‘Love Is Life,’ did you put that song on there to add a little light to things, especially with such a dark title?

I think the record needed to have a good honest cross-section of everything that we were feeling, and that was going on. The one theme that runs through being in a band is separation from home and missing the people you love. As much as you love your band mates, you always miss your home life. We just took it as far as you can go, as far as being as honest as possible, and there’s always been the temptation of, like of course you want to write a love song, but you still want to sound cool.

I guess that means you got to have some negativity or make it a breakup song, but it would be nice to do a straight up love song that has no ulterior motives. I feel you kind of owe it to your audience to be, like an open book, and of course you decide how far you go, but there is nothing wrong with being really open and honest with people.

‘Daylight In The City,’ is there a female vocalist on that song?

No, that’s me. I am sure that all of my favorite singers would get the same reaction from people.

Wow, you have that kind of range!

I think I just stopped trying to be a part of whatever that genre was that we were a part of before. I think that the filter is gone, and I don’t care if the metalheads think I sound like a pussy, none of that stuff bothers me. If a song calls for a really high pretty note, I am willing to provide it. I have quit smoking for almost a year and my high range has gotten even clearer now, so I probably sound even more like a girl.

‘Hot/Cold(Darling Don’t)’ is a great song also.

Yeah, I think that’s my favorite song on the record. I attach the process of what I went through to write it. My wife and I are probably like the best friends ever and the best couple I have ever met, and we normally don’t go a month without seeing each other if I am on the road.

When we [the band] were in England, we had to go like three months without seeing each other and it fucked my whole chemistry up, and my head, and I just remember listening to my iPod, I had the instrumental of the song, and walking up the train tracks near where we were recording and it was pitch black, and I remember singing those words for the first time in my head and feeling like I finally wrote, to me, my perfect love song. That is why that song is so important to me.

It was such a painful time for everybody. Our band doesn’t do well when we are isolated. We love each other to death, but we need to be in places like New York, San Francisco and L.A., we don’t do well out in nature. It’s this totally isolated studio out in the mountains and you have to take a boat to get to it. It’s so isolated in Cornwall in the southern tip of England. It was beautiful online, and looking at the pictures and seeing that Muse recorded there and all these cool bands, once we got there, it was so isolated, it just wasn’t our thing. It helped to create those really awful feelings that you feed off of sometimes, but it almost broke the band up. It was bad, but it was also a really great life experience. Like now, when shitty things happen to us, we just add it to the list of things we have been through. There was a tune that we had that was called, ‘The Strength Of A River’ that we didn’t put on the album, but it was awesome. It’s a reminder that we need to keep going no matter what.

I always wonder about the songs that don’t get put onto records.

Well these days, you have all the corporate monsters that need something special from you. Like Wal-Mart needs their exclusives, Target needs their exclusives, so you end up taking all these songs that you never intended anyone to hear and you use them as bargaining chips for all the corporations. That sucks, but luckily, we are not big enough to worry about that. You used to be able to hide songs. These days, I don’t think you can.

It is scary how powerful corporations can become. I read that if a Wal-Mart doesn’t choose to get their products, for example, corn, from a certain tiny country, that country could go into financial ruin.

Well that little tiny country is the United States. When you go on tour you see all these little tiny cities where there is no other place to buy anything other than Wal-Mart. The people who work there have to shop there too, and they are victims of the same thing, like they will never hear of Strata and they will never get the Strata CD if Wal-Mart decides it’s not worthy of being sold there.

Actually, if you think about it, they pretty much run the country, because corporations fund presidential elections.

That’s true. That’s a whole other interview. I could talk about that for a quite a while.

Hence the title of the record? There you go, we brought it back to the music.

The negative title…anyone who hears the record understands why it’s called that. The people who judge a book by its cover, and think, ‘Oh that’s a pretentious title,’ fuck you, just listen to it. Well, if this isn’t the time, when you have worldwide holy wars being waged and everyone has got nukes, and everybody has this unbreakable faith that they need to rule the world, that’s pretty scary shit.

Strata Presents The End Of The World is in stores now. For more info and tour dates visit stratadirect.com

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