DAISY: Billy said, “This is your song. It should be just you and the piano on the track, that’s it.”

KAREN: That was a great song to record. I was really proud of it. Just Daisy singing and me on the keys. That’s it. Just two bitches playing rock ’n’ roll.

BILLY: Daisy and I wrote a lot of good stuff after that. We’d be working in the lounge at the studio or back at Teddy’s pool house if we needed some peace and quiet.

I would come in with something I was working on and Daisy would help me refine it. Or vice versa. We’d work on one of Daisy’s ideas.

ROD: It seemed like there was a period of time where Daisy and Billy were coming in with new stuff every day.

GRAHAM: It’s really exciting, when you’re constantly creating. We’d be working on tracks for “Midnights” or adding some layers to “Impossible Woman” and then Daisy and Billy would come in with a new one we were all excited about.

KAREN: It felt a little manic, that period of time. So many people in the studio. So many songs coming in and out. Recording and recording and recording. Playing things a thousand times, always trying to improve upon the last one.

There was so much to do, so much to keep us busy. But we were all coming into the studio in the morning, still hungover from the night before. It was like zombies at 10:00 A.M. Until the coffee and the coke kicked in.

ROD: The early tracks were sounding great.

ARTIE SNYDER: When the songs started coming together, we were realizing we had something really special on our hands.

Billy and Teddy would always stay late and listen to what we had. Listen to it over and over again. There was an energy to the control booth those nights. Super quiet in the rest of the studio, real dark outside. Just the three of us listening to rock getting made.

I was going through a divorce back then so I was happy to stay as late as they wanted. We’d be up in the studio at three in the morning sometimes. Me and Teddy slept there if we wanted to. Billy always went home. Even if it was just for two hours until he came back.

ROD: It was really starting to sound out of this world. I wanted to make sure Runner was prepared to back these guys up with some real money. This album deserved to make a big splash.

I was lobbying Teddy for a huge number at the first pressing. I wanted a clear hit single. I wanted rock and pop airplay. I wanted a massive tour lined up. I was getting very ambitious. I wanted big momentum out of the gate.

Everybody knew Daisy and Billy on tour promoting this album was going to sell out venues and it was going to sell records. You could feel it. And Teddy made sure everybody was on board. Even at Runner Records, you could feel the excitement.

DAISY: Billy and I did about four songs in a mad rush of writing over about a week or two. I mean, we actually did seven songs. But only four of them made it onto the album.

ROD: They turned in “Please,” “Young Stars,” “Turn It Off,” and “This Could Get Ugly” all within about a week.

BILLY: The concept for the album took shape naturally. We—I mean, me and Daisy—we could see that we were writing about the push and pull between the lure of temptation and staying on the right path. It was about drugs and sex and love and denial and a whole mess of stuff.

That’s where “Turn It Off” came from. The two of us writing about how every time you think you’ve got something licked, it keeps rearing its head.

DAISY: “Turn It Off” was me and Billy at the pool house, him on the guitar, me pitching the line “I keep trying to turn it off/but, baby, you keep turning me on,” and then it all just snowballed from there.

I’d say a line, he’d say a line. We’d be scribbling each other’s stuff out, writing over it. All just trying to get to the best version of the song.

BILLY: Daisy and I got to a point where we could really tinker with something for a while. We had enough faith to keep working on something even if it didn’t come easy. “Young Stars” ended up developing like that.

DAISY: We worked on “Young Stars” in fits and starts. We’d have it and then lose it and pick it up days later. I think it was Billy who suggested the line “We only look like young stars/because you can’t see old scars.” That worked for me. We finally built around that.

BILLY: We were using a lot of words that made you think of physical pain. Ache and knots and break and punch and all that. It started to fit in well with the rest of the album—how it hurts to be fighting your own instincts.

DAISY: “I’d tell you the truth just to watch you blush/but you can’t handle the hit so I’ll hold the punch.” That song ended up cutting so close to the heart, in a lot of ways. Maybe too close. “I believe you can break me/but I’m saved for the one who saved me.”

BILLY: I mean, it’s hard to say what a song is about sometimes. Sometimes even you don’t know why you wrote that line, or how it came into your head, or even what it means.

DAISY: The songs that we were writing together…[pauses] I started feeling like a lot of what Billy was writing about was how he was actually feeling. It seemed clear to me that there were things unsaid that were being said in our work together.

BILLY: They’re songs. You pull them out of wherever you can. You change the meanings to fit the moments sometimes. Some songs came more from my heart than others, I suppose.

DAISY: It’s so strange, how someone’s silence, someone’s insistence that something isn’t happening can be so suffocating. But it can be. And suffocating is exactly the word, too. You feel like you can’t breathe.

KAREN: I think Daisy showed me “Please” before she showed it to anyone else. And I thought it was a cool song. And I said, “What’s Billy think?”

And she said, “I haven’t shown him yet. I wanted to show you first.”

I thought that was weird.

BILLY: Daisy handed me the song, and I could tell she was feeling sort of nervous about it but I immediately liked it. I added a few lines myself, removed a few.

DAISY: It’s very vulnerable, being an artist, telling the truth like that, like we’re doing now. When you’re living your life, you’re so inside your head, you’re swirling around in your own pain, that it’s hard to see how obvious it is to the people around you. These songs I was writing felt coded and secret, but I suspect they weren’t coded and secret at all.

BILLY: “This Could Get Ugly.”…That was one, we had the song before we had the lyrics done. Graham and I had come up with a guitar riff we liked and that song spiraled out of that. I actually went to Daisy and said, “Got anything for this?”

DAISY: I had this idea in my head. Of “ugly” being a good thing. I wanted to write a song about feeling like you knew you had somebody’s number, even if they didn’t know it.

BILLY: Daisy and I met up at Teddy’s place one morning and I played it for her again and she threw some stuff out. She was talking about some guy she was seeing, I don’t remember who. And she had a few lines that really spoke to me. I really liked “Write a list of things you’ll regret/I’d be on top smoking a cigarette.” I loved that line.

I said to her, “What’s this guy putting you through to write a song like this?”

DAISY: Even then, I wasn’t sure if Billy and I were having the same conversation.

BILLY: She was great at wordplay. She was great at flipping the meaning of things, of undercutting sentiment. I loved that about what she was doing and I told her that.

DAISY: The harder I worked as a songwriter, the longer I worked at it, the better I got. Not in any linear way, really. More like zigzags. But I was getting better, getting really good. And I knew that. I knew that when I showed the song to him. But knowing you’re good can only take you so far. At some point, you need someone else to see it, too. Appreciation from people you admire changes how you see yourself. And Billy saw me the way I wanted to be seen. There is nothing more powerful than that. I really believe that.

Everybody wants somebody to hold up the right mirror.

BILLY: “This Could Get Ugly” was her idea, her execution and it was…excellent.

She had written something that felt like I could have written it, except I knew I couldn’t have. I wouldn’t have come up with something like that. Which is what we all want from art, isn’t it? When someone pins down something that feels like it lives inside us? Takes a piece of your heart out and shows it to you? It’s like they are introducing you to a part of yourself. And that’s what Daisy did, with that song. At least for me.

I could do nothing but praise her for it. I didn’t change a single word.

EDDIE: When they came into the studio with “This Could Get Ugly,” I thought, Great, another song that has got no room for me to try my own thing on.

I didn’t like who this was all turning me into. I’m not a bitter person. In almost every other situation in my life, I’m not this guy, you know what I’m saying? But I was getting so sick of it. Going into work every day feeling like a second-class citizen. That stuff messes with you. I don’t care who you are. It messes with you.

I said to Pete, I said, “Second-class citizen. First-class resort.”

KAREN: It definitely became a club that we weren’t in. Daisy and Billy. Even the word down from Runner Records was keep Daisy and Billy happy. Keep Daisy and Billy stable.