Behind the Song — Room For One More

Joseph Nicholas Mach
Jan 15 · 4 min read

2/3/18, 1:41 AM — Transcription of Voice Note

“I wrote this song after coming to SESSIONS(1) for the first time, and was blown away by all these amazing musicians and really heartfelt fucking great songwriters, out of my league players, but also feeling like I belonged. And this was also on the same day that I told my Dad I’m willing to do whatever it takes and get on this ship and jump. And so I’m feeling like the ship is sailing. The ship is full. And it’s overcrowded and the ship is bowing under the weight, bulging at the seams, maybe even sinking to the bottom, but I’m still hoping they got room for one more. Hoping I get to be in the club. Hoping I get to make music.”

(1) Sessions on Mary, an incredible house concert venue DOWN THE STREET from me.

Belonging. Ultimately that’s what this song is about. It’s a sentiment that sits at the core of our being, and in its absence we are plagued with an existential unease and feelings of deep separation. My revelation was specific to music; it came from a realization that I had made the cut — I had made my pact with the Universe to give my life in the service of bringing music down from the spheres — and the night this song came about was the first of many indications that the deal is on. It’s a full ship, but i’m in. Bottom floor. (Sidenote: I had watched DUNKIRK the night before, so I had a head full of dramatic maritime images swirling under the surface. Great fucking movie. Highly recommend. I bawled the whole time. Directed by Christopher Nolan, perhaps my favorite director out there.) More generally, however, this breakthrough was making peace with the fact that I BELONG on this earth. I am ALLOWED to be here and make of this life what I will. I am not a burden to this world, but a gift. Sounds a bit trite, but when you really feel and acknowledge that deep in your being, it is MAJOR.

Collaboration

Room For One More was also was one of the first songs to help me overcome the hurdle of creative collaboration. With Hotspur I had a core group of bandmates that I trusted that were like family to me — so this time around the notion of sharing and creating with total strangers freaked me out. What if they ruined my precious song-babies??

My first rehearsal/tryout was with Dana Marie, a phenomenal upright bassist who plays in an orchestral folk band called American Dreamer. (We share the stage with them Thursday at The Whip In). Dana is super down-to-earth and a lovely soul and I have to thank her for bringing such a deft touch to that first session — she not only learned the song and nailed the part but I could see she truly CARED about making great music. There was no ego, no agenda, just being in service of the music. And coming from the classical world, her mind worked totally different. As we worked out the intro of the song, she came up with this walking bass line that created these beautiful stacked thirds, which threw me for a loop but is now one of my favorite musical moments on the album. I never would’ve written the part that way. Collaboration. Here’s a voice note from that session.

Making the Cut

I knew this song had to be on the album because of what it represents to me; if this is an album about rebirth and allegiance to your divine purpose, then this song is the center of the circle.

Also worth a listen is the original demo version — one of my first forays into production. I love the weird intro flutes and 808s all over the track, definitely has a vibe.


LYRICS:

I said goodbye, to life on the land
High seas were roll-calling I raised my hand
Been walking these sidelines much longer than I ever planned

Eyes on the hourglass it’s time to go
There’s something familiar in the unknown
The ships are all leaving and i’m on the shore
Waving my hands Lord I hope they’ve got room for one more

I’ve seen NYC from high up above
I’ve tried on this empire, it fits like a glove
But bringing ambition, is nothing if I can’t bring love

Eyes on the hourglass it’s time to go
There’s something familiar in the unknown
The last train is leaving hey hey hold the door
Can’t turn back now Lord I hope they’ve got room for one more

Eyes on the hourglass it’s time to go
There’s something familiar in the unknown
I took the long way but one day
If I get to heaven
If I get to heaven
If I get to heaven
Just hope they’ve got room for one more

Joseph Nicholas Mach

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Vocalist, Songwriter, Guitarist and Recording Artist