The Great Discord's track-by-track guide to new album The Rabbit Hole
Vocalist Fia Kempe gives us the lowdown on The Great Discord's new album The Rabbit Hole
Welcome to the world of The Great Discord and the story of The Rabbit Hole. We hereby invite you to dig deep together with Fia Kempe into the story of The Rabbit Hole, the book entitled the same, the concept, the music and the twisted world of Ire. Do you dare to hop down the rabbit hole?
Dimman is the piece of music that opens up the curtains to our own written folk tale entitled The Rabbit Hole. Dimman gives you the first glimpse of Ire, the new persona for this album. The idea of this intro is that Fia (the persona from our first album, Duende) is left alone with her destructive psyche in a foggy forrest and out of nowhere this fire appears in the dark woods. Out of the fire Ire, the valkyrie, the personification of wrath, passion, love and madness crawls up to Fia and introduces itself. Fia's curiosity is awoke and Ire steals her full attention, Fia is completely blinded by this awe-inspiring creature.
The intro of Dimman was created, written and recorded in one afternoon. I guess it kind of just came to me, if I may use one line as cheesy as that, and I saw this whole scenario playing over and over in my head. The whole arrangement of the song just came, harmony after harmony, and we recorded it immediately and did not change a single note after that. What you hear on the album is the first and only recorded version of Dimman recorded in one take. Dimman is the intro of the album that represents the calm before the storm, the feeling that something big is going to happen, soon.
This is where the party is starting. Noire is Ire's first and only attempt of luring Fia down the rabbit hole. Ire speaks to Fia and explains to her how important she is to Fia, how much she needs her, and that she really won’t take no for an answer. Ire demands Fia to crawl down the rabbit hole and just take whatever is coming to her. Fia is completely blinded by Ire's impressive charisma and obeys her demands to jump down the rabbit hole.
Noire was one of the first songs that we recorded for this album and the jumpy guitar riff that forms the chorus was originally written on piano, so the guitarists in the band were in for a treat once we started to record this piece of music. Noire is that 'punch in the face' song that kicks off the whole performance and gives you a feeling of walking besides ire and Fia in the woods, while Ire easily persuades all its listeners that this is something you need to hear. This is a story you need to dig deep into. Just come here, sit there and take it.
Gadget was such a fun song to write and record for us. Gadget is the track that represents full on madness, craziness and infatuation. This is where Fia gets to see the rabbit hole and all the madness in it. Ire is showing off its distorted world and together they start to play and do stupid antics without thinking about any consequences whatsoever. The song starts off with heavy, almost jungle-like drumming where you are supposed to get the feeling of running in complete darkness, and once you come to the chorus you are fully running for your life.
Rasmus came up with this, almost boogie-woogie-like bassline that reinforces this feeling, and the lyrics just speak for a very pubertal 'fuck you' attitude. You are not aware of anything other than yourself and all the crazy shit that you want to do, and you just do not care if you hurt anyone or anything in your way. The madness has you in its grip and it feels amazing.
When we wrote Darkest Day we started with the chorus, and we wanted the song to be intense from the beginning to the end. The chorus has that catchy feel to it which makes it stick in your mind, but at the same time it is not a melody that you’ve heard before. Darkest Day became more of a pop song with a twist and the whole song just goes in to your head with a boom.
This is the part of the story where Fia realises that she actually took the step down into the rabbit hole and that she now has to stand by this decision. Even though she knows that this is a step over to the dark side, she decides to dare herself and stay down the dark hole together with Ire. Lyrically this is the darkest song on the whole album and it represents the feeling of accepting or doing something that you know is not the right way to go, but you do it anyway. This is also the end of Act I of the album. We leave Ire and Fia to their destiny, close the curtains in our minds and jump straight into Act II.
This song opens up the second act of our story; Fia has now been down the rabbit hole for a while. She is starting to see Ire's true side. All the fun and exciting feelings of passion and madness have faded and Ire is becoming more of an evil megalomaniac. Fia understands that she needs to get out of this hellish hole before it eats her up and she asks Ire if she may leave the hole for a while.
The main guitar riff of Tell-Tale Heart has a very Swedish folk tale sound to it, mixed with some oriental influences. The whole song is a dialogue between Fia and Ire – Fia asks if she may leave while Ire replies ”uh-uh uh-uh”. When we wrote this song we wanted the lyrical message to be very direct where the lyrics almost can be taken out of a musical. The music on the other hand we wanted to be more free and flowy, and we allowed ourselves to get a bit crazy with both the rhythms and the harmonic nooks. Tell-Tale Heart has a strong and almost desperate passage to it where Fia screams for her freedom while Ire screams back that it will never let Fia go.
The Red Rabbit
This is the part of the story where Ire has a full-on tantrum. Ire is offended and furious that Fia ever thought about leaving and Ire now shows off her full malicious side. Ire gathers up her rabbits and attacks Fia with a whip, explaining to her that she is a greedy, selfish nobody that would not be anything if it wasn’t for her.
The writing process for this song was so much fun and André came up with the really heavy main riff, which almost makes you feel like a giant is waking up out of a still slumber. It's a heavy song where Ire tortures everything in its way and we wanted the vocals to match this furious feel to the song. Laying down the vocals was so much fun. I wanted it to sound almost absurd, and the chorus was meant to sound more desperate and forlorn, while the verses should sound cocky and lush. We really feel that this is a strong track on the album and that it implements all the elements that make a full-on tantrum. This is the part of the story where you should feel the wrath of Ire and we think that we nailed it pretty good, but listen for yourself and you’ll be the judge of that.
This is the only ballad on the album and it is the complete opposite to a tantrum. This is the part of the story where Fia comes to a turning point, she understands that she made a mistake by following Ire down a rabbit hole, and she lets out her full sorrow and grief, alone in the darkness. When we recorded Neon Dreaming we wanted it to be really tender. The song starts with a soft rain and a single guitar playing, almost like a lullaby. I recorded the vocals in one take because we wanted the song to have true, genuine feeling of fragility to it. No retakes, no polishing. It is supposed to feel like I’m sitting in the room next to the listener, singing them a bedtime song.
Although the song is fragile we also wanted it to feel like you are so overwhelmed by sorrow that it’s almost comparable to taking a strong drug. A feeling of despair that takes you over and makes you fly into a blurry nightmare. The point of no return where you realise that you need to take action and change your way of living if you wanna get out alive. But for now, in this moment, you just need to rest and accept your sorrow, if only for a little little while.
Cadence represents the feelings of cunning, strength, joy and what happens when you are to blind to your own stupidity. Writing Cadence was an experience for us and we wanted that arena-feel to it, and what can be better than yelling out a big fat 'Yeah!' throughout the chorus!
This is the part of the story where Fia manages to outsmart and trick Ire into thinking that they are gonna be together forever, that they are invincible and indestructible. But it is all a big lie. Fia knows that she needs to deceive Ire and stand on her own to manage to find the way out of this hellish hole. Cadence is a song that became more straight-forward pop and rock mixed together; just pump it through the speakers. A song that makes for a grand build-up to the big rise and fall for Ire.
Omen represents the feeling of making up your mind about something, but you just haven’t said it out loud yet. You know what you need to do and you have the picture clear in your mind, you just need to say it. This song was special for us as we had Mark Holcomb from Periphery do a guest solo on the track. We have all been huge fans of his work in Periphery and it just so happens that Aksel and Mark became friends a few years ago while on tour.
Once we got the solo by him in our ears we knew we would never regret asking him. We couldn't be more pleased with how the solo came out and it gives that perfect little extra twist to the song that we wanted. You can definitely hear that it is Mark laying it down, and he always has that little sound of sadness to his tone that we are so fond of.
The final track that ends the story and closes the journey of Fia, Ire and The Rabbit Hole. Persona was one of those songs that took us a while to write, but when we had it, it was so crystal clear that this was the track that was going to end the story. In the beginning of the song you get that rock’n roll feel to it and you can feel Ire's frustration, that she is trying everything in its power to make Fia stay by continually breaking her spirit down. But when Ire realises that Fia will leave her, Ire breaks down in despair. Ire prays and begs on her knees for Fia to stay, and it's clear that the one who claims to be better than everyone else is almost always the weakest.
The end and outro of Persona is powerful and desperate. We really felt that we managed to catch the feeling of true despair, and listening to the vocals at the end of the song you can hear that I actually cracked up a bit while singing it. Persona is the end of Ire and she is left alone with nothing and no-one to hold dear, with just her wrath as an anchor attached to the soil.
The Rabbit Hole is out October 6 and available to pre-order now.