Eccentric L.A.-based musician Charlie Greene says he began writing the quirky “Man on Fire” as a sort of dumping ground for unfinished song fragments. What emerged became the country-strange first single off his daring new self-titled album, out Tuesday (Feb. 25).
With a propulsive backbone and Greene’s manic, hillbilly style narration, the tune’s haphazard construction led to a main character who’s beyond weird.
“This guy lives on licorice sticks down by the river,” explains Greene. “He’s very proud of what he considers a perfect ass. He owns a jet that is powered by shavings from the back of his tongue. He goes to Piggly Wiggly and tries to get women to stick their arms down his throat and tear out his heart.
“Maybe weirdo is too harsh,” he decides. “He seems to be struggling to deal with his emotions in a constructive way. Perhaps a little therapy and a gym membership would straighten him out.”
Even the backup vocals are whimsical. Green and company came up with a blend that sounds like Motown meets Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
“It was a regular giggle-fest,” Green says about recording the parts. “One of those ideas that makes you a little ashamed because it’s so perfect and ridiculous at the same time.”
For the video, Greene filmed a late night Nashville recording session he threw together at the last minute. Much like his song, random thoughts and images come together in unusual ways.
Check out Charlie Greene and his intriguing “Man on Fire.”