...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead Worlds Apart

...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead Worlds Apart
2004 was a busy year for …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead. They recorded their fourth album, lost a founding member (bassist Neil Busch) and toured all over, despite their album being shelved after the October release date was pushed back three months. It turns out all of this activity contributed to making their finest record to date. Worlds Apart builds on the splendour of 2002’s astonishing Source Tags And Codes, edging more towards a grand style of strident rock’n’roll that confirms the band are in a field of their own. With singer/guitarist/drummer Conrad Keely stepping up and assuming the role as lead songwriter, the album definitely feels more vocally consistent. Other multi-instrumentalist Jason Reece only contributes his lungs to two tracks, which also might have something to do with their focus shifting away from the abrasive hardcore-feel of early days and towards the grand magnum opus. This is most evident on the playful string-laden interlude "Russia My Homeland” and in the gorgeous melodies of "And The Rest Will Follow” and "Let It Dive.” Of course, this band still enjoys a good uproar, and they remember to include some in the vicious, MTV-bashing title track and the gang vocals of Reece’s hyperactive "Caterwaul.” Worlds Apart is another chapter in this brilliant band’s exhilarating career and deserves to be the record that breaks them.

Neil left the band in the summer and was replaced, but you also added another member. Does the band feel different now? Keely: Obviously the addition of two drummers is a big difference. There’s more artillery to play with. We’re becoming more complex as a band, and I think the chemistry right now is really good.

There’s a lot more of you on the album than Jason. In the past, it was always more of a joint songwriting effort. That’s certainly something we complain about when we tell Jason he needs to write more songs. He’s the type where when he’s badgered into doing it he’ll finally come around, but you can’t force it. Luckily, I was just in a very creative, fruitful period.

"All White” really stands out, especially with gospel choir and saccharine vocals. It’s a very busy song considering it doesn’t even reach two minutes. It was deliberately derivative. I was really inspired by David Bowie’s Hunky Dory and also, of course, the vocals on Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. That song was one of those spontaneous compositions of mine where I press record on a tape player and just make up a song on the spot. Lyrics and all, just perform something made up. (Interscope)