After Brooklyn quartet Via Audio released its 2007 debut Say Something, drummer/guitarist and co-vocalist Dan Molad, left the group and was replaced on drums by Adam Sturtevant. The rest of the band — guitarist/vocalist Tom Deis, bassist David Lizmi, and guitarist/vocalist Jessica Martins — stayed put. But Molad’s departure is deeply felt on the previously unreleased “Paperthin.” We spoke with Martins about the meaning and emotions behind the track.
Is this plain, insane Jane based on a real-life acquaintance?
“Plain Jane” is an actual person I know, but she’s also me. The idea for the song came while I was thumbing through a magazine I had found and came across a piece of paper with handwritten lyrics to a song “Jane” had written. The song is about her decaying relationship with her boyfriend, who also plays in her band; it made me think about how it must feel for him to perform those songs, and air his laundry out night after night. It also made me want to write a song obviously about her, though I don’t know if she has ever heard it.
The lyrics shift when you start talking about this thin paper and words, etc. What happens there? By the end of the song?
The song is mostly my personal reaction to the transition the band went through when we replaced a member, but it also touches on songwriting, and the impact it is possible to make with lyrics. At the time of writing it, I had no idea the transformation our band would
end up making with the new member, so the lyrics come off as angry and hopeless about the situation; I don’t feel that way today, but that’s either the beauty or tragedy of a song — it captures a specific moment in time, and freezes it forever.