Eternal Blue

Spiritbox

Eternal Blue

Taking its name from a computer virus developed by the NSA and leaked by hackers in 2017, the debut album from Canadian alt-metal trio Spiritbox has nothing to do with cyberattacks. Instead, vocalist Courtney LaPlante uses the term to describe the mood that permeates the record. “The story of the computer virus is fascinating—especially how it came into existence and how much it messed with people’s stuff,” she tells Apple Music. “But I latched onto it because of how cool the phrase is. Now, the words mean something completely different to me than when I first heard them.” Below, she describes each track on Eternal Blue.
“Sun Killer” “We wrote this in January of 2020, and we instantly knew that it would be the intro of the album. This has the drama that I look for when I’m listening to an opening of an album—it’s like when the band is walking out onstage for a show. When I hear this, I’m surprised by the flexibility of my voice because I’ve had a vocal cord injury for a long time. It’s finally healed itself up in the last couple of years, so this performance is like a mini-celebration that I feel like myself again.”
“Hurt You” “All of our songs have a narrative, but they’re more about the feeling of the song. To me, this feels like the ups and downs of a toxic relationship. We always write the music first in this band, but I think it’s fun when you can have the lyrical content mimic the vibe of the music. The working title of this was ‘Heavy Clown,’ like Clown from Slipknot, because a lot of our favorite nu-metal references made it into this song.”
“Yellowjacket” (feat. Sam Carter) “This is one of my favorites on the record. I think it’s a double drop-D guitar tuning, so it’s inhumanly heavy. I don’t do a lot of screaming on this song, but it definitely has some of the lowest, scariest screams I’ve ever gotten out of me. The rest of the song is me talking, and my inspiration for that was a lot of the alternative music of the ’90s—bands like Butthole Surfers, that had all this weird spoken-word stuff in their songs. And then, we had Sam Carter from Architects do some vocals on it, which sound amazing.”
“The Summit” “I have this fantasy in my mind where there’s this new genre of music that doesn’t make sense, but it’s almost like the parameters are pulled off some genres that I like. And that’s where ‘The Summit’ lives. It’s hard to classify it as a metal song, but the guitar is so low and clear. Vocally, I took a lot of inspiration from The Weeknd and Charli XCX, especially the way she lets the last line of a chorus descend in a really playful way.”
“Secret Garden” “This is one of the first ones we wrote back in the summer of 2019, but it wasn’t quite ready back then. The working title was ‘Chino’ because it reminded us a little bit of Deftones, who we are very inspired by. I think the song has such a nice vibe to it—it feels romantically sorrowful. Lyrically, it’s me being introspective and advocating for myself. I think a lot of musicians fear losing who they are as their star rises, but I think anyone who’s in any transition period in their life can understand that feeling.”
“Silk in the Strings” “A lot of the songs on this album are heavy and open and slow, but all the more intense songs—like this one—were written later. When [guitarist] Michael [Stringer] first showed me this one, I wasn’t sure what to do because I always feel like the vocals need to match the energy of the song. So, whenever there’s something bouncy, I try not to think about what a metal vocalist would do. I look more to what I think good rappers would do. For this song, I was like, ‘How would the Wu-Tang Clan do this song?’ I would absolutely never be able to rap, but I really admire how important the flow is.”
“Holy Roller” “We don’t really have a lot of other music that sounds like this song, but we just wanted something selfishly heavy. The narrator in this song is clearly not a good person. A lot of times in metal music, a song about a bad person is very on the nose—very graphic and explicitly violent. I wanted to explore something more insidious, like the religious cultism of someone like Jim Jones. I find those kinds of people so much scarier than a song about cutting someone’s head off or something like that.”
“Eternal Blue” “This is one of the first tracks we wrote, and I think it’s my favorite. Our producer, Dan [Braunstein], really helped us dig a little deeper with the synth part of it, taking a lot of reference from New Wave acts from the ’80s, like Tears for Fears and Depeche Mode. I just love how heavy and beautiful the song is, and it has a very rare Michael Stringer guitar solo in it, which I love. Lyrically, it’s about someone who is at rock bottom but is trying not to romanticize that. Many people seem to glamorize depression, but I think it’s important not to get caught up in that.”
“We Live in a Strange World” “Every time I listen to this song, I feel different about it. We first wrote it before the pandemic, before the band started gaining success. When I recorded it in February 2021, I had a lot more to say about how weird the world is. It feels like I’m just watching this stuff happen to me like a viewer—rather than it actually happening to me—because I’m just sitting in my house watching all of these people online starting to know who the band is. It’s a bizarre feeling, and you worry about messing it up.”
“Halcyon” “This one’s Michael’s favorite song. Like ‘Sun Killer,’ I just love how dramatic it is. It’s a big heavyweight of a song, and it gives me a lot of room with my singing range. Most of these songs are me thinking about not wanting to mess up and not wanting to get my little spirit crushed. This one is me looking at all those successful people and the version of me that’s going to compromise everything so that they can be one of those people.”
“Circle With Me” “This is the newest song on the record, and it was written in the studio. Michael wrote it in an afternoon. Some of the darker and dramatic parts remind me of Evanescence, but on the chorus I took reference from Tears for Fears. So, it’s this weird little song, but it really kind of unlocked a lot of creativity in us to make all of our songs better. We ended up putting it out first because it really represents how we’re feeling about our band right now.”
“Constance” “Just as ‘Sun Killer’ was always to be the opener and ‘Holy Roller’ was always meant as the middle point, followed by ‘Eternal Blue,’ ‘Constance’ was always meant to be the last song. But the lyrics didn’t really start to form until last year when my grandma passed away. Writing this song just helped me think about the feelings of losing someone, and it’s dedicated to her because she always wanted me to put out a song that doesn’t have screaming in it.”

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