Return to Crossfade

July 2005

How I Wrote A Hit Single!

Crossfade "Cold"

Crossfade lead vocalist and guitarist Ed Sloan reveals how the band wrote, recorded and play "Cold," the hit single from their self-titled debut album.

Interview by Nick Bowcott

The Inspiration
Ed Sloan "Cold" began life as an acousitc guitar song. Wehn we started recording it and adding instruments, I put an electric guitar solo over the middle section and then recorded some heavy rhythm guitars over the acoutsic parts. I really liked what I got. The more I added, the more the song transformed from an acoustic track into the ehavy song it is now. In fact, the middle breakdown section right before the solo is the only place where you can hear the original acoustic guitar.

The Recording
Sloan The entire album was self-financed and recorded over a period of five or six months at home on a very modest computer setup. I recorded the original acoustic track on an Ovation in dro-D tuning [low to high: D A D G B E], and I recorded the heavy electric guitars with an ESP seven-string, which also had its sixth string dropped to D [low to high: B D A D G B E]. I used a Line 6 Vetta amp and went straight into the computer via the amp's direct output. I then doubled each part in unison to get that big, thick sound.

How to Play "Cold"
Sloan I never used the seven-string's low B string on "Cold." The song can be played on a regular six-string guitar tuned to drop-D. It's a very simple song; the opening riff is made up of just three chords. I start off chunking on the open sixth and fifth strings with my index finger at the second fret on the fourth string, which gives me a Dsus2 shape. The next chord I hit [bbsus2] is that same root-fifth-second/ninth voicing moved up to the eight position, so I'm barring the sixth and fifth strings with my index finger at the eight fret and holding down the fourth string at the 10th fret with my pinkie. I then shift the index-finger barre dow to the seventh fret but keep my pinkie at the 10th fret on the fourth string [Am].

Why "Cold" Is a hit
Sloan I think there are certain things that people have trouble saying for themselves, and the lyrics in "Cold" express some things that they feel and have wanted to say but maybe haven't been able. to.