The Chicago Cubs have more than a few “hype videos” and anthems out there. But Katie Day is back with another after last year’s “By the Lakeside”. We had the chance to talk with her again, this time about her new song “We got the fire”.
Last year during the Chicago Cubs playoff run, I came across Katie Day’s “By the Lakeside” by chance. Later, I had the chance to interview Katie about the song and how it came about. This season, she’s brought a darker, more intense anthem in “We got the Fire“, and it’s fantastic. If you like the song, be sure to head over to her Facebook page and like it! You can also head over and like her YouTube page as well.
Nicholas Blazek: “We got the Fire” is a pretty dramatic change in style and sound from “By the Lakeside”. It’s as if last year’s song was “hopeful”, this year’s is “determined”. Was that a conscious thought when you wrote it?
Katie Day: When I wrote “By the Lakeside” in October of 2014, it was sort of this distant song of hope that I wrote for myself because I was emotional about yet another Cubless postseason and needed to get my feelings out on paper. This time around, it wasn’t really for me. It was for the city and the team. Chicago has the best team in baseball and our biggest obstacle is this massive mental block that accompanies a century of losing. The song is meant to break down that mental block and make the team and city feel like the warriors we are. It’s definitely darker, scarier, more intense. And it should be, because this team is terrifying.
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NB: By the lakeside introduced you to a lot of Cubs’ fans. It also gave you the chance to perform the song on WGN last year. This year they called it the “anthem for the Cubs postseason”. What does that mean to you?
KD: It’s everything to me. I’ve been a musician all my life and I’ve had some successes here and there, but this is more than I ever could have asked for. It’s funny because other musicians I know are working toward goals like playing huge festivals, but this is my Madison Square Garden. I don’t even mind if I end up cast as some niche artist who’s only known for one thing because Cubs baseball really is that important to me.
A career boost
NB: Has the success of these two songs changed your career in any way? Or are you just enjoying the chance to be part of the Cubs chase for history?
KD: Well I definitely have more fans now because the Cubs have a built in fan base that I’ve sort of tapped into. Just hearing from people who are touched by the songs makes me feel like I’m doing something worthwhile. Also, because these songs are going out to a wide audience, I’ve had different musicians, producers, and business people reach out and ask about working with me, which has certainly led to a lot of opportunity.
Cubs fans really have each other’s backs, so whenever I have a business meeting with someone who knows of me via the Cubs, there is an instant sense of camaraderie that makes for a positive experience. If my career does wind up exploding, I’ll owe it to my knowledge of Kris Bryant stats as much as my musical background.
NB: Last year you told me that you really didn’t think By the Lakeside would be relevant last year. When writing We got the Fire, did you have a different feeling about the song?
KD: I knew the iron would never be as hot as it is right now. I tried writing follow ups to “By the Lakeside” all year and nothing really felt that inspired, but I wouldn’t let myself off the hook. After going to a Dodgers/Cubs game in LA in August, I happened to be seated right next to the bullpen and captured a video of Chapman warming up.
The pop of the ball in the glove was so sharp that I knew I had to write something to sample it, and thus “We Got the Fire” was born. I really built the song around that sample. You can hear it throughout the prechoruses and choruses. Because the production is SO DIFFERENT from anything I’ve ever done, I had no idea if anyone would like it. I knew it would be “relevant” because the Cubs are great, but I didn’t know if it would be well received. It actually surprises me how well it’s gone over considering what an experiment it was.
Lucky charm again?
NB: Have you been staying in Chicago again like you did last year? I want to make sure we’re taking advantage of every good luck charm we have.
KD: Ha! I have a tentative flight back to Chicago October 21st through the first week in November should things go that far. I just moved to LA about two months ago, so unfortunately it’s not a great time to take off (unless we appear to be World Series bound, in which case there are no excuses). I also have tickets to all potential NLCS games in LA, so I’ll be acting as a good luck charm from here if it’s Cubs/Dodgers and then I’ll beeline straight to Chicago.
NB: You’ve talked about your dad and seeing them win it for him. My father is near 80, and I feel like he deserves it as much as the next person. He was, however, alive in 1945, but said he doesn’t remember much from that World Series. What would it mean not just for you, but for your dad to see them win?
KD: Like so many other fans, the Cubs will always represent home and family to me. This is what I’ve bonded with my dad over since I was a little kid. I think if he saw them win, we’d both be thinking of HIS dad and wishing he was still around. My grandpa passed in 2010 at 88. Never saw it happen. My dad is only 58 so his first heartbreak was ’69. I hear him talk about it regularly. I can’t imagine how many tears will be shed by both of us if the Cubs win it all, but I want to make sure we’re together when it happens.