Story Behind the Song: Shovels & Rope, ‘The Wire’
One thing's for sure: "The Wire," a song from folk-rock duo Shovels & Rope's 2019 album By Blood, was written in a family member's basement. However, bandmates Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent are a little fuzzy on exactly which of their parents that basement belongs to.
The husband-and-wife pair's live show is their bread and butter, and on the road, much of their songwriting and creative work takes place in makeshift studio spaces -- including basements. To learn more about the meaning behind "The Wire," and how it came to be written, read on.
Hearst: "The Wire" kinda came together in the basement of Michael's mother's house. That's where we cut the demo for it.
Trent: I thought it was the basement at your parents' house. No? Okay. Well, either way, nothing ever changes. It was in the basement of one of our parents' houses.
Hearst: We were traveling, and when we travel, a lot of our creative work gets done on a laptop, with earphones, in whoever's mom's basement we're in at the time.
And, I don't know, it was just one of those things: It's about a person, in the song, who's kind of aware of their own personal shortcomings, but it's about how, in the long run, they're still your best option. You know? Whenever you say something stupid or wish you hadn't said something -- I think everybody's been that person. You're just like, "Ugh, I know I'm a jerk, but I'm still alright."