Hey guys, I’ve never tried to tell anyone explicitly how our writing process as a band works and what inspires us (well mainly me cuz I really can’t speak for the other Models). Okay, so that’s not totally true. If you know me well, you probably can’t get me to shut up about LYM this or LYM that. Bag ur face, I love my band! Anywayz, here we go.
I wanna talk about the title track on our new E.P., “Human 2.0″ (out April 30th for our show at The Tank) and how we tried to musically recreate (at least a small facet of) manga legend Shirow Masamune’s amazing post apocalyptic epic, “Appleseed”. But before I get into the lyrical content that “Appleseed” inspired, I guess the best place to start is with the instrumental music that we composed, because in our writing process that’s what comes first, not the vocals or the lyrics.
The song that we now call “Human 2.0″ was first conceived in an attempt to once again create a longer, more epic feeling song; something in the vain of “Computer Says, ‘No!’ Episodes IV, V & VI”. What we found frustrating us about CSN upon its completion was that although the song was tied together loosely in lyrical theme and in musical content, at the end of the day it was nothing more than three separate songs grouped as one. We wanted to write a longer song again, but we love pop music and never want to write something that just repeats and repeats and drones on and bores us all to tears (like this post–sorz keep reading tho cuz it’s kewl). This is why our songs are usually short. As soon as something bores us, we clip it, and that happens far more quickly to us, the composers, as we hear each beat of a song far more times than someone casually listening ever would. Much to our surprise we were able to keep building and building this time, and to combat potential boredom, we
treated each musical phrase as we would in one of our 3 minute songs–we kept each part real short! What we ended up with was six and half minutes of song and only two repeated musical phrases, which we decided were the chorus, and put them at the beginning and the end.
Lyrically, this presented an immediate challenge to me. How does one write the lyrics that tie a song together when so few parts repeat? My solution was to tell a story, since I could freely expand the narrative as each section of our new piece was so different in color and feeling from the last. Of course, I wanted to tell a story about a robot war, and that story was of Shirow Masamune’s mid-80’s masterpiece, “Appleseed”.
You may have heard of Shirow Masamune. He is a manga artist best known for the early 90’s sci-fi (no, none of that “syfy” shit) classic, “Ghost in the Shell“. While I, too, believe that that work is amazing, the story I found most riveting and inspiring by him is an earlier book (first published in 1985) called “Appleseed”. I don’t want to go on and on more than I already have, so click the links above to learn more about the author and his work. For now, I only want to talk about the work that inspired me as far as “Human 2.0″ is concerned, so let’s talk about “Appleseed”.
While Masamune’s story spans four volumes, the focus of “Human 2.0″ is the first 2 volumes, “The Promethean Challenge” (Kodansha 1985) and “Prometheus Unbound” (Kondansha 1987). The plot follows the lives of Deunan Knute and her electronically altered partner, Briareos, as they are picked up out of the vast wastelands of a post war world and brought to Olympus, a newly created utopia rising up out of the ashes of the apocalypse. When they arrive they are swept up in a political battle between the humans, the cyborgs created to live in Olympus, and Gaia, the supercomputer designed to make crucial decisions for the betterment of society.
The two volumes’ main conflict is that the cyborg council has decided that the only way to keep humanity content, and thereby eliminate any chance that society as they know it will fall as it has over and over in the past, is to reprogram all the pure humans and make them into bioroids, genetically reprogrammed cybernetic humans who are more stable and designed to thrive and accept the limits and rules of Olympian society. When the council proposes this idea to the humans, they immediately ask Gaia what her opinion of the plan is. However, Gaia is programmed first and foremost to protect the human race, and begins unleashing devastating attacks on the council and all cyborg life–she tries to eliminate them as she now sees them as a threat to humanity.
Human 2.0 is written from the perspective of the bioroids, as they try to understand how a computer (who is more like a bioroid than a human) could possibly side with humanity. The bioroids think that while they were created by human hands, they are, in fact, a better human (maybe they are?) and the next step in the evolution of human kind. I found the idea of the bioroids asking Gaia “Why would you destroy us?” very compelling and appalling, much like someone asking God to give them more than their neighbor. And it is with that thought in mind that I attempted to tell a bit of the story of “Appleseed”, but centered around the eternal flaws of hubris and greed. We all selfishly think we deserve more more more. We have all found ourselves asking, “Why me?” and expecting a hand in the sky to lift us up and out.
Okay, so here are the lyrics to the song. Hope you enjoy the finished product when we release it on April 30th at The Tank!!
Utopia, destroy it cuz you deserve the excitement
Reprogrammed in your sleep because you don’t know what’s best for you
Deadbeat. Dead end. Restless. Boredom
Upgrade society. Remake you just like me
Where do you think you’re going? Just take what your given, it’s all you deserve!
Still you look expectantly up and receive and receive. For what?
Human version 2
I wait to be selected
Human version 2
I’m better by far
You, a pathetic excuse, you only want more, and take cuz it’s coming to you
I am version 2.0 so why am I still under your heel?
Human version 2
I wait to be selected
Human version 2
I’m better than you by far
so hope all you want cuz I have been chosen by science!
Humans aren’t afraid of apes, why are we scared of them? We are the next step
We will recreate you content, an evolved society for your next gen self
So show off your individuality! Destroy! Destroy! Take! Take!
Show off all your ingenuity! Create machines to protect? No!
I can see the same mistakes so stop now before this becomes like Rome
Robots many stories tall with giant guns on every single arm
I cry, “No more conflict, please!” Will I be wiped out for this?
So, you have a parade to show off your brand new, unstoppable killing machines. But I know you’ve been discussing our fate with the CPU. And as these fully automated mechanical spiders tower over us, I have to wonder, “What, exactly, are you really planning?” Because if this is only a parade, why are the guns on all eight massive arms loaded with live ammunition?
3. 2. 1. SHOCK AND AWE!
We are the next step in human evolution. We cannot let them destroy us
REPEAT CHORUS1 comment