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Here's Five: ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead

Here's Five: ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead

Tuesday 18th August, 2015 6:02PM

Texan group ... And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead are on the precipice of delivering three live shows on New Zealand shores for the first time in six years. With the tour kicking off tonight we managed to sneak some time with lead singer Conrad Keely to talk us through his top five tracks from their recent album IX, with a little foreword about the record...

"This album was made in the late spring of 2014. We had no idea how to start, we originally considered making a purely instrumental album and spent several days improvising and experimenting.

"Our lyrics have always been informed by where we live, and these songs are really no exception. While working on the album in Texas I was still thinking about home in Phnom Penh. But the essence of West Texas and the Austin hill-country were all about us.

"The title for the album was not called IX because it's our ninth record, but rather after a planet from Frank Herbert's Dune called Ix, (the ninth planet in that solar system). It was a cold, hostile place used as a galactic prison, and just about the furthest thing from the little ranch house out on Beecaves Road we were composing songs in."

1. The Doomsday Book
A song about loss. It's also about that thing they do out here in Indochina at beaches like Otres, where they set a bunch of lit lanterns into the air, and someone always ends up dying (though not because of the lanterns).

2. Jaded Apostles
This track was meant to be an instrumental, but our producer Frenchie Smith conned me into writing a vocal part for it. I'm not at liberty to divulge his method, it did not involve ketamine. The image (this was all hastily written mind you) was of the apostle Peter, who I've always found to be slightly jaded - he was just sort of doing it for a job by the end. The lyric "warmth of a good fire" was originally "good fight", because Pete liked a bit of a fight.

3. The Lie Without a Liar
From the desk of Jamie Miller: "The lyric for "Lie Without A Liar" was loosely inspired by Sigmund Freud's book, "The Ego And The Id". For the most part, it's about internal tension, external tension and ones ability to deal with others. Essentially, each verse is what Freud called "the love instinct" which is then overcome by, as Freud also coined, "the death instinct" with the line "as such dark misfortune goes" at the end of each verse illustrating the negative thought. Or, the song could have been about my dog..."

4. The Ghost Within
Someone asked me if the ghost being referred to was that of a deceased person. No, it actually refers to that haunting, oppressive remnant of emotions that hang over two people after a breakup.

5. The Dragonfly Queen
This song describes an actual event of meeting someone, having a child with them, then wondering how to explain your separation to your child once he's grown up.

...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of The Dead are playing three New Zealand shows this week, head over here for more details and to buy tickets.


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Wed 19th Aug
Valhalla, Wellington
Thu 20th Aug
Kings Arms Tavern, Auckland