01. Downfall Marcus: The inspiration for this came from everything that happens around us in the world today. The global warming, the middle-eastern conflicts, capitalism, overpopulation, the oil industry and so on. Also, another inspiration came from a more personal level. The ongoing struggle within the band and in our personal lives, at times it felt like the whole world was going down. In short, Downfall is like some sort of overture for the end of the world. Thomas: As an addition to what Marcus says Id like to say a few words about what I had in mind when I wrote this poem: In my mind the words point to the death of the individual. Death, because he or she is trying to fulfill life through filling it with no meaning, such as materialistic items or other superficial things, like for example useless so-called social status emptiness. Failing to realise that this kind of struggle of life will lead nowhere, something essential in the individual and his/her life is lost or diminished; there is something leading him/her further and further away from a natural self and a natural need hence the aspects of nature in the poem. Our lives are today so centered not on materialism as much as they are on consumerism. Our lives are so centered on becoming something we imagine, rather than something we really are. Our Downfall is our inability to acknowledge this and to break free and oppose it on an individual level. 02. Into the Great Nothing Marcus: My first intention was to write a song about the music-industry of today, with all the American Idols, Britneys and the big bosses manipulating the radio and media. But when I handed the subject to Stefan, he made the subject wider and included the whole consumption-machine which everything in the western world is built on and that everybody is more or less involved in wether they like it or not. The machine aspect was also the inspiration to the somewhat monotonus groove that goes through the whole song. Stefan: This song was actually recorded with another singer. It was at a time when I had pretty much decided to leave the band and the other guys wanted to move on. It wasnt certain the would carry on under the banner Wolverine but either way they wanted to move on. Luckily for me, life took a turn for the better and I rediscovered my need of being in the band. I loved the idea of this song but I thought it was way too Pink Floyd-ish so I asked Marcus if I could re-write the lyrics which he kindly permitted me to do. The chorus is pretty much left the way it was written by Marcus, except for some of the words, but the rest of the vocals are very different from the first version of the song. 03. Poison Ivy Marcus: Stefan had a vocal line (the verse) and some chords to it that he wrote a long time ago. I always liked this vocal line and really wanted to use it to something, so I started writing music around it. I added the chorus, Stefan wrote the lyrics and I wrote a string arrangement for it that I wanted to be a little unpredictable and disturbing but at the same time beautiful. The inspiration to the strings came from a cover version of the song Balladen Om Herr Fredrik Åkare Och Den Söta Fröken Cecilia Lind by the late singer/songwriter Cornelis Wreeswijk that was recorded by Freddie Wadling and Fläskkvartetten (The Flesh Quartet). If youre curious about that song, here it is. Stefan: Poison Ivy and Your Favourite War are linked not only by the fact that they musically overlaps but the theme is actually the same. Both songs are about a relationship Marcus was in at that time. Your Favourite War was his take on that relationship and Poison Ivy is written from my perspective. Needles to say, I wasnt too fond of the way that relationship played out. 04. Your Favourite War Marcus: This was the first song I wrote after Still was released. It came straight from the frustration of a relationship I had back then. The song came very quickly, I think I wrote the whole thing on a day or so. Musically the song is very straight forward and the lyrics are quite clear what they are about I think. 05. Embrace Stefan: This is probably the most personal and important song Ive ever written. It deals with the fact that my daughter, Freya, was born in 2008 with a critical heart condition. She needed to undergo surgery in order to survive. At the same time they didnt want to perform the surgery until it was absolutely necessary in order to increase the chances of not having to redo the surgery later on. During her first 8 months we struggled every day to have her eat properly and so on. She was so exhausted from her heart condition that she simply couldnt do stuff that we, who are healthy, take for granted. In december that year we finally headed to Gothenburg and they performed the required surgery. From that day everything changed and today shes all over the place, just like any three year-old should be. As you can imagine my feelings for that period of my life are pretty diverse. On one hand Freya, my first child, was born and the joy that brought can not be described in words. At the same time her condition brought a lot of darkness into our lives. I simply had to write about that experience and the song means a lot to me as well as my wife. 06. Pulse Marcus: Per and myself wrote the music for this. We sat and watched a Depeche Mode live DVD one night which features a song from the Playing the Angel album called Suffer Well. Suffer Well consists mainly of a straight forward four-on-the-floor beat. We just said it would be cool to have a song like that which can work in a live-situation like an uptempo-no-fuss kind of song. Musically its sort of like an extension of the song Sleepy Town from the Still album. Stefan: I love this song and Marcus really did a great job writing the melody for the chorus. I also love the fact that we brought in our former guitar player Per Broddesson to play the solo which he did just as brilliant as I expected he would. I wrote the lyrics for the song and it deals with the impact Freyas heart condition had on our family as a whole. 07. What Remains Marcus: Per, Thomas and I had some rehearsals down in Stockholm one weekend. It was that kind of rehearsal that we were just trying stuff, jamming without a direction. The ideas were not coming easy and Per started playing a piano-thing that he had written before and I just said that we really had to make something out of it. It was a great feeling to finally hear something that was usable in our drought. Thomas insisted in writing the lyrics for it and I helped out with the Cello-part which was originally improvised by Stefan Moberg. Thomas: The theme of this poem is connected with both Downfall and the poem in A Beginning. First of all, I often feel lonely when I observe people and the events that take place all over the world on a daily basis. So much of what is happening revolves around profit and making the wealthy and powerful few more wealthy and powerful still. Economical interest is what runs the world (I believe) and more often than not it seem too obvious that there is a great scheme behind it all. As explained in Downfall the individual allows himself to deteriorate in order to be a part of the great unity of his consuming fellow beings he is dying to live. No matter how motivated you are, I believe there is no way to (globally) reverse this evolution that has been going on for so long (the Industiral Revolution has certainly helped us quite a bit on our way to spiritual death). We are all tied together by the economical interests of the few, and what will be the deal of the New World Order? Funny thing is that we, the people, are so easily manipulated. We do not understand what is happening to us, but we are sure happy the be dragged along with amusement and the lastest fashion of the season. The ones running the business hard core entities, walking over dead bodies do it with the greatest of ease, as we are so malleable (referring, for example, to Orwells ideas in 1984). As we come to the chorus of this poem, I want to illustrate the double loss as a result of the individual compromising in order to blend into modern society and ways of life the World loses a soul, and the individual loses touch with what is to be regarded worldly. This whole entanglement (individual tied to societys demands) works two ways: 1) demands/ways of life tie the soulless individual to it; 2) the now soulless individual doesnt mind to be tied by something alien/unnatural. The final line of words in this poem refers to Aldous Huxleys Brave New World. Please read it and wake up! 08. In Memory of Me Marcus: This was one of the last songs written for the album, actually it wasnt even complete when we started tracking the drums. We have had at least one song on every album that wasnt complete when we started recording the album. On The Window Purpose we had Towards Loss, on Cold Light we had Trust, on Still we had Hiding and on Communication Lost we have In Memory of Me. Sometimes the best stuff comes out of sponaneity. Stefan: This song deals with the time when I had decided to move on and leave the band. At the same time as I was afraid to leave everything behind I felt very proud to have been a part of the band and the songs we created together. I love this song and I feel it holds some of the best melodies Ive ever written. 09. In the Quiet of Dawn Stefan: As Im writing this I would probably say this is my favourite song off the album. Its also one of the oldest. I remember we played this live back in 2007 or something like that. I also remember hearing an idea Per had pretty much at the time he joined the band. He had just recorded a snippet but I loved it and told him we HAD to make a song out of it which we did. The song is about moving forward, trying out new things and having faith in the person you are and the abilities you hold. 10. Communication Lost Marcus: I had this 7/8 riff that my first intention was to have distorted Guitar and distorted Bass playing it unison, using it as a base for the whole song. I thought of it like something Tool-ish. Eventually we developed it into something more than that, but that was the first grain what would become Communication Lost. Stefan: I love the way the chorus turned out for this song. I find it to be very powerful. I wanted the lyrics to be very honest about the state the band found itself in during a couple of years. I just lost touch of everything related to the band and we stopped communicating. Once Freya was well I started to find my way back to the band and I now sincerely hope we get to release a few more albums because Ive come to terms with the fact that this band is like air to me. I dont care at all about commercial success. As long as we get to write music that makes me proud and creatively fulfilled Ill be as happy as I possibly can be. Thomas: To me, this song refers to the communication that is lost between individuals as well as between the individual and the true self/soul/needs. At least this is what I think about when I hear the title: Communication Lost. 11. A Beginning Marcus: I see this as the aftermath, after the world (your world or the earth, your choice) has been destroyed you can start over with a blank sheet of paper. A new hope on the horizon. The idea I had with the e-bowed guitars in the end was to arrange it like you would play it on glass. See an example on that here. The way we did it was to put all recorded e-bowed guitars in a sampler and play it on the keyboard, it became quite cool I think. Thomas: Exactly! After weve destroyed ourselves, maybe there can be a new beginning of it all, so that we can go ahead and destroy it all again. Anyway, the poem, once again recited by the Astronaut, is about returning to who you really are. I wrote it many years ago (in Swedish) when I felt bad (of course) but saw that I was going to return to a life where I was more on the ground and in the present (still havent returned though). But what I want to stress is that it is very important to learn how to REALLY be where you are at the moment and appreciate the presence that can never be regained. Oh, how often isnt the mind somewhere else instead of right where your actual life takes place thinking about the next move, worrying about this or that, figuring out what to buy and how to be a successful entity in our sordid and superficial World. This has to stop. And immerse my hands in earth is obviously a metafor for being more awake/alert in present time and space. But there is a slightly other meaning where I first got the idea of earth or soil: A friend whom I studied music with long ago once said to me that my way of playing the double bass was very earthy ha said I had my hands in the soil/earth when I played. This is probably the nicest thing anyone ever said about my bass playing, and I used it in the poem partly because immersing my hands in earth would mean to be really me, partly because the soil is something natural out of which things grow. The image of the forest in the CD booklet refers to this kind of nature.