Isak

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  • "Isak" is the most popular song by the metal band Baroness. The lyrics were written by lead singer John Baizley, who told us that it is based on a 1917 novel called The Growth of the Soil by the Norwegian author Knut Hamsun. The main character in the book is a farmer named Isak; the tome explores man's relationship with nature, and how it affects spiritual fulfillment. In 1920, it won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
  • We were lucky to get the story behind this song, since the band doesn't talk much about their specific tunes. John Baizley explained: "I think our fans enjoy the lyrical content, I like to think they take it as their own a lot and have it relate to them in different ways. We've heard millions of theories as to what our songs are about, and it's just, look, there's nothing left, there's very few things left in the world out there that are near and dear and precious and mysterious. I'm like, come on, guys, not every word has to be deciphered. Don't pull back the curtain and see there's a little man at the controls."

    Actually, John Baizley is fortunate to be playing at all, considering his horrific injuries from a 2012 tour bus accident. Here's our 2014 exchange on that topic:

    John: My left arm broke off and my left leg broke.

    Songfacts: Your left arm broke off?

    John: Yeah. They had to reconstruct the whole thing. Almost got it amputated.

    Songfacts: My goodness. How scary is that?

    John: It's more painful than it is scary.

    Songfacts: Do you have all the feeling in there and stuff, the nerves?

    John: No, I do not have all of it. I'm missing feeling here and I have way too much right there.

    Songfacts: So like if a dog bit you on that area where you don't have feeling, you wouldn't know it?

    John: I'd know it if a dog bit me, but I've got very little sensation happening there.
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