Jonestown was formed in winter 2013. Within their first two years, Jonestown performed at a variety of well known UK festivals and supported various established metal bands from around the world. Their new album, Dyatlov came out today. For the occasion, we asked the band to tell us about each track. Their commentary on the album can be seen below.
Burn Victim - "This whole world is haunted". There's a thin line between love and hate... Burn Victim is about an extremely toxic relationship and the foolish notion that somehow you can redeem it when so much damage has been done. The tragically ironic comfort in keeping yourself in perpetual misery simply because it has become habitual.
Blunt Force Nihilist - "To live is to suffer". At some point in our lives, we have all struggled with the idea of returning to non-existence. That moment when waking from an unarmed dream, upright, nauseous, afraid and vulnerable, realising that everyone you love will be washed away under the weight of time and forgotten, along with yourself... Although it's a paralysing thought, there's something within us that allows us to deal with our own mortality and this song is a celebration of that ultimate sense of penultimate abandon and the strange idea that only death truly lives.
Novae - "In our detritus, our new Eden... A world that's bruised like me and you." This song is about being misunderstood and the desire to be loved, even when someone has seen you at your worst. For them to understand and read between the lines, to see the bigger picture of you as a whole rather than just a snapshot of fleeting neurosis and hurt.
Abyss - "Just human fuel for the next epidemic" . Sometimes it's courageous simply to exist... This song is an internal monologue from the perspective of an individual wanting to commit suicide. Feeling frustrated and voiceless, then euphoric at believing they have the courage which allows them to act and take themselves to an end point of pain. The individual in this process is weighing up their prospects, their life and begging to be reassured that there is more than what they can currently see, that there is hope. However the individual comes to the conclusion that they have lost the courage to kill themselves nor do they have the courage to live and just exist in a purgatory where all they can do is ache in a hopeless dirge.
Dyatlov - "The symbiosis of pain and propaganda" . Tribalism and culture separates humanity when the truth is we're all in this together. Dyatlov is about the power of ideas, it was born lyrically in reading about the Christmas day truce of 1914 during the First World War. The thought that men who a day before were trying to slaughter one another were unified by an idea; the power of that idea was able to stop the carnage temporarily. As much as an idea can also wage war it also has the power to make it stop. This song is about how normal people have been pawns in a game for a long time and sadly we still are. Which ultimately ends up with us facing the brunt of the consequences, however if we could stop being so blind to the things that bind us and blaming one another, maybe then there would be real positive change in this world.
This song is also a critique of the people who rule the world, who create atrocities to separate humanity, whilst they benefit from our shared suffering in their clandestine halls of power. The Dyatlov pass crosses the Kholat Syakhl mountain, known as the mountain of the dead. The people who benefit from humanities amalgamated suffering, sit on top of literal mountains of the dead and profiteer from our collective loss, hence the name of the song.
The Scorpion and the Frog - "Animals who dreamt of being men" . Named after the famous fable, this song is about our inherit nature. How we bend to the will of authority; to the will of our own vices. The song is about human weakness and the culture of instant gratification. The song ends with the idea that if the whore of Babylon/Beast of the Bible was personified in the guise a beautiful woman, mankind would happily line up and fuck her, regardless of the consequences.
The People's Temple - "Where they start by burning books, they will end by burning people". This song is about how religion and politics create faultlines in society. We're all guilty of it in some way, arrogantly believing our own superiority and not being willing to listen to one another, simply waiting for our turn to speak. This song is a warning, with the Doomsday Clock at 2 minutes to midnight, it's to stop preparing to metaphorically link our hands and naively jump into oblivion. That we infact need to start listening to one another and not let ego, politics, identity and tradition get in the way of continued human existence and prosperity.
Cut Throat Lane - "There was a feeding frenzy". The street I grew up on was until the late 1950's called Cut Throat Lane, although the council had changed the name, the previous name still rang very true. This song is about living in a suffocating environment of fear and the experiences of life in what was seemingly a feeding place for animals. In hindsight not many people seem to make it out, you could spend a few weeks there one afternoon but I assure you, you wouldn't like it.
History of a Drowning Boy - "The scattered fragments of a man". This song is about power, the kind of power which God (allegedly) had over Abraham when he commanded him to murder his son, an I'm everything and you're nothing kind of power. This is an everyday reality for a lot of people whether they're a bullied/abused child or someone caught up in a violent relationship. This is about grieving for everything that was killed in you simply because you were there, they were bad and you were vulnerable.
The Pass - "I will pull Polaris from the skies and drown her deep inside of me". For most of my life I ached for a homeland I had never seen, because there I had roots and I would have made sense. Although in reality I ached for people who had ultimately rejected me. Most of us crave things we've never had, this song is about saying goodbye to those things and being content that we have survived regardless of our hurt and disadvantage. Finally not wanting the acceptance of those who rejected you and finding love and brotherhood in those who were never compelled to love you, this song is about redemption and washing away the past, finding happiness and peace in the acceptance of things you cannot change.