Ten Facts About The Airborne Toxic Event’s Debut Album

The Airborne Toxic Event are once more in the process of working on a new album, but before that they are slated to take up a residency at The Fillmore in San Fransisco, CA before heading out of their last tour of 2014. Lead singer and primary song writer for the band, Mikel Jollett, has taken to the band’s facebook page to share with fans one fact about each song that the band has released to date, spanning all three full length albums. We’ve gathered together the facts from the band’s self-titled debut album for you in one spot for your reading pleasure.


Wishing Well: I used to play this song for my neighbor’s cat.

Papillon – We recorded this song in one take, in friend’s living room, while Daren was on his lunch break from work.

Gasoline: The static sound at the top of the song is a finger being placed on a guitar chord then removed. It’s a song about my high school sweetheart, she heard it and later told me to stop telling people it was about “high school sex.” “It was more than that.” True. But you know, artistic license…

Does This Mean You’re Moving On? – I played a very early demo of this song for the guy who founded The National’s first record label. “This sounds like Pavement,” he said. First and last time we’ve received this comparison (though Pavement is one my and Steven’s all time favorite bands).

Happiness is Overrated – The acoustic video for this song was shot in my old apartment. We found some red fabric and pinned it to the walls, then played while the one-man camera crew rotated flashlights around to look like spotlights.. 

This is Nowhere – The eponymous first record was almost called This is Nowhere. In fact, that name remains on all of the final mixes before submitting them to iTunes. At the last minute, it was decided that our band name was long enough and we didn’t need any more verbiage crowding the cover. This song is about the characters in the short story The Crack.

Sometime Around Midnight – The song is a true story. The band playing the melancholy music was a Silver Lake scene band called Le Switch. The bar was the now-closed Safari Sam’s and the event marked the closure of Sea Level records, a former East Side staple vinyl store. 

Something New – I wrote this song in a flurry with three songs about the same person and situation (Happiness is Overrated and Missy were the others). It was a busy week.

Missy – Missy is the middle name of the person this song is about. She was from Atlanta, Georgia and she actually was with me while I wrote it, scribbling down the lyrics by hand in a small leather-bound notebook as I sung them.

Innocence – The intro that was included in the Disney Hall version of the song was actually a completely different song called “Heaven is a Map.” Once I realized the two songs were in the same key, we combined them since one seemed to be like a prelude to the other.

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