12 February, 2018Print
Will Sheff's Statement on "Don't Move Back to LA"
Will's Statement on "Don't Move Back to LA":
This song had a very straightforward impulse behind it: a bunch of my best friends all moved to LA and I was really sad about it so I wrote a song about how I didn't want them to leave. I'm specifically referring to them through some of the nicknames in the song. I think the song is also kind of about my own deep and long-held desire to get the hell out of New York City, which for years I felt was suffocating me but which I couldn’t manage to leave. I’d like to think that this song is also about how when people fly out of their original towns for big media cities they forfeit the chance to stay in their smaller towns and make them better, and then you end up with a world where there are big slick cities and bitter and brain-drained small towns and not a lot in between. Ironically, by the very end of recording In the Rainbow Rain I had worked up the courage and had made a solid plan to finally get out of New York City. I got Shawn Everett’s final mix of “Don’t Move Back to LA” in my inbox the morning of the move, and I remember listening to it in my headphones while walking to buy bagels and coffees for the drive. Listening to the song again – and specifically the line “You can have your New York City back” – as we left town via the BQE felt triumphant. I’d written a line in a song and then managed to make the line happen in real life.