Hype Waltz is a song about everything. It’s about having a billion thoughts come crashing into your head at the same time in the most colourful and the sharpest images that form or, sort of, just put down into the lyrics.
I was not sober when most of these lyrics came to me - again a rarity. I never do that, but there was that. It was like an LSD trip of a song for me.
The music might be, sort of, punk or indie rock, but it’s not. It’s, sort of…I would love to have a blanket of reverb and make it all crazy but with much different effects. We kept it simple.
But that’s the feelings that…the feeling is it’s paranoid, it’s about not trusting anything or anybody - as I like to do my songs - very anti-political - and it’s about thinking about getting the truth. Which is the great thing that you’ve got to think about when you’re not sober, is that you're gonna right all the wrongs and then never really do.
You could write a song about it - which I did. There you go.
Angleton is about James Jesus Angleton. He was a Director of the CIA and he was looking for a mole - a very important mole - that was leaking out very, very sensitive information to the Soviets.
Then it turned out that the mole was a friend of his; a close friend of his called Kim Philby - a British guy from MI6 - who later on ran away when he was discovered. He ran away to the Soviet Union and he died in the Soviet Union. But, Angleton stayed alive.
He was shocked, he was really hurt by this betrayal. He stayed on as Director but he became increasingly paranoid - for very good reasons - and he just couldn’t trust anybody for the rest of his life; which is an absolutely horrible situation to be in.
I was reading about this in books and it just left a big, big mark on me. Probably one of the most dramatic things I’ve ever read about. If you’re interested in it more you should go check out his entry in Wikipedia as a good starting point and go from there. It’s a great story and I highly recommend. I’m a huge fan of the spy stuff.
As soon as I read that story I was like “this is going to be a song” and then it became a song. I love writing from the POV of characters and this was just a great, great character to write from his perspective.
City of No Palms is about a very close relative of mine who was certain to die from a cancer. I was spending a lot of time with her and some of it I was stoned and she was heavily medicated most times. I found it bleakly amusing - I’m not proud of it - but I found it bleakly amusing that I’m just a bored kid who likes being high and she’s high herself because that’s her only way of prolonging her life.
I remember sitting in her apartment and it was snowing like crazy outside - we were in Moscow - and I remember telling her that she would be better off in a warm climate, but she was stuck here in gloomy winter Moscow.
Then she died and we released the song a year or so after her death - which was a very strange feeling releasing the song. I was listening to it and I was thinking it took us a year long to release the god damn song compared to what cancer did to her.
It’s probably the most personal song I’ve ever written. But it’s really useful because I sing it and every time there’s a show I sing the song and I do think of her and it’s a great, great way for me to keep her constantly in my head.
Dope Fiend Massacre is about a dope fiend - surprise. He’s in a drugged up state and he thinks it’s now his duty to go kill a bad politician. Which happens often, you get really good ideas in a less than sober state.
So he’s about to go off on his journey of mayhem and hurt but then he starts to second guess himself and have doubts. Then he goes into a conversation with himself and the song ends with him supposedly parading on the beat.
If you see the music video it’s probably the closest that correlates between the lyrics and the visuals because as soon as I was writing the lyrics, I just, kind of, pictured everything and pretty much everything I pictured we shot.
So, there’s some lazy music video making for you. Just shoot what the singer sings.