She testified. She organised her burdens. She walked the line between petty truths and little white lies. She felt alive and found me. Whose side are you fighting for? So warm inside and childlike. Who’s to say she suffered? To agonise: these windows of revulsion fall open wide for that precocious bitch’s suicide. She felt alive and found me. Whose side are you fighting for? So warm inside and childlike. Who’s to say she suffered?
Plug it in and press play. Flicker screen in cathode grey. Some things are easier to say the Ludovico Treatment way. To recognise the symptoms you must understand the disease. It’s hard to live through when you’re ashamed of everything. Watch and learn all about me. You can’t blink the tears away. Matchstick eyes keep you awake. A shattered smile and clingfilm skin. A hotel room, a car, a bridge, a link. Criticise me for endlessly falling apart: it’s a harbinger.
Close your head – the knowledge hurts now. Violence of thought never was so bloody. Oh so clever-clever, oh so, oh so clever-clogs you. Close your ears to flannel-mouthed sinners who hate your mind – the only thing that’s ever really yours. Seed, bud, bloom, a savant. Open your heart to shadow lovers who pretend they want you for your brains and not your body. Open your eyes, work it out, write it down, throw it all away. Think, shake, bleed, a savant.
It’s a new sycophancy: won’t you please join my band? I’ve got a ticket to see The Killers. Well, it’s deaf and it’s dumb and it’s bland. And it’s a selective serotonin reuptake inability to select a serotonin reuptake inhibitor.
You talk in your sleep and it unnerves me. Your sterile light shines all around me. It feels like love will cover up your lies. You’re the same as me and a little lying hurt no one. Carousel of craven love. And hate is such a comfortable four letter word. And I despise four-letter advice. A sheltered life craving lullabies.
A dead leaf fell, and all the others followed. You watched them. The inevitable end. The domino tumble around and inside you. Your black-brick heart in chlorine blue it hangs heavy in your chest. The tick and the tock of your clockwork pulse is loud in your bones. Can’t move, can’t heal. Can’t talk, can’t feel. Fits and starts. She told you to battle not with monsters lest you became a monster, then left and fucked off with the sun. And you were left with spasms and fits and starts of being alone. Her words were never heartfelt, were never meant to help, and all the time the monster, the fiend, was there inside you, using your body, and showing you fear inside a handful of dust. Lows, pills, wide eyes. Twist, jolt, last highs. Fits and starts.
A few words for you, and we can work it out. The endless search is wrecking self, doubting her. Maybe you’ll drown. Shake off these connotations. Severe reprimand failed to do this. The conversations adhere. When you’re down, you look for the brighter day. Look for the bright of day when the sun is cutting you out. The reasons bore you. The absent father figure that you never had, whose lessons scar you. The moon is a satellite. Chaos defined: endlessly latent laces so divine. A patience divide, wasted when life and headrush collide. Remember me: I caused your scars. Like ships I sail through vectors. And maybe it’s time I read the signs you showed me. To fight the endless divide. To sell it to sanity. To seem fine.
You’re the Death of Marat. A flopping and sliding in wet ceramic with glottal stop protest. Juxtapose the pictures of seaside winters: stale milk and fried bread, infidelital cumshots. You think you’re out, but you are always in. But when you’re out, you always get dragged in. You think you’re out, but when you’re in, you’re never getting out, you’re always in. You’re always beating your toy drum in boarding house bleakness. Only delaying your cheap reclamation. Juxtapose the phonics of spectacles cracking. The distant piano of rotten ambition. What made you think you could escape from us? You are the leper, Webber
I maintain your innocence. I showed you all of my skeletons. And though life is still skeletal, there’s one thing I still ask of you: Please don’t forget about me. And one day I will watch you sleep again. Forget about me, and I will lament you. I hold your ears while you are sleeping in that bed you’ve made. I spit out seeds of consequence, and swallow, and fuck it up again. Forget about me, and I will lament you.
Can we work it out? That’s the message inside my head. A starlet sex-count is what’s missing, so start from here: Taylor Rain 258, and Bree Olsen 140-plus. Jameson much the same. Tipping the scales, Jenna Haze, 418. I’m laying low. I’ve waited for so long to kill you. Torture porn. A facemash on UFC. And Aurora Snow: 379 came and had a go. Tera falls back: one off a century of times in the… Melissa Midwest: you make me tense when you get yourself wet. Gauge: 150, they say, but who’s counting? Well, me, and she’s the fucking one who’s on the fucking floor.
My word, was it really ten years ago?!
In June 2008, Matt, Tom and I began jamming together in a condemned building on an industrial park. We’d been using that building for a few years in various bands, and it really was grim. It was freezing cold, so much so that we sometimes had to abandon practices because we couldn’t feel our fingertips. There were mice in there, and they’d chew through our cables and leave shit everywhere. There were no toilets, and the roof leaked. Eventually, after a heavy snow storm, the roof caved in completely, and we had to move elsewhere.
But these were exciting times. We had a lot of ideas left over from various aborted music projects and we wanted to bring them all together. We didn’t have a name for the album, or for many of the songs we were working on, or even for the band. All that came later. For the time being, we were just meeting up in that building after work, usually still wearing the shirts and shoes and trousers from our day jobs, and sticking riffs together. Tom had a basic recording set-up in there, and so whenever we came up with an idea we liked, we’d record it. Then, we’d go to the local pub and have a beer and do a crossword, then head back to the house Tom and I shared, listen to the demos, and get hammered. Over the course of a few months we refined those songs and, almost before we knew it, we had an album.
amanaplanacanalpanama was released in April 2010. It sounds raw and claustrophobic, there are rough surfaces and jagged edges all over it, and a lot of the equipment we were using was hardly up to scratch, but I’m as fond of it now as I was a decade ago. In a word, it sounds ‘creepy’. The latter point was not a deliberate modus operandi or mission statement, and it’s something we’ve never quite captured – or even attempted to capture – since. It’s an esoteric mish-mash of different influences, and when I listen to it now, I can still picture the three of us working on it. I can still hear the in-jokes of those halcyon days, still smell the damp and the alcohol and the smoke and the sweat, still feel the interminable cold of that studio. To me, the album is the sound of three individuals finding a single group identity. We were not a band when we started making it, but we really were by the time we finished.
The main riff here dates back to around 2005. It was inspired by the band Fourtet, and I never knew what to do with it. Like quite a few early CreepJoint ideas, it was written while Tom and I were in our first band together, a three-piece called (no logo) in which Tom played bass and I played guitar and sang. I guess that when CreepJoint started jamming it we didn’t know what to do with it either, because it never developed into a real ‘song’ – it was always something we used as an intro to our live performances. Matt wrote the words and when we heard it we decided it would be the perfect introduction to the album.
Again, another (no logo) leftover. This one dates back to 2007. The verse section came later – I remember Tom and I were jamming in our rehearsal space one day and pretty much played it by accident. We didn’t think about things too much in those days – we just stuck the two sections together, shoved a riff on the end, and we had a song. The harmonies in the choruses were inspired by Fleetwood Mac who I was listening to loads at the time. After recording it, we wanted to change the lead-in to the riff that comes before the final chorus so Tom did some cut-and-paste trickery and we were good to go.
We wrote this song at our first ever practice in June 2008. We just started jamming on it, and by the end, we had a complete song, minus the lyrics which were added later. Some parts of the music were inspired by the Radiohead song Weird Fishes which had just been released at that time. Lyrically, the song is supposed to be a sort of videotaped suicide note, and we reflected this by using the sound of a video cassette being inserted at the start of the song and ejected at the end. We recorded this sample at home using the video player in the living room of the house Tom and I shared.
Tom had a demo of this song, including guitar, drums, bass, and string samples, on his computer. It was all ready to go minus lyrics. One night at the studio, Tom and I were working on a different song, and Matt went and sat in the car and played Tom’s demo on loop. By the time he came back in, it was pretty much written, and just needed to be re-recorded. We kept the arrangement exactly the same as on Tom’s demo, and used the original string sample too.
Almost all the riffs in this song had been sitting around for ages and just needed to be stuck together. The half-time riff in the middle of the song was inspired by 20th Century Cold by Strangelove. The riff at the end was written in November 2005. It was always referred to as ‘The birthday riff’ because I’d come up with it on Tom’s birthday and excitedly emailed it to him the next day. It just needed to find a home, which it eventually did in this song. There’s no real chorus, for no reason other than we couldn’t come up with a vocal line to go over that Strangelove riff, but we thought it sounded good enough without one and so left it as it was.
Parts of this were written on an acoustic guitar at a friend-of-a-friend’s apartment in the East Village of New York in February 2009. It quickly became our signature song at gigs, and we’d finish many of our early performances with it. People in the audience used to enjoy shouting ‘boom!’ when the song kicks in, and it stuck. The riff in the pre-chorus during the ‘it feels like…’ refrain was written by Colbeck, and it fit perfectly, so we stuck all the parts together and we were good to go. The vocal line was inspired by Martin Grech and Deftones. It’s much more discordant on earlier demos and gradually became less experimental as we developed it. Years later, when we rediscovered those original demos, we’d debate whether we should have kept it in its original form.
This was built around a bass line that Matt had come up with, and it quickly became another live favourite that was always good fun to play at gigs. The three of us wrote the music together, and demoed it at home, and then Matt wrote the lyrics. The harmonies took us ages to work out, but apart from that, it came together very quickly it became a set-list staple. There are some drum machine samples in the finished version that can just about be made out over the pre-chorus, and these were lifted from the original demo. In those days we almost always recorded demos at home with programmed drums because it was easier – and because we could get drunk while we were working.
This was a complete song, lyrics and music, from the (no logo) days. We’d released an EP called Signs, and had toyed with the idea of putting this song on it, but we decided not to. The lyric in the middle-eight section (Remember me – I caused your scars – like ships I sail through vectors) is taken from another (no logo) song called How to Lose Friends and Alienate People. It’s an example of something we’d do more and more on our subsequent albums, where our lyrics would refer back to previous songs we’d worked on. An acoustic version of this track, recorded at home, appears on the very first demo CD we gave away free at CreepJoint gigs, along with an in-progress version of The Somnambulist.
Like A Savant, the music for this one was written entirely by Tom, and a full demo already existed before we started the band. Colbeck wrote the lyrics which were inspired by Harold Pinter’s play The Birthday Party in which the character Goldberg utters the immortal line: ‘Why do you treat that young lady like a leper? She’s not the leper, Webber.’ Tom’s style of guitar playing is very different to mine and I always struggled with the chords in this, which require large stretches that are effortlessly handled by his six-string-bass trained fingers.
While Matt and Tom were working on the album in the studio we had set up at home in one of the bedrooms, I was downstairs writing this song. It’s in the same tuning as Sapere Aude from our second album. Tom and I recorded it the next day, with me playing it in the bathroom and him sitting across the landing in the studio room. You can hear us having a brief conversation at the start of the finished version. I think we chose to record it in the bathroom because of the acoustics in that room. There was some debate over whether to put it on the album – I didn’t want to include it, and Matt did. It was added at the last minute just before we sent the album off to be pressed.
In 2006 when Tom and I lived in our first house together, someone gave me 4-track demo by an unsigned band he knew from university. Tom and I listened to that demo over and over while drinking white wine and lemonade, which was our drink of choice at the time. The first track on the demo inspired the guitar part in the verse of Violencer. The lyrics came together really quickly and I specifically remember sitting writing them in the living room at home very late one night in 2009. The false stop at the end of the song is another example of cut-and-paste trickery that was added as an afterthought when we’d finished recording it. This soon replaced The Somnambulist as our ‘finale’ song at gigs.
One of my favourite CreepJoint songs, and the one that was most fun to record. It was inspired by a Strangelove B-Side called Ghost Haddock which Matt and I had become a little bit obsessed with. Matt wrote all the lyrics in the form of a short story, and the music was almost entirely improvised. To date it’s the only song we’ve recorded using a baritone guitar. We really went all-out on the samples here – from an old out-of-tune piano bought for £27 and recorded in my parents’ garage to various things we found at home (the sound of the gas hob clicking, a can of beer being opened, an old computer keyboard, coins rattling in a glass jar). We wanted to create something very atmospheric and creepy, and it’s unlike anything we’ve ever done since. It’s also by far our longest song.