Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
No. 2, “Don’t Wanna Know,” a jealous-boyfriend song with a swinging ’60s ska rhythm, eight-bar horn solos, and smooth vocals by frontman Stephen Jackson. The narrator initially implies he’ll get violent with his cuckolder: “I don’t wanna know, where you spent the night/’Cause if I was to know, then baby I just might/Find your little friend and tell him who I am.” The threat is made real on the chorus: “’Cause if I ever meet him/I might just have to beat him.”
Bassist-songwriter Jorge Pezzimenti says the song’s narrator comes from the Tony Soprano school of anti-heroes: “capable of violence, but he can also be very loving,” he says. “This is the kind of guy that would never hurt a girl but might beat a dude’s ass.” Jackson says he tailored his vocals accordingly, with the Rat Pack in mind. “When [Pezzimenti] brought the song to practice, I think he envisioned a more island-Jamaican vocal quality, but as soon as I heard it,” Jackson says, “I immediately felt that a sort of stylized Dean Martin or Ol’ Blue Eyes approach would fit perfectly.”
THE BRYAN ADAMS TEST:
Pezzimenti has written plenty of life-and-love tales during the Northern Virginia band’s 15-year existence. This one ends with the narrator feeling rage and disbelief, but the music stays catchy. “It’s difficult not to feel like you’re using a ton of clichés when writing about boys and girls,” Pezzimenti says. “Fictionalizing the story a bit can help, but I just try to avoid using the word ‘love’ too much or saying things like ‘cuts like a knife.’”