This dub-step influenced track was recorded with Elbow frontman Guy Garvey a long time before his band won the Mercury Music Prize for their album, Seldom Seen Kid. Robert "3D" del Naja recalled to The NME January 16, 2010: "The sessions with Guy we recorded before Seldom Seen Kid was even released. He came back then! We knocked around a few ideas -none of which became 'Flat of the Blade.'"
3D told The Sun February 5, 2010: "The first few days with Guy, we drank, we chatted and got into the spirit of it before we recorded and played things. He chose the track 'Flat Of The Blade' himself as it was the opposite of what he's done before-it was all drum machines going mad, sounding like a ricochet and it really captured his imagination."
3D told the story behind this song to The Independent February 12, 2010: "This track began with the Victoria and Albert Museum installation that we did with UVA [UnitedVisualArtists] who do our LED lights with us. One of the elements of that was just loads of snare drums flying off when you walked through it, and loads of kick drums underneath your feet. It just sounded mental as a piece of audio, like the musical equivalent to the opening scene to Saving Private Ryan, I guess. We played it to Guy and he went, 'that'll do.' And we built a song from it. The soldier theme was inherent in the idea, but Guy took it to a different level. It was that particular line about 'I'll build for my family a bullet-proof love,' which really struck me. It was really such a lovely image and such a great line, and the track kinda went backwards from that line."
When this song was first played live it was known by its working title of "Bulletproof Love."
Garvey recalled to NME
: "I think 3D heard our cover of 'Teardrop
' and said, 'Would you like to work with us?' He made me come to Bristol, sit in a booth with a load of Massive Attack beats and sing for 14 hours."