Have you ever wondered what went on in the minds of Trond, Thomas, Mari, and Anders when they wrote and recorded Demagogue Days? How were the tracks conceived, and how did they end up in the form they have on the record? Wonder no longer! In the next couple of weeks, we will present the main ideas and thoughts that lie behind each song from Demagogue Days. Today you’ll learn everything about the opening track “Aroused And Confused.
All of the songs on the album started as Trond’s ideas, and he began writing most of them around 2015/2016. Trond liked the songs on “Kore Wa!”, with its “punk meet prog meet kraut meet zeuhl”-sound, but he also wanted to make songs that were more melodic, with more complex and involved structures and arrangements. Trond: “For me personally, after playing and listening to progressive rock in one way or the other for the last 30 odd years, I have grown a bit tired of the genre. I still listen to all the classic bands I grew up with, like Yes (my all-time favourite band), Gentle Giant, Genesis, and Magma, but these days I find more satisfaction in listening to more electronic music, both old heroes as Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, and Devo, but also new stuff, like Jon Hopkins, Anna Meredith, and Perturbator.“
Early in 2017, Trond sent Thomas a folder of more than twenty demos with potential candidates for the follow-up to “Kore Wa!”. They ended up choosing 8-9 songs they wanted to develop before presenting them to the rest of the band, and they made some pre-prod recordings during the summer of 2017. “Aroused and Confused” quickly showed promise and became a favourite.
While the song still stays true to the core of its original demo, it’s one of the songs that really started to grow and shine as we worked on it together as a band. Thomas was instrumental in arranging the vocals and re-writing the track, Mari had some excellent ideas for chord structures and lead lines, and Anders had ideas about the structure and arrangement.
Thomas: “Mari had already impressed us with how flawlessly and quickly she had learned the songs from Kore Wa!, so we already had a hunch, but as we started rehearsing, writing and arranging songs for the new album, she really showed us how lucky we’d been when she joined the band.”
The tape loop intro is a homage and reference to british post-punk/prog band This Heat. Belgian RIO band Aksak Maboul was also an inspiration for our approach to “Aroused and confused”. The song in many ways set the tone for the album, and was always considered as the opening track, and the obvious choice for the first single.
Thomas: “I have always had a soft spot for Steve Howes playing, but it’s a bit above my skill level, but I hope the use of the Danelectro electric sitar in this song, at the very least hints to his sound on the Close To The Edge album. I also snuck in a short Allan Holdsworth for dummies homage moment with the guitar synth part.”
This is the main road trip song from this album. Which is weird, as none of the members in the band own a car, and most of us don’t even have a driver’s licence. Mari: “In the future, if I ever get a driver’s licence and get to drive a car, I will listen to this song. In the meantime, I will insist on putting on this song every time I am a passenger in anyone else’s car”.