an interview with Broken Record about getting their song "See It Through" played at an NHL game

an interview with Broken Record about getting their song "See It Through" played at an NHL game

Ever since I read the memoir of Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine, who wrote about writing and recording the song "Crush 'Em" specifically to celebrate hockey and hockey fans ("I love hockey, and I thought it would be cool to write something that might be played at games as a way to pump up the crowd — something to give us all a break from that inane Gary Glitter song you hear at every sporting event in the world"), I've had a strong interest in the concept of "hockey music." Upbeat music is obviously great for sports but there's something about the parameters of a hockey game — the cold ice, the charged atmosphere in the rink — that requires something more specific and ineffable than regular ol' Jock Jams.

Recently I witness a delightful celebration on Twitter. The Denver 'stadium emo' band Broken Record had their song "See It Through" played at a Colorado Avalanche game by the Avs' official DJ, DJ Triple T, and they were stoked.

Having your song ring across a chilly arena at an NHL game has got to feel cool as hell. I listened to the song — it's got a fist-pumping tempo and an upbeat yearning that I think fits perfectly in a hockey context — and then emailed the band, hoping to ask a few questions about how this whole scenario went down. Lauren Beecher, who sings and plays guitar in the band, very kindly answered my questions; if you read on, you will learn why Hail Mary Twitter pitches are always a good idea, and why "Cotton-Eyed Joe" needs to hang up its skates and leave the rink immediately.

First of all, I love the song. Can you tell me a little about the songwriting + recording process for "See It Through"?

Thank you! "See It Through" was the second skeleton I wrote for Nothing Moves Me — we’ll often start with me bringing a semi-developed song idea to practice, and then we’ll flesh it out together from there. Early on in the writing for the album our drummer Nick actually lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which is about six hours from our home base of Denver. To help optimize the in-person practice time we did get, I sent the band a rough of the song that was just rhythm guitar and a quick pass of me playing a throwaway, vibe-setting drum part (an extremely rare occurrence!). Everyone wrote their own individual parts from there.

The whole band had some pretty major contributions to the song — Nick brought such great energy to the song with stuff like the hi-hat details and the mini drum solo, Corey’s got that killer bass groove in the verses, and our former guitarist Matt wrote most of the leads and came up with those cool bendy and distorted guitar ring-outs you hear all throughout the song.

The recording process for "See It Through" was more or less the same as everything else on the album — we went in and tracked drums with Corey Coffman, who also mixed the album. He’s great at kind of coaching you through tracking your parts, and also has such a good ear for vibe and the overall feeling of the song. From there we tracked everything else at our home studio — I handled engineering and production. Pretty typical stuff aside from the synth, which was a bit new to me. I picked up a MIDI controller over quarantine and kind of fumbled my way around on a few songs until I thought it sounded cool. I technically very briefly took piano lessons as a kid, but I only barely know what I’m doing on there — I was mostly looking to add texture.

Our friend Collin Ingram at the Band Cave helped us go back and re-amp the bass tracks later on, because we really wanted to get our hands on another friend’s vintage SVT that lives at that studio. Collin was super helpful in helping us get the bass sounds we were hearing in our heads. He actually stopped by our home studio and helped out with some pre-production stuff before we started tracking guitars as well.

Are you a big fan of the Avalanche? Any hockey history amongst the band?

Yes! Corey and I are married and used to be Avalanche season ticket holders for a few years. We were lucky enough to go to some playoff games during their 2022 Stanley Cup run which was insane. Matt is split between Avalanche and San Jose Sharks fandom, and his whole family is really big into hockey. I played some rec league street hockey as a young kid and was super into the Mighty Ducks, and Corey played some pond hockey and was a Red Wings fan growing up (don’t tell the Avs). We’re both huge Avs fans now since moving to Colorado about seven years ago. Nick hasn’t been converted into a diehard hockey fan yet, but we usually end up dragging him to at least one game per season and he has a good time!

How did the song make it to DJ Triple T, and did you get a heads up that the song would get played at any particular time?

Honestly, just an old fashioned Hail Mary on Twitter. When we made the music video for "See It Through," I wore my Avs hat. I didn’t choose it for any particular reason, just a good hat and probably the one I wear most frequently. Perry Froelich, who made the music video, was nice enough to make us a short clip to share on social media. The clip happened to be a part of the video where I was wearing the Avs hat, clearly visible in the thumbnail. I’ve always thought the chorus had a bit of a sports video game soundtrack vibe, and we’d recently played a show with The Flatliners where the band mentioned to us that they sometimes play their songs at the Maple Leafs stadium, their local team. I thought that would be such a cool thing for us to try and do, so I kinda just tagged DJ Triple T in a post with the clip, mentioned that we’d been season ticket holders and that we love the Avs. A little while later he sent us a DM and told us to send him the full song.

from the "See It Through" video, dir. Perry Froelich

As if that wasn’t nice enough, he wanted to make sure we’d be there to hear it — we kept in touch and I was able to let him know when we’d be at a game, and he went as far as to make sure we were all there and in our seats when it came time. He ended up picking a seriously perfect spot in the game too, it ended up being somewhat of a longer stoppage of play and it even made it to the TV broadcast.

What did it feel like to hear the song at the game?

It was so cool! We all had some butterflies going in, because you never know how long of a break it’s going to be during the game play, or what could come up. When the time came though it could not have gone better, and in a word it was surreal. We’re so grateful that DJ Triple T was not only willing to play the song for us, but was so thoughtful about it.

My only other question is: what comes to your mind when you think of "hockey music"? Does a song have to have certain qualities to sound good in a hockey context?

It’s a little hard to specify exactly what I think of when it comes to “hockey music”, but I think one common thread is that the songs have kind of a rhythmic pump to them, if that makes sense. My kind of idealistic sound for it is loud rock music, but that’s absolutely not a rule. I think a lot of songs played in hockey stadiums have an anthemic quality as well. At the end of the day I think it’s whatever helps give the crowd and the players an extra boost of energy.

One thing that “hockey music” is absolutely not is "Cotton-Eyed Joe." I believe we must stop playing this song during hockey games world wide. My friends and I believe is a cursed song. Bush’s "Machinehead," however, is a perfect “hockey song”, and we’d encourage all arenas to play it at every game. Especially when the Avs are playing. 

A quote from Matt about "Machinehead": “It’s a great hockey song because it reminds you to breathe in and it also reminds you to breathe out when it’s a close game."

Hell yeah. Check out Broken Record's album Nothing Moves Me on Bandcamp here and their website here.