Michael Buckner | Frazer Harrison, Getty Images Now this is a collaboration that…
- Posted on Mar 24th 2010 4:00PM by Kenneth Partridge
"There's got to be some kind of connection that I make to the material," Hood says. "It's funny, because people, knowing what I do, are always bringing me stories: 'Man, I read this thing, and it's the kind of thing you should write a song about.' And it's hugely awful and involves someone blowing up their trailer or something, almost like the Mad magazine cliché version of what I do. And I'm sitting there going, 'Does it really come off that way? Is that really what it seems like I'm doing?'"
If Hood tends to shy away from the obvious types of stories -- ones that seem almost too Drive-By Truckers -- he recently found himself drawn to a true-crime tale about the murder of a pervy Tennessee priest, the inspiration behind 'The Wig He Made Her Wear,' a tune from the Trucker's forthcoming eighth studio album, 'The Big To-Do.'
"It would be the kind of thing normally I'd run from, because it seemed too much like one off of the first two records, when I really was writing a lot of that stuff -- when people were blowing up their trailers in songs," Hood says. "But that story kept following me around. It was the weirdest thing."
Hood first read about the story while touring in Norway, and a year later, while flipping through channels in a motel room, he happened upon Court TV. There was the priest's killer, his wife, showing the court the humiliating outfits her husband had forced her to wear. Hood remembers the "audible gasp" when she held up the wig and high heels.
"I was thinking how to approach that story to set up for the gasp to be the payoff," Hood says. "I was thinking about it, and I sat down and I wrote it really quickly. We were starting the recording the next day, so we recorded it within a couple of days."
"I love when we write right before we go into the studio, and we can record it when they're that new," he adds. "Some do better when you play them for a while, but some are just at their best, at least to record, when they've just been written. [You get] that original idea across before it morphs. And I got lucky several times on the record like that."