“My current lyrical motivations stem from aspects of my life which have changed dramatically in recent months. Primary among these was finally taking time to think about things which I have repeatedly pushed away. Upon finishing undergrad in January, I was suddenly confronted with vast amounts of free time. This was wonderful at first, until I realized that four years’ worth of suppressed introspection was catching up on me. While I was consumed by school and music activities, my subconscious slowly accumulated a tangled mess of questions about spirituality, human nature, the utility (or futility) of human social and technological progress, and our place in the universe.
It’s been a lot to digest, and at first I was not exactly sure how to cope. Fortunately, our lineup change a few months ago gave me the inspiration to use lyrics as a place to express my questions, fears, and anxieties. Being a new vocalist is stressful on many levels, but most importantly I wanted to write beyond the cliches of so many other bands. Not to mention, I definitely have big lyrical shoes to fill after Steve’s departure, as anyone who has heard our song “Devil’s Daughter” will know.
With that aside, I will get into the song itself. “Science Fiction” is one of what I suspect will be many songs addressing my thoughts about being a tiny speck in a grand cosmos. The opening lines talk about how I think it is presumptuous to claim a single ideology is the best way to live ones life. But at the same time, I am rather paralyzed by the thought of learning all kinds of philosophy and religion and most likely failing to get anywhere. Nothing is more sobering than realizing how little you actually understand. (Side note: our other track on the split, “Creation Myth”, is about how the viscerally conflicting emotions I have been experiencing due to questioning and rejecting ideas which previously defined my life.)
I touch on something a bit deeper here as well. I am afraid for any of this to come to a resolution. What if I find an answer that I don’t like, or is otherwise unsatisfactory? What does one do when a life-defining journey comes to a close? The likelihood of that happening is incredibly small, but I find myself dwelling on it. Of course, the alternative is that the universe we live in is too hopelessly complex for anyone to ever grasp.
Later in the song, there’s a bit of an “I was born at the wrong time” sentiment. We have all of these incredible questions in front of us, but nobody my age will probably live long enough to see them answered. I have immense difficulty accepting that. Yet despite all of this, I really do try to keep a positive outlook. There will always be a subset of humanity with the wonder and drive to answer big questions and guide us into the future. I doubt I will be around to see it, but the idea is a beautiful one nevertheless. All we can do is try. Let curiosity and love guide you.
"Okay, so, it’s going to be kind of difficult to explain one song without any context, so I’ll quickly summarize the EP and the way it’s written.
I suppose one could label it a concept album. More of a fictional narrative metaphorically (and loosely at that) based on the process of exterior and interior events I experienced a few years ago because of a certain person’s choices. It’s split up into chapters containing main events, arranged in chronological order. Each ‘chapter’ is a song on the EP. The songs themselves don’t really create a story, even in succession, just because there’s a lack of detail and depth that I could fit within the 2-5 minute time span of the songs we had written, as well as having to keep a rhythm and smoothly flow with the music; but they’re based on this narrative. I haven’t actually written it though. So, the EP is based on an idea for a narrative I have floating around in my head. So that’s confusing and I just realized I’m out of my fucking mind, but let’s continue.
The story is set in ancient Greece, and deals with ancient Greek mythology. It follows a sailor through the tragedy of his wife taking her life, and the dull pain of having to continue living without meaning. It then follows him to the afterlife and continues to follow him on his journey to find his wife’s spirit.
In this particular song, the main character has just arrived in the underworld, and upon approaching Charon (the ferryman of Hades who guides newly deceased souls across the many rivers of the underworld), realizes he cannot pay Charon’s toll (family of the deceased would place coins over the eyes or under the tongue of the dead so that when their family member reached Charon, the family member could pay him to navigate the rivers). From there we follow the main character through his ‘alternative payment’, which is to walk on the shore of the river Styx for 100 years.
To be honest, I hate that I chose this style of writing for this EP. Other folks can create real art through writing like this, but I can’t and I felt like I was just cheating myself and anyone who listened to it. Not that I didn’t try my hardest to write genuinely, but I just realized that I am not good at writing like this, and there’s nothing wrong with that. On top of that, the part of the lyrics that I actually connected to and really felt, were so skewed and buried under fiction, that the lyrics aren’t important to me at all. I still like the plot of the narrative, but I just think trying to put it to music was a bad idea and it didn’t turn out exactly how I thought it would. I’ve learned from this writing experience, and I think that’s almost more valuable than being able to write in this style successfully. Maybe not. But regardless, it’s certainly been a positive failure. Everything I’ve written since then has been pretty much the opposite of this style of writing, and I’m really proud of the new stuff we’re working on.”
"This song is kind of fucked up. I don’t really want to get into specifics, because any song is going to be cooler when you can interpret it on your own and find your own kind of meaning in it, but I will say it’s definitely the lowest point on the album. We made it the last song on side A of the record as a way to wrap up a lot of the darker themes that get brought up and give way for some of the more positive vibes.
I’d like to think we conveyed all of the anger/confusion/disappointment/bullshit that was being felt at the time without sounding too cheesy. Our biggest priority coming into the writing process was just to be genuine. We didn’t want to be one of those bands that writes sad music because glorifying depression is trendy nowadays (a fucked up concept in itself), and we didn’t want to brand ourselves as a “sad” band because that’s just straight silly. The most natural thing to do was to just write what we felt, and a lot of the material ended up more disheartening than uplifting because we were reflecting on a lot of disheartening aspects of our lives at the time. I’m definitely proud of this song for what it is, but I hope we never write a song like it again.”
“I wrote Born Dead, at first, about bands that use religion as a marketing tool to gain some kind of bullshit teeny-bop fan base right off the bat and preach some kind of message about christ and morality, and then are actually huge misogynistic, rape culture, homophobic, egotistical, vain piles of garbage in reality. It then ended up being just directed at all religious entities in general and how people think they can do whatever they want in life, step on whoever they please, halt all progress of society, treat people who they think are less than them like trash and somehow still be “good” people because they have a Jesus fish bumper sticker and a cross necklace they wear at Christmas time. I’m sick of this earth.”
Check out their new record ‘Realist’ this Thursday, May 15th.
Song: Death Metal for the Teenage Soul(featuring Greg Cook of lovechild)
From Dave Vitola(bass/vocals):
"I wrote Death Metal for the Teenage Soul while reflecting on my anxieties about growing up. Now that we’re in our twenties, there are all these expectations that its time to be mature, go to work every day, get a house and a car, and eventually maybe have a family or whatever. As soon as we’re able to stand on two legs, we’re put on an academic conveyor belt that carries us into our adult lives, and then we’re molded into an average productive drone. People view that routine as success, but to me, there’s nothing appealing about normality. My biggest fear at this point is accepting a mediocre “adult” life. I would rather be dead in the ground than kick start any kind of socially acceptable career, much less settle down and accept that my youth is dead and gone. I see my peers crippled with anxiety and pressure, focused on things like “networking,” which to me is a code word for kissing ass. We construct resumes to prove to those in power that our labor is worth their pocket change, and at the same time, we’re constantly being told that our generation is financially fucked. While the song comes across as pretty negative and angry, I also view it as a sort of pact to not become a shitty bitter person that lives to work and collect meaningless bullshit possessions to gain social acceptance in a herd of sheep. All I want right now is to drive around in a van with my best friend and show our music to as many human beings as we possibly can. On a side note, we were really stoked to have Greg from Lovechild on this track. His aggressive vocal style sits really nicely over Dalt’s blast beat, and his lyrics meshed well with the spirit of the song. Don’t grow up, it’s a trap."
We’re excited to be premiering the new Northernmost live video for their song ‘Belittle Me’ for Harold’s Hooligans of the week. Give it a listen/watch, get excited for the full album to drop this Thursday, May 1st.
From Jesse Field(vocals/guitar):
“‘Belittle Me’ tries to tell many stories in a very short span of lyrics. We chose for this song to address two main themes, while speaking to and hinting at many smaller themes. The first was seasonal depression, the temporary nature of life and a brief contemplation of suicide. In the line “the lake ice cracks…act of passion,” the “falling march misplacement” refers to rain and the idea that rain falling on ice is both self destructive and beautiful- a tempting thought for the narrator given their mental state. Another theme we tried to include was the idea of being in a relationship where you are both consumed by the presence of the person and completely alone at the same time. As the end of the song approaches, the perspective changes to a past tense- and speaks to an inability to rid yourself of another person years after the relationship ends. How someone can engrain themselves so fully in your mind that you never recover.”