DARK TRANQUILLITY - A Fine And Shining Neo-Grind Page 2
by Martin Popoff

And why the title Fiction? It's a bit inscrutable...

"Picking titles is always the hardest thing," says Sundin. "There were some other alternatives, but they never really stood out that much. We were kind of keen on having not another one-word title, because we had so many of them in the past. But at the end of the day, we felt that Fiction really did sum up the whole lyrical theme this time. And also our whole attitude toward music-making. The idea that you are creating something out of our mundane, common daily lives, that is sort of elevated to, I guess, fiction, or something that is based on reality but sort of transcends reality as well. Mikael, the vocalist, is the main guy behind the lyrics, so he would probably have a lot of good explanations and good conceptual ideas behind the name, but for me, it represents diversity of perception, that everybody has their own reality tableau, so to say, and one person's reality can be another person's fiction. And it is also kind of reflected in the way the lyrics are structured. Mikael previously wrote a lot about himself, whereas on Fiction, the different songs contain feelings that are directed to other characters, so to say. So just as the music is more diverse and varied, I think the lyrics reflect that as well."

And with a title, must go artwork, or in this case, a deliberate lack thereof. "Yeah, we wanted to do something more minimalistic with Dark Tranquillity graphics for quite a long time. But this was the first time I really felt it would work, for example, having a black-and-white cover and having songs that were completely bare and naked. Because to me, that's how the whole vibe and atmosphere of the lyrics and music is. It's very gloomy and desolate and arid. So I pitched the idea of having the front cover really minimalistic, and the booklet contained more detailed artwork, kind of in my usual style, or what people are used to for Dark Tranquillity concepts. So it was really fun and rewarding to work with that kind of aesthetic. And most people seem to connect with it. I read some reviews that have said they can't really make sense of the cover because it doesn't really show anything. But to me it does, and it gets out how I think the music would look. There are a few tricks in there as well. It's actually a photo taken from the tour bus, out of the window, from I think our first American tour. So it ties in with the concept of the music being our way of transcending everyday realities. It really is a snapshot from our touring life, or our touring reality, and there are a few other connections that make sense to me; it kind of anchors the whole image to the music and lyrics."

DARK TRANQUILLITY - A Fine And Shining Neo-Grind Page 3