Tell you what – we love hearing from artists when things go right. We equally love hearing from artists when things go dreadfully wrong. A song that was a piece of piss, written in 20 minutes? Or years in the making and a bastard to write?
Whether it’s a song that came together through great duress or one that was smashed out in a short amount of time, we’re getting the lowdown from some of our favourites on the one song that they can’t stop thinking about – in their own words.
Ahead of releasing their latest record ‘Warmonger’ – out this week on Cruel Nature Records – we’re chuffed to have Jeremy Hunt of QOHELETH talk us through their latest single ‘More Guns‘. It also happens to coincide with an exclusive first watch of their newest video! Take it away, Jeremy…
January 23, 2018
“I texted Mike (drums, guitars, vocals, and more in QOHELETH) the first draft of the lyrics that would become “More Guns.” I had to double-check the dates to make sure my memory was correct, but there had been yet another school shooting on this day, this time at Marshall County High School in Kentucky, about two hours away from where my wife grew up. Like a lot of folks in this country who long for a safer world for our kids (and people in general), the proud American tradition of public shootings often leads me to feelings of despair and deep, deep anger. It feels like an insurmountable evil, something that we can only learn how to live with, and never truly overcome.
And so for whatever reason, I decided to pour all that frustration, disgust, and rage into the lyrics. Biting satire felt like the only path to take, and basically I tried to imagine three separate scenarios where gun-related violence was so over-the-top and extreme that you would hope the only rational response would be to stop idolizing them…yet the chorus offers a heightened take on the bugshit crazy refrain that we ALWAYS hear after a mass shooting: if only there had been more “good guys with guns”…
So in essence, this is an attempt to communicate what it feels like to be stuck in a nation that refuses to make any clear cut progress or change and simply throws up our hands at the notion that there’s anything that could possibly be done to stop shootings.
In the bigger picture of the album, while we’d had the overall concept for Warmonger simmering for a year or two, I think these lyrics and this song starting to take shape all the way back in 2018 helped direct the rest of the music and thematic approach in the 2-3 years since then. That’s not to say that it took us a full 2-3 years to write Warmonger, especially since we released a remix album (2018) and three EPs (2019) in between then and now, but rather that we’ve been wrestling with all of this album off and on since then…trying to put music to the themes of American violence, words to situations, etc.
Musically speaking, this song is constructed from about two or three guitar tracks, one or two bass tracks, drums, and vocals. We wanted to achieve a sort of primal stomp, with distortion pushed to the limits of musicality…again seeking an auditory counterpart to feeling like we’re living in some sort of mad, parallel existence with worshippers of the gun.
Lastly, one of the bigger threads of the album (and how we’re attempting to share/present it) is looking at just how deeply rooted our affections for violence run. When the first Gulf War happened, I remember that some company made trading cards for Operation Desert Storm. You could literally collect cards of General Schwarzkopf, Saddam Hussein, George Bush (the father), various weapons of war, and so on. At the time, I didn’t think much about it as a kid, but in the years since, it’s unreal to reflect on how we’ve commodified and commercialized real life violence in that manner. We don’t even think about it. And I say this as someone who loves violent movies, whether action stuff, horror, sci-fi, and so on.
But it felt like this was the perfect opportunity to take a video game that I enjoyed as a kid, Bionic Commando, and repurpose it in service of the song. If all we have are violent references points, perhaps all we’ll be capable of are violent methods?“