The Struggle

Album: Distraction Pieces (2011)

Songfacts®:

  • "The Struggle" was the third single of four released off Scroobius Pip's Distraction Pieces solo album, after "Introdiction" and "Let 'Em Come."
  • A key line in this song is, "My name is Johnny Depp and I kill people." The lyrics as a whole tell the story of a serial killer, an American Psycho-esque character, and Pip was asked about the meaning of these lyrics (And why the reference to Depp, a hugely popular Hollywood star) in episode #24 of his Distraction Pieces Podcast, which was an "Ask Pip" special. He never normally explains lyrics, however he in particular wanted to clarify the Depp reference, so he explained: "I wanted to write a song about the excesses of celebrity and celebrity culture, and how we're all quick to judge people like Charlie Sheen, and say "oh they're crazy and acting outrageous!" But my theory at the time was their lives are such unique situation, that it's hard to gauge any of this. I was working in HMV for years, and at the weekends to let off steam, I'd get drunk and party or whatever. If you reach a point where that kind of euphoria... if that becomes your day-to-day, then you probably have to go to more and more extremes to get those feelings... obviously in the way I write, I like to make examples by going to absolute extremes. So I wrote about a serial killer! I also think it's kinda a perfect setup, that if you're an actor who's in different parts of the world for small amounts of time, it would be a good way to be a serial killer and not get caught, because you're not gonna tie in a random street killing in Brazil, and another in Africa two weeks later."

    On the Depp reference, he elaborated: "I thought for a long time about which actor to choose, and I didn't want to choose someone that was kinda obvious, a villain in general, but... I wanted it to seem in some way plausible. I came close to going with George Clooney... I wanted someone huge, that anyone listening would know who this person was, but someone who has a bit of mystique and a bit of dark side, and Johnny Depp seemed like a great one. He's always shied away from celebrity culture or the public eye as best he can, he's played dark characters, he's played light characters, but he's undeniably huge as a celebrity. But in general it's a comment on society and the pedestals we put celebrities on to then hold them up to the same standards as everyone else, even though their lives are completely different."

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