What the Dead Men Say

Album: What the Dead Men Say (2020)
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Songfacts®:

  • Bassist Paolo Gregoletto wrote the bulk of the lyrics and much of the music on What the Dead Men Say. He purloined the name of the title track from a science fiction short story by American author Philip K. Dick, first published in Worlds of Tomorrow magazine in June 1964. Gregoletto explained to Apple Music:

    "I felt like the words I was coming up with were about this sci-fi, trippy type of in-between state and the way we deal with death and grieving in the digital age. I've always loved Philip K. Dick books and stories because a lot of them are still really relevant and ahead of their time. So I found this short story and I liked the title a lot - it was really intriguing. I think some of the best titles and lyrics are stuff you can't totally explain."

    As Gregoletto started thinking about where he could go with the theme, he came up with a song that "maps out being in between a state of life and death. You don't really know what side you're on. It goes through a 360-degree journey of emotions."
  • Regarding the writing process behind the song, Gregoletto revealed the song started off as two separate demos but emerged from the writing session as one epic tune.
  • Philip K. Dick's stories have been adapted into such blockbuster films as Blade Runner, Minority Report and Total Recall. Other songs inspired by the work of the sci-fi writer include "X-Ray Visions" by Clutch and "Enemy Gene" by Of Montreal.

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