LEGEND Interview Page 3
By Bob Nalbandian
SW: The lyrics on Still Screaming seem to be based more on today's social issues whereas your previous albums seem to be based more on historic topics like "Song for a Soldier", and "Hiroshima" (which incidentally was rerecorded and re-titled as "Hiroshima 2003" on Still Screaming).
PH: I don't think there's a significant difference between the new lyrics and the old. In fact, a lot of the material from 20 years ago was very contemporary..."Death in the Nursery" (nuclear proliferation), "Frontline" (apartheid in South Africa), "Anthrax Attack" (chemical warfare), "Sabra & Chatila" (Lebanon), "Warrior" (urban gang violence), "Prisoner" (death row). I still write about issues or events that inspire or horrify me and I never know when or where that inspiration will appear. On the new album, for instance, there's a track called "Pompeii" which was inspired by a visit to the ancient city in 2002 and there are also songs about current social issues. The lyrics for the older material follow a similar pattern, ranging from surreal trips into the mind to personal events like the birth of my first daughter ("Open up the Skies" from the Frontline EP). I try not to restrict what I write about as long as I never have to force it.
SW: Give us some insight about the title of the new CD - Still Screaming?
PH: I read a review somewhere where the guy said "Still Screaming?...There's no screaming on the album at all!" which made me chuckle. As if the title of an album should somehow relate to what it sounds like...we should have called it "Lots of guitar and doomy vocals"!! (laughs). No, the album title relates purely to the fact that we are still screaming about issues that affect us. Still writing about things that we think matter and not just what's fashionable or expected. I still find it hard to write profanities in a song when there are so many better words to use. I don't foresee the day when there will be a "Parental Warning" sticker on the front of a Legend album...which is pretty unique for a metal band these days. The songs on the album range from songs about Political struggles ("Maybe this Time"), Terrorism ("Eden Massacre"), to child suicide bombers ("Born in Chaos") and personal trauma ("I'm Not Angry", and "Living in Your Nightmare"). I suppose the lyrics to the title track are the most blunt and to the point, especially the final sequence that basically lists the everyday horrors of modern life that so often go unnoticed. However, a lot of our fans just like the riffs and the music and are not all that concerned with the lyrics, and that's okay with me, at the end of the day its the music that matters. It's just that if I'm gonna write lyrics, they have to mean something to me, hence why I write what I write.
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