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Conspires To... Comments On Writing Lyrics For Upcoming Album

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U.K. metal act Conspires To... has issued the following update about writing lyrics for the band's upcoming second album:

"We are progressing nicely with album number 2 at the moment and have reached that stage where my attention is turning to the writing of the lyrics. Now generally at this point my listening habits vary, away from Carcass, Amon Amarth and the other brutal metal bands that I enjoy deeply, but really have no idea of what they are going on about (guess probably vikings for the latter!), to more articulate artists with something (or in some cases nothing) to say. This time around my selection has led me to give the subject of swearing in music some pondering. The questions being, is it Essential? is it necessary? should I be writing it? is it offensive?

"I will dismiss the last question out of hand, as I think for a genre of music that has given us Slayer, GWAR and Cannibal Corpse, it goes with the territory, and in fact even the tamest of metal bands are probably going to offend at least a small collection of puritans at least once! Case closed.

"So, what listen pleasure sparked the debate in my head? It all started when I bought a copy of Limp Bizkit's Gold Cobra CD (cheap) at Bangalore airport. Musically OK, not their best, but it did not take me too long to get utterly fed up with Fred Durst's swearing (and utter gibberish), there seemed to be no point to it other than to try to be big and clever.....of which it is neither! At this point I felt justified in not having included any swearing in any of our songs so far. I stood on the moral high ground and peered down onto the top of Mr Durst's red cap.

"I didn't give it much thought and continued on my journey with the obligatory ipod welded to my ears. Machine Head shook me from a slumber that had ensued, and I merrily tapped my foot to the utterly thunderous 'The Blackening,' marvelling at the guitar savagery, but more importantly getting absorbed into Mr Flynn's lyrics, and the utter rage and agression that he spat them out with. What made this anger and vim even more poignant and believable? The use of swearing. Sparse, controlled and necessary swearing, almost acting as an sonic exclamation mark....albeit one being rammed into the side of your face!! I found it exciting, almost uplifting.....but why? And is it therefore necessary in metal? Is it an differentiator, between good and excellent metal?

"I quickly scanned my iPod for other bands that I love to try to answer this question. The conclusion........No, it is not a differentiator. I could find numerous examples of exceptional metal with no swearing at all. Megadeth, Killswitch Engage, Dream Theater etc etc. But conversely some great music where swearing was an accelerate to the already roaring flames of metal. Korn, Nine Inch Nails, the aforementioned Machine Head. And the reason for this? They were singing about themselves. Either directly or metaphorically, their lyrics were describing their own feelings or experiences or pain. So what made the swearing acceptable to me was the conviction of the delivery and the subsequent belief in what was being said.

"So, is it essential? Evidently not, as there are many examples of brutal, crushing metal without it. Is it necessary? For some artists I believe that Yes it is, absolutely, as long as it is real! For others errr no. Should I be writing it? I don't think so. My life may have not been beautifully smooth thus far, but I don't have the kind of inbuilt rage required to justify the use of swearing in my lyrics, and still feel comfortable about it. Not to say that my lyrics are nerver sparked by anger, it is just that I choose to articulate my disquiet in other ways. That got that one straight in my head, now what about lyrics in general? Do they matter at all in metal...........I'll let you know after I have given it some thought."

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