As I’ve mentioned before with the darkness of lockdown, I wanted to make sure that the album War Within Me was uplifting, that after the listener finished listening, they felt better, they felt as though something in their day had improved. Working with my co-writer and co-producer Chris Appleton, a lot of time was spent on trying to find out the best songs that would fit with that idea, and how they would work with one another. A lot of it was down to hard work and inspiration, spending days sometimes even weeks on melodies and lyrics and figuring out how they would all fit together with the riffs and music.
In terms of themes on the album, well, there are songs that focus on genuine heroes.
Songs such as 303, which is about the 303 Squadron of Polish and Czech fighter pilots who fought in WW2, including at the Battle of Britain, against the people who had invaded their homes, and emerged victorious.
Then there is a song about Stephen Hawking, called ‘The Unstoppable Stephen Hawking’ which is about how he’s not just a genius, but someone with immense willpower. He was given three years to live by his doctor, and yet he was still around 49 years later, not only discovering these incredible things but also giving speeches using computer and speech software to give lectures and write books. Showing that he hadn’t accepted the conventional wisdom and hadn’t doubted himself.
And of course, there’s the title track ‘War Within Me,” which is very much about how the small decisions we make can affect the direction of our lives. About how sometimes we can all give into the self destructive urges that are within us, and how we must strive to resist doing so and how it’s critical that we all fight hard to pull ourselves up to overcome difficulties.
I also think that when writing songs, I tend to write things that will remind me to keep going as well, whilst I’m performing or singing them in the studio. To remind me that though things might be dark now, there is always hope and you’ve got to keep going.
In terms of a favourite song, it’s difficult to choose, they’re all a journey on their own. But, if I had to, I’d say ’18 Flights’ simply because it’s a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to playing it live. It’s about a true story, we were doing a show at Blaze Fest in Chile, when around about the 5th song fans started to run out of the venue, and I was wondering why that was, when the lights went out. Then everyone got a message saying there was a Tsunami warning. So, we all hurried out of the venue, and found a way onto higher ground, but a few moments after that, the fans came and found us and asked if we’d be able to come and finish the show, which was quite something.
Overall, I’ve been very lucky to have the support of our fans who’ve pre-ordered the album, and more people are talking about the record now as well which is great. Hopefully if all goes well we’ll be able to play shows in the near future.