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By Martin Popoff
"It probably is a little doomier," agrees Craig with that characterization. "The mellow passages have a history. There was a horrible month there in the writing process where Mark's mother and Ed's father and ex-wife died all in the same month, so there were very doomy moments in the songwriting of this record. Some of those mellower, darker moments of the album came from those experiences. That accounts for the genuinely doomy vibe. We were a little nervous that the fans wouldn't accept some of the experiments on here, like 'I.A.M.H.'. That's a risky thing to put on a metal record."
"Mark's the youngest guy in the band and he listens to the most metal," continues Craig along this admittedly strange resume record concept line of thought. "Metal programming in the States, including where we're from, Phoenix, really sucks. But there are some college stations that are still leading the charge of keeping metal alive on metal radio. In Phoenix you get two hours on a Sunday night, but Mark is the one listening to all that material to keep up with the different kinds of music that are coming out. He's just the most plugged into current writing styles as well as old school. He is really making an effort to make a name as a songwriting force to be reckoned with. But Mark and I are very similar in our listening tastes. We like Nevermore, Meshuggah, so he's trying to make old school and new school come together somehow. It's a very fine line, a very risky proposition. You have some songs on this record that A.K.... he doesn't rap by any stretch the imagination, but he's doing some different stuff, like on 'Nothing To Say' and 'Camera Eye'. His vocal lines are a little bit different than in the past. We're trying to find, not a new style per se, but Mark is attempting to put old school and new school ideas in the same song, and I think he hit it, if not directly on the head on this album, he's got a good proximity to it for the next album. Everything in the future is going to evolve better because Mark just has a lot more confidence now."
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