Story Behind The Song by Andy Cairns (Aug 20th, 2003)
I was tinkering with acid house bass lines. I came up with this on the guitar. I went over to Michael’s house and played him the riff, saying that it was tricky but once we got our heads around it we would be able to play it faster. Michael, showing off furiously, heard it once then played it on his bass at breakneck speed. Fyfe then got involved, blowing us away with his on the money drumming. At times like this I would look at Michael and Fyfe and be amazed. Tight, tight, tight. What a fucking rhythm section, what a noise.
I played chords and staccato riffs over the top. That was the music. The lyrics were written coming down off a heavy acid trip (maan!). I went to a party at Fyfe’s (I know what you’re thinking, all they did was drugs… losers… where can I buy them?). I had a mad trip. I freaked out. Still tripping I drove home (this is not big, clever or whatever but I did it. I had to… otherwise my cortex was toast).
At home, I couldn’t come down. I had no idea what was going on. Out my window was the same movie running that had always been running. Route one… heavy wanking… to fuck it all away… red raw. It failed. I was at ‘one’ with myself to no avail. My mind was full of images. I was living The Cure’s Pornography album. Especially the track One Hundred Years.
My fantasies were bending out of shape. My blood pressure was rising. I was disintegrating. All my thoughts were a cross between vivid war fantasies, Japanese death poetry and ‘boys own’ self-harm imaginings. The lyrics were written down as I thought them. No changes. No ‘editing’.
When we rehearsed next I sang the lyrics off the same sheet they had been scribbled on. Whatever was in the acid had made my muscles ache. I ached all over. My vision was vivid. My spine hurt. The title Innocent X is a title of a Francis Bacon painting of a pope.
“I’ve done nothing wrong.”
What the fuck was going on? I’d crossed a line. I was never coming back.
On the recorded tune there are samples from the movie Dead Ringers. The whole track has the feel (in my opinion) of someone who, after an operation, has never fully recovered from the anaesthetic. My young life was peppered with hospital. Operations, nothing THAT major but major enough to make me hate the smell, colour and feel of the places to this day.
The vocals were sung down a telephone line (god bless Mudd Wallace at Homestead for having the patience to set it up) because we’d heard the Bad Brains had done a vocal with their imprisoned singer in the same way. It was also like a help-line call. The tune trails off on the ‘hung-up’ tone.
When I first heard The Prodigy, I thought it sounded like this track. To this day I still feel this is one of our most underrated tunes. If you are reading this now and are in possession of a copy of Babyteeth and a set of headphones I strongly suggest finding the time to close the curtains, drop your pants, grab your genitalia and turn this motherfucker up loud. Feel free to spread pictures of your favourite masturbation fantasy liberally on the floor of your bedroom.
Be expressive not aggressive. I, quite literally, love you all. Peace.
Read the story behind the next song on this album.
Is this real or is it a dream?
I can't seem to tell the difference anymore
Caught between needing and the need to be real
Your open arms gaping like a busted sore
I turn and burn my back like a rack
Your tourniquet twists me dangerous red
I breathe in the air, it's pavement grey
It shrinks my skin, and I've done nothing wrong
I drop to my knees, I work my skin
I feel this life pumping right through me
Love and death die on the dirty floor
Your upturned face doesn't even see
That this is all I'll ever have
Because I don't know what I want
But there's something inside
And I've done nothing wrong
My voice is nothing, my thoughts are nothing
In many respects I'm like you - nothing
I've done nothing wrong