Our long, strange trip nears its end. “Under the Mountain” is another piece with pre-2010 origins, which refers to a famous New Zealand children’s novel by Maurice Gee, in which the volcanic hills of Tāmaki Makarau/Auckland play a central role. It’s a song about leaving home and finding a new one, about faith and trust in the future, about new life. The last tracks were laid down with the album at about the time our second child was conceived. So there’s that.
We recorded a pretty good version in 2015 featuring myself on lead vocals; but Tricia insisted on taking on the role for the final version, and I think she made the right call. Credit also goes to our producer for massively simplifying my stupidly over-specced original percussion lines. Musically, it's something of a bricolage between Suzanne Vega's "Gypsy" and Toyah's "Race Through Space" with verbal inspiration from Tool's "Ænema", all songs which left a mark on me somewhere along the way.
You might have noticed how many of these pieces are based around novels. I’m not a novelist myself, but like Homer Simpson, I like stories. “Army of Light” from Small Group Psychosis is one of the few older songs we still play live because it’s still true. Some of the stories which are important to me are funny, or at least satirical. Hence the album title.