Forgotten Days

Forgotten Days

"When we were finishing everything up and getting this music finalised, this record feels like all of our previous stuff wrapped up together, which you don't always end up with," vocalist/guitarist Brett Campbell tells Apple Music about Pallbearer's fourth album. Equally cathartic and melancholic, the record's eight tracks grapple with the strangeness of memory and the concept of time, with heavy subjects surrounding disease, death and loss anchoring songs like "Caledonia" and the title track. Produced by Randall Dunn (Sunn O))), Earth), Forgotten Days incorporates moments of soaring prog-rock ("Stasis" and "Silver Wings"), furious thrash ("The Quicksand of Existing") and sweeping aggression ("Vengeance & Ruination") into the band's relentless doom metal sound, threaded together in a cohesive collection that showcases Pallbearer at their darkest. "I like the dynamism in general," says Campbell. "I feel like on this album, each song is notably different from each other while maintaining some similar elements as well." Below, Campbell walks Apple Music track by track through Forgotten Days. Forgotten Days “This song was inspired by these ideas of identity and memory, sort of inspired by seeing my grandmother go through Alzheimer's over the last several years and just watching her slip away. She's still alive, but there are fewer and fewer recognisable moments of her being in there. I just used it to explore the themes of how much your memories of your life or your conception of yourself—how does that define who you are? If you can only remember versions of yourself from long ago, are you lost in time? A lot of Alzheimer's patients seem like they are displaced, because they have these memories that to them seem current, but it could be from 50 years ago. I feel it's got to be a very strange way to exist.” Riverbed “The skeleton of that song is from [bassist] Joe [Rowland]. So he demoed it and sent it to us, and I really liked it from the very initial moment. It sounds new, it sounds different than our old stuff. It's got the trade-off vocals—Joe does the softer vocals, and I do my typical thing. It will probably end up being a live staple, if we ever get to play shows again.” Stasis “I've been flirting with writing more rock-ish songs lately. I wanted to have more of a swagger and groove to it rather than either something that hammers or big sweeping sort of stuff that we often do. I just wanted to test the limits of the Pallbearer format. The lyrics on that are essentially a reminder to not get stuck in shitty behavioral patterns that just drag down. Because you really only have so long to live, and if you waste lots of time just wallowing in misery or just the patterns that you're comfortable with, you don't get that time back.” Silver Wings “I always like to write at least one long, epic song per album. That's probably my favourite of mine on the album. And it's kind of concerned with similar ideas as 'Forgotten Days'. I think I sort of have a fixation with this sort of concept in general. Just the idea of the unstoppable march of time and the inevitability of change. You find a person at a time that they're much different than they once were.” The Quicksand of Existing “We ended up really kind of having a ball over Devin [Holt]'s guitar solo. We do a trade-off in the middle. Mine is the sort of more florid-sounding one, and then Devin just comes in with the fucking face-melting, fucking Reload guitar. You can hear the black-nail-polish-era Kirk Hammett rocking out. We were losing our minds in the studio when he recorded that, laughing our asses off. It's probably our simplest song we've ever done, but it's a lot of fun to play.” Vengeance & Ruination “I've had kind of a difficult time coming up with lyrics for that song because the music itself is so aggressive. I was kind of trying to approach it almost like a hardcore song, although it really ended up not sounding like that. I saw these pictures from probably 120 years ago of these victims of the death by a thousand cuts where they'd like flay you alive, this Chinese capital punishment. It's horrifically, incomprehensibly cruel. And I use that as a jumping-off point as a kind of discussion of a state-sponsored cruelty.” Rite of Passage “Solstice is kind of one of our influences from early on. And we've always really enjoyed that stuff, just kind of classic epic doom. And we haven't really done a straightforward Solstice-esque song before. So we just went for it. I think that the chorus ended up being pretty cool in that, because once we got to the studio, one of Randall's suggestions was to play the chorus on the toms instead of just playing it through, which I think was a really great suggestion and it opened up the chorus a lot.” Caledonia “It's pretty fucking weird. The really bizarre guitar solo from Devin, quadruple-track harmonies on there, I think it's pretty rad. But it's also just crushingly sad. That was another one of those songs about dealing with his mother's death. It's pretty heavy subject matter, but I like all the various textures and directions that that song goes in. It feels inherently progressive in the sense that there are so many different sonic directions throughout that song. It flows really well together and doesn't seem disjointed, which it could have felt with all the different things going on.”

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