I had pretty much decided not to put this song on the album. I almost didn't even put it on the tape of material I gave to Steve. He somehow heard a good song in there, and convinced me to do it, which wasn't easy. We talked about it a lot, because I had severe misgivings. I felt vaguely that the song was 'stupid', but I couldn't really see what to do about it. I agreed to do the song only on the condition that he promise me that he would make certain the final version would not be stupid.
I must say, I was impressed. He took a song I had written down a dead end and given up on and turned into something I'm proud of. He made me make the bass line more complex, he played the guitar parts, he insisted that I sing the bridges with a different melody, ("I don't know what you should do instead, but that sounds too happy.") and he came up with a set of sounds for the bass and percussion that gave it some serious bite. I was pleased. But the most important change was that I took it upon myself to change the lyrics, and after I did that, I realized that more than half of what I didn't like was in the lyrics.

Unlike most of the rest of the lyrics on Don't Be Afraid, the speaker in this song is not speaking about himself, and I think that's why I was so unhappy with the first 2 incarnations of the lyrics. Trying to express ideas about other people in song lyrics is only a micron away from preaching. I finally toned them down enough that I felt they show the listener something rather than telling the listener. The subjects of the lyrics' commentary are teens. I think I wouldn't have written these lyrics if I hadn't known SO MANY girls in my life who had scars on their arms.

Sound Forge to the rescue again! Steve decided that the original guitar sound parts in version 1.0 weren't good enough, so he recorded new ones he played himself. However, I missed the over-the-top insanity of the last part of the guitar section, in which the higher-pitched sounds come in. I took the guitar tracks into Sound Forge and stretched them out by 200% with the worst- sounding algorithm I could find and then sent them out to the sampler to be played back an octave up. I was pleased.
This is the only InSoc song to ever use a sample from "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer".