The Conflict, was a record (yes, a concept record) I had made with my band His Mighty Robot. 10 years ago this past Thanksgiving we released this piece of art, which revolved around a character called Sad Boy and lead me to a near nervous breakdown. As soon as it was done I hopped a plane to Chicago and disappeared for a week. I always wanted to do a track-by-track for a record that I had made and, be it that no one came knocking, I did one for myself. And, here it is. I wanted to honor this albums important birthday with something, anything. So…here it is.
CONNECTION OF FINGERS
This song, I felt was a great introduction to the record. It leads you in with a calm fluidity before we get into any of the real chaos, it’s a song about being one with someone else, kind of like how fingers can intertwine, thusly the title was born. But it also goes beyond just connecting fingers, but full bodies as well. The last line in the song is “We have connection, with rocket lift off intensity,” an ultimate climax.
It’s not too long into our “Story” that our character Sad Boy decides that he has reached the end of his rope after little deliberation. This song is about experimentation with multiple partners and using them for one thing and one thing only with no concerns for repercussions. “It’s not you, it’s me is so cliché…” In this case that is very, very true. Not caring about anyone, not even one’s self. Absolute self-destruction.
Being foreign in ones own body is something we all have felt at one point or another in our lives and then some of us feel that way forever. So, we create another world of our own to live in. I’ve always been a firm believer in the INDIVIDUAL. So many people want to be like something else. It’s harder to just be yourself, plainly. And here, in this twisted and chaotic structure as a band we fully experimented with that idea.
EMBRACE (Dream Sequence 1)
This song was meant to be a bouncy, fun, weird distraction from the first three tracks on the record. That’s ultimately why two dream sequences were created for the album while, at the same time, our Sad Boy is dreaming about being a child again. To embrace your inner child is truly to accept who you are as an adult. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that age should dictate anything that you are. That’s purely a load of malarkey, anyone who subscribes to that is just simply afraid to…Embrace. We also wanted to say, yea we’re alternative but we fuckin’ love jazz chords too, haha.
One of my favorite songs on the record, if not my favorite. Vocally, lyrically…the composition, just everything. It’s about soul searching, it’s about realizing your own personal worth, it is about dying to survive. This song hurts my heart. We were real young when these songs were created. It captured us fully at the time, three Gemini’s to the absolute fullest. “It’s yourself you gotta know.” TRUTH.
The centerpiece of our beautiful disaster. The light, the dark. Some of the most chilling sounds I have ever put down on a record. H-Rocker and I really knew how to communicate with sonic landscapes. I’ve never had that with anyone else. It was truly a gift. For our character this would be something like a David Lynch movie, what sense can we make of it all? Speaking of movies, this instrumental was used in the film 3-Day Weekend over a sex montage, so…I was pleased.
SNOW ANGEL GIRL & BLUE FLAME BOY (Dream Sequence 2)
Our second dream sequence. I really wanted H-Rocker to sing this one on her own, she never wanted to take lead on the tunes but I just had to have her take this one. I wanted it to be our nod to Smashing Pumpkins’ “Daydream” off of Gish where D’arcy sings lead. After we put this record out it was heavily praised as a throw back to that magical part of the 90’s with The Pumpkins, The Cure, The Pixies…when bands like that were all doing this special stuff overflowing with soul. We drew on our influences and completely embraced them for this album. It was beautiful.
Yikes. The dreaded spoken word piece. We spent the least amount of time on this one. It had to be visceral. The words were sharp. I wanted to spit and piss all over everything. I wanted to bring my imaginary Boy to life through me and make him feel what he had done to us and this record. A lot of noise, rushed words, screams, out of tune guitars, feet and hearts pounding. “Accepted. Finally. No Longer. Condemned.” No longer condemned to walk in your own skin, finally accepted by his God.
YOUR BODY AS A CRUCIFIX
And so we segue-way into religion again, which under lays a lot of this record. I even threw out the title REALIGION as a possibility for the album. This pushes more of the male/female vocal trade offs into our outer space. We walked into a room, picked up our guitars, cleared our throats and sat in front of a hot mic. I always like to hear a juicy mouth on a record. This song uses crucifixion as the beautiful imagery we wanted to put across. We search for repentance, we search to vomit all the guilt and lies before it’s too late, “You say, you will pray for me, and I will listen, undoubtably (which actually isn’t a proper word, but this is a fantasy anyway) almost a play on words for the Godless. The confession has come; it is almost time for judgment. One of my favorite guitar outros sits on the edge of this song.
Another one of my favorites hands down. It’s for the dreamer in us all. Don’t believe what the doctors tell you, don’t eat all those pills or you’ll become a zombie. So many young boys and girls die because they can’t cope with whom they choose to love or how they live their lives. It takes a Sad Boy to truly know this. Your dreams sometimes are only ever dreams. Again, this is a fantasy if you choose to believe in fiction. It’s all too real “Make believe, that you are free.”
What you’ve been waiting for (Barrett finally got his chimes!) This is the final chapter in a diary of a lost soul that we love and that we wish could have lived to see another album. Let me be perfectly crystal clear about this song. I/we do not condone suicide because it fucking sucks. But sometimes you just don’t ever feel right enough to live. Here, another character enters, and briefly, a Dr. Kevorkian of sorts appears to help our Boy make his final decision. “Do me a favor, let me drown. Would you please help kill me?”
“I know it sounds so sick but what can you do to cure a Sad Boy?” I miss him…I miss her, heart achingly. I miss this mighty robot. It is not a sin. You are all angels.
CONNECTION OF FINGERS (REPRISE)
She sat down by the piano. We had no map for the end of this journey. I closed my eyes, pen to paper and listened to those painful fingers press those keys to hammer to cord/chord. We died all over again. Rewind. Repeat. It is infinity. The Conflict is a circle, heaven and hell for all the misunderstood beautiful souls.
Please continue to share and discover this record.