I will now attempt to recall the history.
All Girls Want is one of the first songs I ever wrote. It is an underdog anthem. It’s for the Lloyd Dobler’s out there. The people that try and don’t succeed. It’s about my failures at love and the sheer disappointment one can feel in the dating world. It was based on a really simple question that was burning inside me; “why do girls like assholes”?
I wrote the song while sitting on the couch, at my friend Calin Yablonski’s condo. We laughed at some of the ideas and I bounced ideas off of him, which we did all the time. He was my roommate and best buddy.
I instantly found the song incredibly offensive and figured it would be a song for my own personal enjoyment. I was also embarrassed at how much of a pop song it was. At this time I was still trying to rip off Modest Mouse and Chad Vangaalen. I didn’t have the confidence to accept my own voice.
We played the song for my friend Vanessa Nemetchek and she instantly championed it. I was shocked as I thought it would be offensive to women. This is when I realized it was a universal loser anthem. Everyone could relate except the prom queen and the captain of the football team.
Vanessa insisted we play the song often, in makeshift house concerts, to friends everywhere. It sort of caught on and friends and acquaintances started to learn the words and sing along.
Calin and I played in an indie pop band called the Nix Dicksons, along with our friend Rob Wikstrom. We were awful but we knew how to put on a show.
Rob found out he had a brain tumor shortly after the band started and he had to take some time off to deal with his health. We played on without Rob for awhile and had friends fill in. I started playing All Girls Want acoustically, in the middle of our sets, in order to fill time and ease the replacement players. It started to catch on from here.
I recorded the song on an old acoustic guitar, without a click track, in my friend Mark Mill’s loft. It was out of time and rough, but charming. We put it as the third track on the first Nix Dicksons EP, The Panda EP. We printed 500 copies and they are long gone. We never digitally released the song, yet somehow it get growing and growing.
I entered the song into the Calgary Folk Fest Song Contest back in 2009. I entered into the Newcomer category, was accepted to the finals, got 2nd place and graduated on to the Best Song category. In that category, I received 3rd place. I think I took home $1700 total from that competion. I was beat out by John Wort Hannam and Cam Penner
The Nix Dicksons played on for five years. We had over a dozen members and released three EP’s. All Girls Want never left the setlist. It became a staple of our band.
Towards the last year of the Nix Dicksons, I began recording a solo record, called How To Ruin Your Life With Women. The record was a result of mixed emotions, cheap therapy and being post-University and gainfully employed as a Technical Writer at the City of Calgary.
I decided to re-record All Girls Want for that record. The album was produced by local legend, Lorrie Matheson. At the beginning of the song you can hear someone yelling, “One, two, show me what to do.” That would be Lorrie. He was infamous for counting me in and then breaking into a long winded story before he could finish counting to four. We had a riot. We made it shamelessly poppy adding a small horn section and glockenspiel.
I have been playing this song for nearly a decade. I thought maybe I was too old to continue to play it but continued anyway due to the response the song always receives.
I showed up to a Public Records info session, which is a new grant that assists Western Canadian artists with funding to make a video. I met Paige Boudreau at this info session and we realized we had similar goals and interests. We teamed up as filmmaker/artist and applied for the grant. We didn’t get it.
I was in Nashville at the time of the bad news. Paige seemed kind of bummed out that we didn’t get it. I was pretty used to rejection at this point. We both believed in the song and the video concept and felt confident we could do something worthwhile.
Paige made the first step forward and announced that she was still down to move forward and find a way to make this video. Funding be damned!
We adjusted the budget, borrowed what we needed, cast our friends, and no one got payed, just like the good old days.
We cast my current roommate and dear friend, Neil Hicke as the antagonist. The love interest was played by my beautiful friend, Suzanne Tetrault.
Our protagonist was the only actor that was cast, his name was Matthew. Paige met him and his awesome mother through a previous film project. Matthew was amazing, he had such a strong sense of focus for a young man and he had a passion that was inspiring to be around.
The current band that has been supporting me are appropriately on their respected instruments in the video. Dylan S Keating on the guitar, Greg Brown on the drums and Daniel McCormick on the bass and the beard.
This song has become such a big part of my life. It’s really taught me to be myself. I don’t have to write songs like Modest Mouse or Chad Vangaalen, that’s not who I am. I am not the captain of the football team, but I’m not the weird guy in the corner either. I’ve always been a Dennis the Menace, and now for the first time ever, I am really proud of this song.