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.
In a world of progressive rock where gloominess and melancholy is everywhere, a lot of reviewers have commented on “Kore Wa!” unique blend of humor and positive emotions. We wanted to keep that elemen on this album as well.
A lot of fans and reviewers describe the music as cheerful, happy, and uplifting,.Trond elaborates: “I think that we should treat humor as any other feeling. To me humor is just as serious as melancholy, sadness and depression and an essential part of being human. I’m a positive person that likes to get people to smile, and I want my music to reflect that. I’ve always liked the sound of Frank Zappa, Etron Fou Leloublan. Lars Hollmer, Samla Mammas Manna, Brian Eno, and Albert Marceour because they manage to put humor inside prog, a genre that all too often is way too serious and bombastic. I love seriousness and the bombastic – but not all the time!”
Demagogue Days is one of the few songs where the working title was kept, and to make sure the title stayed, Thomas quickly came up with the chorus part. Despite its pretty dark lyrics, it still manages to sound like a happy and poppy tune.The lyrics also ended up setting up the vibe and theme for the rest of the songs.
Even though Demagogue Days is not a concept album, a common thread in the lyrics of many songs on the album is communication.A concept vaguely and losely revolving around how difficult and easy communication has become at the same time: how people increasingly end up seeking refuge and comfort in a stupid little device with a screen to cope with the complexities and problems of the world, First hand experience of how people prioritize filming and snapping from accidents and incidents instead of being decent and giving a helping hand. How media personalities’ opinions increasingly are held in higher esteem than someone with knowledge. This might not sound very cheerful, but we try to deliver our message without avoiding being too preachy. Misanthropy served with a smile.
The song Demagogue Days follows the concept of the album and in many ways this song is about communication (technology) can mess everything up. By the use of certain words that trigger a certain response, you can get people to do really crazy and scary stuff. Just look at what happened in the US when Trump supporters stormed the congress after a fiery speech that pushed all the right – or wrong- buttons.
Although Trond allegedly wanted to create a simple song with a main theme with a 7/4 time signature, it ended up with an instrumental middle part that changes time signatures all the time. The middle section might sound deceptively simple to play for the casual listener, but when we were rehearsing it prior to recording, (and later for our perpetually delayed release party) everyone (except Mari) kept struggling with one little sneaky time signature change, even Trond that wrote the section had problems.
Mari: “The short fanfare at the end of the song has been an important part of the song since the very beginning (don’t ask why). Occasionally when we are rehearsing, I forget to play it. If this happens (God forbid!) Thomas, Trond and Anders will keep staring at me in silence with eyes full of anticipation and frustration. “Forgot something?” Anders eventually says, and I shamefully play the five short notes, the fanfare outro, the horrifying theme of the jack in the box.”