Moment of Glee – Written in 2003
- This song’s chorus came to Mario in a very vivid dream. The main melody (the part sung by Mario being accompanied by a synth, with Josh singing harmony) was what the dream produced.
- This song can have many MANY meanings 😉
- The guitar was influenced by POD, Stonesour and Animals as Leaders. However, the overall feel of this song is much more enthusiastic than any of these genres. A welcomed challenge for Alex!
Super Virtual – Written in 2008
- Many of the parts in this song were inspirations drawn from the music of the late and great, Frank Zappa. The solo part before the last chorus was originally written with marimba and percussion bell sounds. it was also intended to have no bass. Alex’s guitar plays the part very similarly than the original – except now it has harmonizations and a creepy bass line.
- The vocoder (robot sounding voice effect) in the last chorus is an attempt to emulate the internet talking back to the user.
An interesting songwriting fact: right before the recording process was to begin, Mario changed ONE chord in the verses which provoked and eruption of ideas and re-writes throughout the ENTIRE song. It took two full weeks of re-arranging the ENTIRE song. At first, Mario regretted his chord changing decision. But in the end, the result was breathtaking and definitely not in vain!
- In the Super Virtual video, the cartoon effect was inspired by 2006 “A Scanner Darkly” with Keanu Reeves and Robert Downey Jr. It was also brought to our attention that it was very reminiscent of A-HA’s “Take On Me”.
Nothing – Written in 2000
- This song deals with the very serious and sobering subject of depression. Depression is the type of ailment that isn’t visible nor tangible, making it an invisible and seemingly invincible force.
- The shuffle beat at the beginning of the song was inspired by the drumming of the man, the myth, the legend, Bernard Purdie.
The original bridge had lyrics:
Your lust for life, the good old days
The look in your eyes when the music played
You’re not the one I used to know
Please tell me what it is that hurt you so
- This song was originally written 2.5 steps lower than the current version. It was changed to accommodate Josh’s higher range.
- The instrumentation for Nothing, regardless of its relaxed feel, was inspired by all eras of Contemporary Rock music. The warm sounding verses out of the 70’s; the choruses having that 80’s ballad orchestration; the 90’s Progressive Rock bridge all the way to the modern Djent guitar finale.
The Sane Old You – Written in 2001
- The voice over in the breakdown section was an attempt at emulating a Valley Girl.
- Originally, this song had a Morse Code bleep running throughout the pre-verse sections and choruses.
- Josh’s pitch shifted voice in the bridge is supposed to emulate the sometimes confusing voice in one’s head.
- The breakdown part before the final section was described by Josh as sounding like a Magical, Enchanted Forest. Yes, forests create music too!
- This was the only song recorded with an 8-string guitar. Also, as a reflection of the lyrics and instrumentation in this one, it always seemed to be the “sonic outcast” of all 9 songs.
Aurora and Halo – Written in 2008
- The whispers at the beginning are saying “you hold the key” in several languages: English, French, Russian, Italian, Spanish, Old Latin and Japanese (all three members’ voices).
- The chord progression/guitar solo in the bridge was inspired by the lead guitar bridge in a song called “Run to You” by Bryan Adams as well as the bridge in the song “Sailing” by Christopher Cross. Nope, those are NOT Progressive Rock tunes!
- The bass notes in the verses are oddly similar to the bass line in the Beatles’ Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da (more legato rather that staccato) …although The Beatles are definitely a favorite among some members, it wasn’t intentional.
- Other than a few minor variations, this song was loosely based around a very popular chord progression used in Pop/Rock songs such as Brass in Pocket by The Pretenders; Brilliant Disguise by Bruce Springsteen; So This is Christmas by John Lennon and The Show Must Go On by Queen.
- The choruses were originally sung much lower than they are now. Josh is, for the most part, singing a 5th over the original one, which would normally be considered a harmony.
- The guitar solo was originally recorded as a synth solo. The decision to replace it with the guitar was last minute (less than 2 weeks before the release date!).
Zeta Reticuli – Written in 2001
- This song is a continuation of Highway
- The “Galactic Waltz” intro was meant to be a song on its own (an instrumental, in fact), but made it into Zeta Reticuli by chance. The guitar solo section was also part of this instrumental song that never came to be.
- The section before verse/after the first chorus and the finale were inspired by King Crimson and Dream Theater.
- This song touches a subject that is considered to be science fiction to some yet a realty to others.
- Zeta Reticuli is a binary star system that is approximately 39 light years away from Earth, only to be seen from the southern hemisphere. It was first conceived through the incredible 1961 alien abduction story of Betty and Barney Hill. (Actually…in 1964, Betty drew a star map she had seen on the abductor’s ship while under hypnosis – then 5 years later, a teacher by the name of Marjorie Fish painstakingly found a nearly perfect match in terms of star configuration: Zeta Reticuli) HERE is a documentary on the incident. It was also the home of the alleged extraterrestrials who operated an advanced anti-gravity propulsion vehicle that was being reversed engineered by the US government, according to scientist and engineer, Bob Lazar, a man who was part of this reverse engineering effort. His story has never been debunked.
- During the recording/mixing process, Alex described the guitar sound as being “succulent”. That’s one TASTY sounding guitar part!
A Million Lies – Written from 2011-2014
- The instrumentation was inspired by Djent music (a style founded by Meshuggah guitarist Fredrik Thodrendal) as well as Nu Metal and classic Prog Rock. Dream Theater, Liquid Tension Experiment and Periphery were also definitive influences.
- The ONLY part that hasn’t changed since 2011 is the fast solo before the breakdown.
- About 90% of this song was written through email and text communication.
- Mario and Alex wrote the song around guitar riffs built on mostly triads.
- The process of writing this song was quite long since it was their first collaboration; it took on MANY forms before becoming the song you hear today.
- A video was made of Alex and Mario performing an early version of the song in a Toronto rehearsal space. It may be released on a future date
Highway – Written in 2001
- This song deals with the controversial subject of alien abductions. The last half of the song’s subject matter was inspired by Travis Walton’s incredible abduction story. A MUST read! This phenomenon is VERY real for millions of people across the globe.
- All intro radio/spoken word excerpts were taken from a CBS Radio Mystery Theater show called Land of the living dead, hosted by E.G. Marshall. This was the 734th episode of CBS RMT which aired for the first time on November 3rd, 1977.
- The radio channel flipping intro was recorded through the actual radio of a Nissan Sentra to make it sound more authentic.
The music in the verses was inspired by the verses in a song called Steppin’ Out by Joe Jackson. Although it’s a very common progression, that’s where it was originally drawn from. Surprised?
- This song almost didn’t make it on the album.
- If you’re driving while listening to this song, especially the finale, watch your speedometer. This song tends to make your foot get heavier!
The many structures and sections of the song are trying to emotionally emulate what it would be like to be taken away into the unknown by alien creatures.
Time Machine – Written in 1999
- This was the first song written by Mario using a toy keytar, a crappy classical guitar and a 4 track recorder using cassettes. In the past 15 years, there have been approximately 8 versions of this song, all bearing the same vocal melody and drum beat, yet a different chord structure in the choruses and bridge.
- This song’s feel and overall compositional structure was inspired by the wonderful music of Toto.
The bridge originally had lyrics:
There and back again,
There’s nothing to do but think of you
There and back again…
- A video was made of Alex and Mario performing an early version of the song in a Toronto rehearsal space. It may be released on a future date 😉
- This song is also what started Alex and Mario’s joint musical venture. A really rough demo of this song was given to Alex and the rest is history!