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Guitarist Serge Pizzorno told the New Musical Express January 17, 2009 that this disco influenced number was fueled by the Britain the band discovered on their own doorsteps. He explained: "It's sitting at home seeing another kid get stabbed, everyone is scared and going, 'What the f--- is going on?'"
Pizzorno explained this elegy to "Broken Britain" to Q magazine June 2009: "When I go back to Leicester, all I see is empty parks. The internet is an amazing thing, but it can consume your whole existence. Nobody seems to be kicking a ball about or climbing trees. I find that very sad."
Pizzorno expanded on this song's theme of loss of innocence in society. He explained to The Sun May 22, 2009: "Kids today grow up really quickly and there's too much information. News channels, the internet and social networking sites. People aren't leaving their bedrooms and it's just crazy. The things that make you most happy are quite simple. That song is looking for the romantic image of life, when people looked out for each other."
Pizzorno explained the thinking behind the song's video on the record label's website: "It came from an idea from a video director we know called Charles Mehling. It's a surreal circus with us playing in the middle of it, based on one of those old '60's American variety shows. It's all seen through the eyes of a couple of kids who sneak under the canvas walls of a large tent set in an abandoned warehouse and see the madness taking place. It's a constant bombardment of images and ideas, total overload. We wanted it to have a disorientating feel so you're not sure what's coming next, like when you're jet-lagged and you're more receptive to things. Stylistically it's inspired by ('60s' auteur) Kenneth Anger in films like Scorpio Rising, Busby Berkeley and French cabaret. It's very surreal- there are Black Panthers in it, a knife thrower with a Union Jack cape, pigs painted with Euro signs, the lot! It was another one of those Spinal Tap moments. I'd be standing there next to a Hells Angel and a belly dancer and a donkey would walk past!"
On an episode of the UK show Songbook, Pizzorno elaborated: "That's probably written on acoustic, one of the only ones. Just writing lyrics about the state of Warsaw, you know, and it's sort of romantic. I like to bang on about the psychedelic '60s and what have you. But it just seems like there's something that's just dead in everyone and I just sort of was singing about where did all the love go? You know, I mean, kind of sounds like Neil Young in some ways. It's sort of slow."
Kristian Bush of Sugarland
Kristian talks songwriting technique, like how the chorus should redefine the story, and how to write a song backwards.
Al Jourgensen of Ministry
In the name of song explanation, Al talks about scoring heroin for William Burroughs, and that's not even the most shocking story in this one.