“I was in an angry mood, as can happen when you reflect on a drag racer almost murdering you.” Tash Neal uses a near fatal car accident as inspiration for his new single “All I See Is Blood” which appears on his debut solo album Charge It to the Game, out today.
“All I See Is Blood” grooves with a heavy, bad-ass guitar riff, phase-shifter infused solo and ominous counter melody Mellotron string lines that sound like what Neal may have heard when the crunch of metal sent his limp body flying through the air.
It started as a good day for the New York City guitarist/singer, who had spent the evening at a friend’s downtown recording studio and was heading home. As anyone who has traversed the streets of any big city knows, it can be treacherous and often feels like you’re taking your life in your own hands.
Out of nowhere, Neal was broadsided by an out-of-control drag racer. It was not pretty. The Jaws of Life were used to extricate him from the accident, and he wound up in a coma for several days.
“When I woke up from the coma, I’d rub my eye day in and day out, thinking for sure there was an eyelash in there,” Neal said. “Ended up being dried blood in my cornea because of the blood crushing my brain due to the impact. Damn drag racers.”
The video for “All I See Is Blood,” directed by Liz Hirsch, shows actual footage of the accident and his hospital stay, along with newspaper clippings.
“I really wanted to share images people hadn’t seen yet, of what I went through. Ranging from shots of being on the road in the city, to actual footage of the cab from the accident. As well as shots of me in the hospital not long after the coma, to me recovering playing guitar. It’s really emotional to watch, in the best way.
The song quickly took shape when Neal came up with the driving, funky riff that sets an infectious underbed for the lyrics.
“It’s one of those rare tunes, for me, where the song title came right after the riff. I’d tried to explain to folks after the coma that something was wrong in my eye. Once it was confirmed it was blood left over from the impact of the accident, it was a relief. But it’s also a handy metaphor for the anger I felt and the anger in the riff. I still see blood to this day.”
Neal tends to move quickly in the recording studio, following the ‘if it doesn’t feel right, move on’ motto. “All I See Is Blood” was recorded at Brooklyn’s Studio G and features Chris St. Hilaire, partner in his former band The London Souls, on drums.
“The longest part was figuring out the lyrics in between, but it was done in less than 3 hours. I maybe spent the last hour just playing it for fun to see if it was good.”
“I try to be quick in the studio,” Neal continues. “The majority of the time if it doesn’t feel right after a few takes, I gotta move on to something else.”
The guitar wound up being a key factor in maintaining a positive outlook on Neal’s road to recovery.
“I was in a coma for a little less than a week. About three days after I woke up, I motioned over for the acoustic that my father, still alive then, had kept in the hospital room. When I played three chords, E G and D, I kind of felt like myself, even though I was missing half of my skull, and a week prior was on the verge of death.”
“I think music healed me massively. I know my family and my friends played music while I was in the coma, and when I woke up, I was driven to get back to where I was. Having the drive and create more music pushed me to recover as fast as I possibly could.”
To listen to Tash Neal and find out more: https://www.tashlive.com