There’s no shortage of great music being made in Texas, by Texans: from slide guitars to 808s, from accordians to distortion pedals, the tapestry of Texas includes the traditions of George Strait, Pantera, UGK, At the Drive-In, and Freddy Fender. Today’s burgeoning artists are tomorrow’s legends, and on the Daily Post’s song and video premieres, artists explain why their latest tracks are worthy of your time and attention.
This week, Houston’s Wheel Workers drop the video for “Burglar,” off of the band’s most recent album, Citizens. Singer/guitarist Steven Higginbotham and keyboard/guitarist Craig Wilkins answer our questionnaire below.
Can you walk us through the songwriting process on this song?
Steven Higginbotham: The title actually comes from the fact that my house was burglarized the day I came up with the initial song idea. Fortunately, they didn’t go upstairs and find my recording gear. So I celebrated by having some whiskey and writing a song. The “I can do this” spoken word lines at the beginning are a pep talk to myself that I hadn’t gotten too drunk to lay down the idea. The song stayed on the shelf for quite a while, probably two years. In the meantime, I had a tough break up, so that sense of vulnerability and loss from the burglary transferred well into a song about heartbreak as I was finalizing the lyrics.
When did you know that this song was finished?
SH: At first the song was a pretty straightforward garage rock tune. I liked it, but there was something missing. Once I experimented with a different arrangement featuring more keyboards and synths, it really broke through into something special.
Craig Wilkins: On a related note, when we play it live, we’re never really quite sure when it’s finished. It just devolves into pure entropy. Very Second Law of Thermodynamics… ish.
Is this the best song you’ve ever written?
CW: According to my niece, yes. She listens to it nonstop. And, I think we might have introduced to her to the f-bomb.
SH: That’s hard for me to say. I like “Burglar” a lot, but we’re working on a new album and I think it’s got some strong material too. I’m always trying to push myself and grow as a songwriter. One of the best things about finishing an album is that I get to write the next one.
What do you think people should be doing while they listen to this song?
SH: Dancing or crying. Maybe both?
CW: We’re not ones to tell you what to do… but here are some possible ideas:
- Pet a stray cat
- Plot the Revolution
- Perfect a vegan cheese recipe
- Contemplate existence. It’s weird, right?
- Dance, mother father, dance
If you had to compare this song to a food, what food would that be?
CW: Well, with all the layers it has, this song has been compared to both lasagna and a burrito. But I’m going to go with “soup that’s been spilled in my lap.” Because I feel it in my pants.
(photo by Patrick Bertolino)