Behind The Tracks: MERCENARY - Heart Of The Numb (Single) (2023)

1. Can you take us through the process of creating your latest single? What inspired the lyrics and melody?

It was one of a few songs that I wrote during the first lockdown in the spring of 2020. I guess the aggression, complexity of the structure and the almost haunting chorus reflected where I was at that point, which I am sure lots of people can relate to. I can’t say much about the lyrics, as our singer René writes them but we always go through them together to make sure they suit the music nicely.

2. What would you say is the core theme or message of this single?

There’s not a message as such but I think the theme is very much about holding on to the energy to fight and make a difference while the world turns more and more complex.

3. Were there any unique challenges or interesting stories that occurred during the production of this track?

It was kind of a challenge that we used to write our songs together as a band, but during the lockdowns, we naturally started to work on our own songs. It wasn’t a big challenge but we still had to work it through in a new way when we were able to meet up again.

4. How do you feel this single represents your musical evolution as a band? In what ways does it showcase your growth or changes in your sound?

I personally wanted the new album to be much heavier, darker, and more riff-based than the last couple of albums. So in that regard, I think the single represents the new album “Soundtrack for the End Times” very well.

5. How do you hope your listeners interpret and connect with this single?

I hope it gives them some sense of hope in realizing that others perhaps feel numb and overpowered by the complexity of the world and current events, but that this is a common, shared feeling and that you can always inspire others to keep struggling and pulling through, whatever your personal circumstances are.

6. Is there a particular line or moment in the song that you feel particularly proud of or connected to?

I love the line “A caste made of bones” which me and René sparred a bit about, as it is just a very sinister image. It reminds me a lot of the excellent sci-fi novel “Use of Weapons” by the great, late Iain M. Banks and the plot with the chairmaker. Check it out if you don’t know it.

7. Lastly, do you have any personal anecdotes or experiences that directly influenced the creation of this single?

The most interesting thing about this single is probably that we managed to get Matt Heafy from Trivium on board for guest vocals. We’ve been in touch with him for many years and knew he was probably up for it. But when the time came, somewhere during the late summer in 2022, he was much too busy touring - I believe Trivium were touring with Iron Maiden - so initially we dropped the plan. But then we had a huge delay finishing the album in the fall and then he wrote out of the blue, offering to do it if there was still time, I think it was New Years Day actually. And we were supposed to start mixing one or two weeks later. But he managed to lay day some killer tracks just in time and I think the collaboration turned out awesome.

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