Working With Allen Stone on “Neon Cathedral”
Macklemore: “He had kind of hollered a couple of years ago before he was on my radar. I didn’t know who he was. I kept my eye out for him but once I saw his video [for “Unaware”]. Once I saw that shit I was like, ‘Whoa, this guy is crazy.’ There’s not that many people, you know, it’s great lyrics, but the performance and his falsetto is really un-fuckwithable. I was just really impressed. After that, [ I was like], ‘We really need to do something with this guy.’
“I hit him on Twitter. He came through to the studio. And he is one of those dudes, he’s just a great person. He’s a great spirit. He’s hilarious. He’s hella cool. He’s down to work until it’s right. That’s the cool thing about him. A lot of artists are like, ‘Here, what I got. Take it or leave it.’ Allen was really down to work with where it needed to go and come back multiple times to the studio. He was just always down to continue working until it was right.
“I lost perspective on that song. I heard people, who have a copy of the record, really like it. I haven’t heard it for awhile ever since we sent it to get it mastered. I don’t really know how I feel about that song. At one point, I really like it. I thought it was really powerful and then I lost perspective.
“I think it’s some of my best writing on the album in terms of conceptually. I think that Allen killed it. We were kind of stuck on a certain chord range with the song, so it was kind of difficult to produce around it. We had a full orchestra on it. So yeah, I think it’s a powerful song. I think Allen kills it.
“The song is called “Neon Cathedral.” The whole song is kind of like a metaphor for alcoholism and the church. And Allen grew up in the church. He just immediately just banged it out. His chorus, the writing of it. He just vibed out and just got it right because he’s from that community. And I come from a Catholic church. I grew up in the Catholic church so I had a lot of the vocabulary on deck in terms the linguistics of the songs. Being able to compare to use alcohol in the church in the same way. As a society, we pray to alcohol. It’s kind of the gist of the song.”