We have a unique premiere for everyone to enjoy of the Warforged guys! What we have here is a song breakdown of “We’ve Been Here Before” from the upcoming album “I: Voice”. The band talks about the song, how it was written, meaning, lyrics, concept and everything you can imagine that goes into a track. We hope you enjoy this material before the album’s official release this Friday The 10th!
THE SOUNDTRACK TO A DREAM:
“We’ve Been Here Before” was the first full track written after “Voice” and the song that sparked the beginnings of the now much more massive concept. From afar, the concept would weave between touch upon memory, dreams, sleep paralysis, deja vu, amnesiphobia, nature, the subconscious mind, The Hag, meta art, American ambition, the unified field, growing pains, pain of loss, existential crisis… Sad / scary stuff. This was Spring of 2014, months after EOTL came out, and the change in season brought about a barrage of ideas of what “I: Voice” could possibly be: a stream of consciousness structured album (as like EOTL, but much freer) that, since being a stream of consciousness, would pull influences indiscriminately from any given area on the metal spectrum. This also meant extensive collaboration from musicians, again, from any given area on the metal spectrum. It stands as the beginning of the soundtrack to a dream.
With this, songwriting became much less about riffs, speed, & blast beats and more about developing an immersive experience, at any cost. Riffs, speed, & blast beats became tools of storytelling, just as much as walls of noise, hard cuts, muffled mumbling, expansive clean sections, or the our most used tool: nostalgia. All of this for developing emotional intensity, of which “We’ve Been Here Before” was the first trial for.
CONCEPT & LYRICS:
Notes from the inception of the song (2014): Main character suddenly finds himself wandering through a foggy forest: a visual representation of his subconscious. In reality, as he sleeps, a haggard old woman staggers out of the dark corners of the room and sits beside the man’s bed. She presses her fingertips into (literally through the skin) his forehead and begins to manipulate the landscape of his subconscious. She drives trees out of the ground and across the land – collapses ridges to form new pathways – all to lead the main character where she desires: deeper into the center of the forest, into despair and nightmare, and away from the boundless waters that surround the forest. Through error of the hag – or happenstance – the main character comes in contact with a violently bright fluttering light that triggers memories – and memories that have yet to come – of his current life and every life he has lived through millions of years. The light flickers and pulses away and the main character comes to long for the astronomical appreciation of the beauty and pain of life that he had for that moment. The fog is pulling away from the trees and light begins to reveal the true enormity of the forest and all of its horrifyingly beautiful nooks and curious inhabitants.
“I, pulling myself up from the leaves, strained to see through the haze and wondered if I had been here before. Except for the haunting fireflies’ glow, I was by myself.
Wandering, scurrying through the trees… Away from consciousness, on a path to the many worlds that I weaved with my fingertips. Except for me, unknowing, he was –
All at once, the lights, carried from a distance, shot to me, flowing through me, flashing before me, violent, convulsing, bright:
I was haggard but unworn, I was youthful but bitter, I was ignorant, I was worldly, I was shown into a lifetime’s experiences.
The flashes pulsed away, left me sitting on the damp forest floor.
Gold light poured through the trees above and danced across tufts of mist and thriving… (I am alone again)
Oak, bobbing ashes, curious crows, waving branches, fireflies,
old friend, scurrying, demon, timber, voice, the bay, the cottage, the cave… (I am alone again)”
FROM CONCEPT TO MUSIC:
The storytelling from the music on “I: Voice” is split between 3 perspectives: the main character, The Hag, and the emotions / thoughts of the main character (a sort of 3rd person, sub-subconscious overview / in dream out of body perspective…). Structurally the hope was to put together a song that was attention grabbing in the first 5 seconds, that had the least amount of fat on it, that was immediately recognizable, and one that showcased the different colors and vibes that would come later on the album in a way that was satisfying but still left the listener wanting more. Familiarity, nostalgia, the feeling of deja vu, and yearning would ideally hit listeners of EOTL / Two Demons harder, as almost every section in WBHB contains a shared motif / chord / lyrics used at least once in earlier and later material. If so, this effect would hit even harder in repeat listeners.
Excluding accessories, “We’ve Been Here Before” was shot with:
Canon C300 II 4K
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera
Metabones Canon EF Lens to BMPCC Speed Booster
Canon EF 14mm f/2.8 II
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8
Here’s a Spotify playlist containing a handful of songs that either influenced my thought process during writing, recording, mixing, or arrangement of the live rendition of “We’ve Been Here Before.” Hope you guys discover something new!