The Story of Fionna

THE BACK STORY

“So we’re on tour, far from home, and we are looking for a place to crash tonight. If any of you have floor space, please let us know,” Sean announced from the stage. “Anyway, we’re going to take a little break. We’d love to meet as many of you as possible. Let’s hang.” The band promptly set their instruments down, left the stage, and began to mingle with the busy Saturday night crowd at Ryleigh’s.

After a kind offer from a guy named Bob to let the band sleep in his unheated, bathroom-lacking warehouse, the band decided to keep trying. And then… a voice from the heavens spoke, or so it seemed:

“You guys can crash with me. I have a big apartment with plenty of couches and floor space.”

The band members turned at the sound of the voice.

“Hi, I’m Fionna. With two n’s. Yeah, we…” (gestures to her two friends) “…will be hanging out after your show, and you guys are more than welcome to stay.” Fionna looked to be about 23. She was amiable, not that drunk, and her apartment probably had heat and a bathroom.

“Thanks a ton. We really appreciate that!” Nick and Sean exchanged numbers with Fionna and got her address, and then the band members took the stage for their last set.

As usual, after a day of driving, a few hours of moving gear into and out of the van, and then a few more hours of putting on a show, the band was a little tired by the time they plugged Fionna’s address into the GPS. (By the way, this was the home stretch of a 3-month national tour.) They lugged their suitcases and sleeping bags up the steps and were greeted by Fionna at the door of her apartment. She had changed out of her “night out with the girls” outfit and was sporting yoga pants and a tank top.

“Hey guys, come on in! You can set your stuff down anywhere. I just opened a bottle of wine. Would anyone like some?”

Eager to unwind, the band members agreed. Everyone sat around, chatting and laughing. Fionna shared some of her favorites from her vinyl collection and also from her essential oils collection. A few hours crept by, and as usual, the girls of the group (Lisa and the sound engineer) ran out of steam first and passed out on the floor. Around 5:00 AM, Fionna’s friends got tired and left.

And then it was just Fionna and the boys. And she did not waste a single minute.

“So, who has a girlfriend?”

The boys looked at each other. “Well, we all have girlfriends.”

Fionna rolled her eyes. “Who has a girlfriend that’s here?”

The boys looked at each other again. “Um…”

Sean walked into the bathroom to brush his teeth, and as he turned, he almost bumped into Fionna, who had followed him into the bathroom. She touched his arm and said “so… would you like to sleep with me tonight?” Sean replied, “Thank you, but I’m set. I already got my sleeping bag out and everything.” He pointed across the room at the couch, where he had made his bed.

Fionna floated down the line to Nick and then Noah, who both flat out said, “No thanks.”

She locked eyes with Wonder and winked. “Wonder, you’re my favorite.”

“What? No. No way.” Wonder stuttered.

Fionna shrugged and started cleaning the kitchen, and the boys began settling into their sleeping bags. 

The boys were trying pretty hard to be respectful human beings and were noticing that it’s hard to hide from your prowling host in a one-bedroom apartment. As the sun started peeking over the horizon, Fionna stomped her foot and said, “You guys are the nerdiest band I’ve ever met. I’m calling my boyfriend.”

***

And that’s the story of Fionna. Every bit of it is true. At least, according to what the boys told me… because hey, I was asleep on the floor. I didn’t find out the juicy details until the next day when we were leaving Fayetteville and headed for New Orleans.

Last but not least… we really did have a fun time that night, and we were grateful that Fionna invited us into her home. That was super cool of her. Oh – and she did demand that we write a song about her. Did we tell her we wrote a song about her? No. We’re just waiting for the song to find her.

***

THE MUSIC

So, getting into the music a little. Remember how I mentioned a few months ago that we recorded one of our new songs in our underwear? (And by “we,” I mean the boys.)

Yeah, it was this song. It only seemed appropriate.

To anyone who’s keeping score… no, we do not actually curse in this song. If you think you hear the F word, it’s because you hear what you wanna hear.

(That also goes for anyone who thinks our song “Hoka Hey” has the F word in it. Come on, dudes. Give us some creative credit. We said BUCKET list. I don’t need another upset phone call from my grandma, who heard from aunt Mary Jo who heard from her daughter that Lisa’s band is a bunch of potty-mouthed heathens. [Anyone up for a game of small town connect-the-dots? It’s fun.])

When we hung out at Fionna’s place, she was so excited about the idea of us writing a song about her, we started the process right then and there under her supervision. Here’s a pic of the original lyrics (none of them made the final cut, sorry):

So anyway, the music for “Fionna” basically highlights the story I just shared. In typical TOV fashion, the music totes the fine line between delicate, friendly, classical-influenced music and banging, quirky dance music. The verses are good-natured and flirtatious, and the choruses could suggest the moments when the temptress is prowling for her prey. The narrator of the song never caves in, but is left staring at Fionna’s bedroom door that was left cracked open and wondering what could have actually happened if he had a moment of weakness. The song’s outtro paints a lovely sparse soundscape with classical guitar and Latin-inspired rhythms, while the voice of Fionna whispers sweet nothings in French.

Actually, they’re not sweet nothings. We hired a local French-speaking college student from Belmont University to help us translate (and also record) a few lines. Things like:

“You’re the nerdiest band I’ve ever met.”

“I’m calling my boyfriend.”

“You guys better at least write a song about me.” (Okay, Fionna. You win.)

Thanks to Stephanie for translating and whispering in French for us!

And of course… thanks to Fionna for inspiring this song.

P.S. We are very aware of what a nerdy band we are.

Take a listen to the track!

Lisa Kacos
lisa.kacos@gmail.com
7 Comments
  • Christy Borgeld
    Posted at 17:20h, 11 May

    Great Story…Great Song!

    • Sean Zuidgeest
      Posted at 00:13h, 12 May

      Thanks Christy! Hope you are doing well 🙂

  • Allan Kaminski
    Posted at 18:43h, 11 May

    Great story…and you are all so far from being nerds…And good for the boys standing their ground and saying no. Shame on her for thinking she could get whatever she wanted. Just proff that you are all good people. We would have put you up for free, no strings attached.. Love and miss you all….your music and good times

    • Sean Zuidgeest
      Posted at 00:12h, 12 May

      Thanks Allan! Love and miss you.

  • Tori
    Posted at 04:14h, 12 May

    😂 Great story!!
    You’re welcome to stay with me/us again the next time you’re in town. I won’t make you write a song about me, but I will definitely be wearing yoga pants. And a baggy sweatshirt.
    Love,
    Your cool aunt

  • David Senzig
    Posted at 02:29h, 15 May

    Tales of the road,,It happened in Chicago, Indianapolis, and Neptune City, Never went to New Orleans, never tasted Billy Fare’s wine, and did not find the banana tree.. Cheers