“Human history rises in circles, like an aero. The circles may be different—some golden, some bloody—but they can all be divided into 360 degrees. And so, if we move from the zero forward—10, 20, 200, 360 degrees—we come to zero again. Yes, indeed, we return to zero. But to my mathematically reasoning mind, it is clear that this zero is completely different from the last zero, it’s all new. We turned right from the initial zero, we returned to it from the left, and so instead of a +0 we have a –0. Get it?
I see this Zero as a taciturn, huge, narrow, knife-sharp cliff. In the brutal, hairy darkness, holding our breath, we sailed from the black, night side of the Zero Cliff. For centuries, we, the Columbuses, sailed and sailed, we went all around the earth and finally—hurrah! Salute—and all lookouts aloft: before us is the other, heretofore unseen side of the Zero Cliff, lit by the aurora borealis of the United Nation, the blue monolith sparkling with rainbow colors and the sun—hundreds of suns, billions of rainbows …
What if only the breadth of a knife edge separates us from the other, the dark side of the Zero Cliff. The knife is the most enduring, most immortal, most brilliant human invention. The knife has served as a guillotine, the knife is a universal means of resolving all knots, and along the knife’s edge lies the path of paradoxes—the only path worthy of a fearless mind.”
–Yevgeni Zamyatin, “We”
It was from this quote from the pre-Orwellian dystopia novel “We” that sparked the title and core concept of the new album. I read the novel after Matt had suggested then lent it to me. He knew I enjoyed reading “1984″ and thought I’d enjoy its spiritual precursor. I did.
It wasn’t until after the album was finished that I realized just how much we alluded to the novel. Things kind of fell into place during the years of production that we didn’t even notice until much later. I had actually forgotten about much of that quote until recently. I find it rather mind blowing. With his engineering mind Matt kept the math involved true and meaningful. The art reflects the passage of time and inverted views of what we call reality. The project feels whole and complete.
It wasn’t our intent to create a soundtrack for the novel or anything like that but instead borrow from key ideas expressed and juxtaposing them to our lives at that current time. Certain things synchronized and transpired that made concrete the core concept of a “Zero Cliff” and the circle as a symbol, Zero.