MTT 420 RR

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Songfacts®:

  • Idles open their Crawler album with this electronic number where Joe Talbot recalls an encounter with a MTT Y2K turbine motorcycle while high on drugs.

    He looked up
    He lost control
    He was de-gloved
    He was jelly roll


    When the American superbike overtook Talbot's car at 130 mph, it narrowly avoided a fatal accident.
  • Talbot uses the powerful images of the potentially deadly incident as a metaphor for how lucky he is to be still alive after years of substance abuse.

    The swell of heaven on my dashboard
    I can see my spinal cord swing high
    High


    For Talbot, it was a nadir of his alcohol and drug addiction. "It should have been a turning point," he told The Guardian, "but it wasn't."

    "A car crash is a violent image and we've always used violence – whether it's the violence of joy, the violence of love or the violence of grief – as a part of our vocabulary as musicians," Talbot continued. "It's important that I make sure people realise the unglamorous, violent nature of the cycle of alcoholism or drug abuse."
  • Co-produced by Idles guitarist Mark Bowen and Kenny Beats (who contributed additional production on Ultra Mono), the band recorded Crawler at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios in Bath during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Crawler tells Talbot's story of his 15-year fight with substance abuse and how he sorted his life out. "If you don't like hearing tales of struggle then you won't like it," he told Mojo magazine. "But it makes me feel happy because I'm here. I'm alive."
  • When Idles recorded this song, news had just reached them concerning the death of the electronic artist SOPHIE. "Joe was talking about the notion of one single moment or action when everything completely changes," Bowen told Consequence Of Sound. "There's that feeling where you're having to surrender to something and you're not quite comfortable with it yet, and that's the tension I definitely wanted to weave into this song."

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