First comes Chistmas, then comes HOLY. The second album from Stockholm's Hannes Ferm is getting closer and closer, set for release this January. And ahead of that, he's put out the title track, "All These Worlds Are Yours".
This is the most ambitious song to be let loose from the album to date. "All These Worlds Are Yours" is a nine-minute long, sprawling beast of a song. It opens with the feint of a blast of raw guitar noise, before a piano breaks into the storm and the song snaps into its natural state - sun-dappled, dreamy rock music.
As you might imagine from a nine-minute song, Ferm is holding nothing back here: "All These Worlds Are Yours" is a a world of ideas packed into one song, blending artful audio chaos with vintage, '60s melodies. Check it out above, and read a Q&A with Ferm below.
First of all, tell us a little about the track "All These Worlds Are Yours".
"I wrote it when I came to Stockholm and became exposed to the harshness of the city. There is this myth in Japanese folklore of Kiyohome, a girl who becomes a serpent demon as a consequence of unrequited love. It’s about that, alienation as a way of escaping reality. The city is a bad lover. This song is my serpent."
The album All These Worlds Are Yours took over a year to put together, and its start coincided with your move to Stockholm. How was the writing process for this record?
"It took a long time, I kept changing the songs. I got so into the writing process that I felt I became distanced from the rest of the world. It was both fantastic, but at the same time as I felt like a slave. Studio Cobra [Stockholm studio where Ferm worked and recorded] became my golden cage. The studio is underground so I didn’t see sunlight. If the Minotaur and Narcissus had a baby, that would be me during the that time."
How much of an inspiration was diving into those high-art, glam concept albums from the sixties and seventies? There are echoes of them in both the sound and scope of All These Worlds Are Yours.
"It was albums like those that I was listening to at the time. Most of my musical idols have worked within that format, the concept album. I was mostly curious to try it myself, see what I could do within the boundary of that kind of album. Although it was a great experience, I also became a slave to the concept. It became this meta-thing where the concept of the album is (partly) about alienation and I ended up alienating myself from the rest of the world."
It feels like a much more ambitious record than [debut album] Stabs, longer, heavier and more dramatic and theatrical. What made you want to move in that direction, creatively?
"Elements like theatricality were kind of a no-go zone in the musical sphere I was moving at the time. I wanted to try to work with rock’n’roll clichés like that and see if I could make my own thing out of it."
You took the title for the album and this track from Jon Willis’ book All These Worlds Are Yours: The Scientific Search for Alien Life. Why did that book feel like something you could relate to the record?
"It just made sense since it based mainly on my life and experiences."