Doug Orlando, Assistant Editor at Metal Majesty Records
Doug: "We were so careful in the 'sonic and lyrical' crafting of this song out of our respect for the subject matter. There was a heavy responsibility in the telling of this story as it is based on the real-life events from the worst day of someone’s life. Now full disclosure, we have
Doug Orlando, Assistant Editor at Metal Majesty Records
Doug: "We were so careful in the 'sonic and lyrical' crafting of this song out of our respect for the subject matter. There was a heavy responsibility in the telling of this story as it is based on the real-life events from the worst day of someone’s life. Now full disclosure, we have absolutely taken some artistic liberties (with the approval of the song's protagonist), but there is way more truth to this song than is comfortable going into detail about.
When interviewing the subject about this portion of his life, it was roughly a 3-month-long process. On one occasion, we were at the gym and as this story was being told, there were tears staining the cheeks of the storyteller. He was gripping the bar so hard that he had blood under the fingernails from the nails detaching from the nail bed. Another time at the gun range as he loaded up the magazine, his hands were shaking, and he dropped a few rounds. Then there was just a switch flipped. The magazine was slammed home, the bolt closed...low ready...finger straight and off the trigger. The range was cleared hot, and the steel started to ring shot after shot. Then a strong and clear voice spilled out the rest of this story. It was a relief even for us to be through this and it wasn’t even our tale.
One of the amazing things about art is that it is interpreted by the person taking it in. If you find this song motivating or cool and it pumps you up to bang out that first 300lb rep on the bench or burn down the track to a sub 10 sec. quarter mile, then from Shame the Masses to you “hell yeah and good on ya”! But this song at its core is a horror rock song. For those that know there is something out there that sinks into you at your worst, and it never lets you go. This song is about that thing that answers when God hasn’t, and you hope it never comes for you again. If you live every moment avoiding situations that might draw out that thing inside, and you numb yourself in whatever manner it takes to cope with that portion of your life, then you know what this song is really talking about.
The final line you might recognize as the title of the first song we released. We started this journey at the end because the redemption arc needed to be shown before the fall. It was the responsible way we felt this tale should be told. In the end there is hope. No matter where you are in your own tale, Shame the Masses are grateful you have made us the soundtrack of your story if even for a little while."
Justin Bruce, guitarist/vocalist at Shame the Masses
Justin: "As Doug pointed out, we had to be really careful in the way that the development of this song took place. The subject matter wasn't just pulled out of a figment of our imaginations. There's a real person with a real story that is the inspiration for this song, and we had to make sure that the proper amount of respect was given every step of the way. As each of us were present for the interview process with the real-life protagonist of the story, we respectfully and intently listened and put ourselves into the situation to try and feel what they felt. This is not the kind of thing that you take lightly. We made sure that as much time as necessary was given. Like Doug indicated, it was basically a 3-month-long process.
Once we had the story from the interviews, it was time to try and give that story a sound. For me, it's like 'how do I take what this person went through and put that to sound waves?' You know? I had to try and make the sound that anyone else could listen to and have some idea what this person went through. I decided that in order to create that 'rumble and chaos' of the battlefield, it needed to be heavy...like really heavy. I decided to try a baritone 6 and a 9-string, both tuned way down to A. That definitely got us into the right territory.
The clean riff on the baritone 6 that starts things off and reappears at various points is a riff that I had developed quite a while before as a 'Dream Theater-ish' thing and it fit perfectly for this song. From that basis, we just built layer upon layer and added more heavy riffs. It started to sound like the battlefield, ya know? Just meandering clean riffs that depict soldiers sneaking their way into position and then these huge in-your-face power chords that sound like firefights breaking out and bombs hitting the ground. It just slowly builds upon itself adding tension and uncertainty to the situation at each point. You gradually become more and more unsure of what's about to happen around the next corner. Due to the trauma he has endured, the protagonist is inescapably losing his sanity and building his fury on the battlefield.
A few minutes in, the main clean baritone guitar riff that keeps you holding onto reality drops out. By the time the vocals end and the clean riff steps back in at around the 5-minute mark, you are pretty well certain that things are about to hit the fan! Not only is our protagonist NOT going to 'die young today', he's about to make certain that no one else on the battlefield is left alive either. 6 minutes in, you reach the point where our protagonist has totally lost his mind and for the last 2 minutes, he is an uncontrolled force of fury killing everything in sight. It's sonic chaos all around you...like what I can imagine war sounds something like if you turn it into a song.
But further beyond that and deeper is returning to the fact that there was a lot of care and respect that went into this. We had to make it raw and in-your-face, but still retain the deep respect for this person's story. It wasn't made up. This shit really happened to this person and we are trying to humble ourselves to the level of doing the story honor and justice. Anyone out there who listens to this song should be able on some level to feel what this situation was like. We had to sonically drop you into this battlefield and firefight. It's pretty intense. I truly hope that we did enough respect and justice to the story."