Personally, there are few bands that excite me as much as Hail The Sun. Their frenetic, sporadic and often mind blowing progressions leave me in awe with each listen. Whether it be on stage or in my headphones, I am always, and I mean always left with my jaw dropped throughout each song this band orchestrates. This year I have worked with Donovan Malero more than a few times, seen them four times in a 365 day period and taken a sharp listen to Mental Knife, the newest record released on September 28th via Equal Vision Records, with an interview to be in print issue #43 of New Noise Magazine.
Mental Knife is the latest and greatest from Hail The Sun, and Donovan Melero stopped by to give an in depth look at each individual track on this blistering, calculated and organic record.
Gouge & Uproot: This track is meant to be an intro to the album, and a prelude to the next track. It hints at how convenient it would be to be able to surgically remove parts of my brain and personality that I feel cause the most woe internally.
Mental Knife: With this song, I elaborate more on what the intro track touches on…removing parts of myself I think I would be better off without. But this is more of a mental surgery, not a physical surgery of anything tangible – not the skin. While technically impossible to do with today’s technology, this song paints a picture of what it might be like.
Suffocating Syndrome: If I were to ever have a one-on-one candid conversation with God, this is would be it. I would be honest with how I feel, and this song is me anticipating how that God might respond.
Devotion Cuts: Touring is an amazing experience. It’s also a very dark experience at times, lonely even, and can put much wear and tear on one’s body and outside relationships. This song is about my experience with touring over the years, and how it feels to be indebted to someone because they are able to deal with that out of their love for me and my passion, regardless of the strain it might put on them.
The Stranger in Our Pictures: When I first got clean, I did it for my family. I couldn’t do it for myself quite yet, but I knew it needed to happen, so I did it for them. This song is about that process. It touches on how I didn’t recognize my old self once I was living a sober life. I was shown true unconditional love by my family and close friends, regardless of how I was behaving. That is what ultimately led to the foundation I have now.
A Lesson In Lust: Human beings can be very sensual creatures, displaying mutual passion in those we meet and feel a connection with. This song is about not being able to help the affection I have towards another and how good that experience can be when the other feels the same. Sometimes we can’t help what we love.
Risk / Reward: Life is full of risks. And when those risks work out, the reward can be exceptional. This song is about taking risks even when it goes against what might be the safer and more comfortable route. Sometimes a connection is made, even if it’s across the world, that can’t be ignored. And it’s not like it was planned, and it’s not like it was sought after, but it would be tragic to not explore what it means. It is irresistible. And in this case, the reward outweighed the risk. And that’s what I write about in this track.
Feel it When Convenient: This song is about going completely haywire. Leading on, and then being led on. Forcing myself to let go of regret. Acting impulsively. Going with the moment. It’s a big mix of all of the above, referring to different events in my life…only feeling what I need to when it’s convenient for me.
Arcane Justice: Sexual assault is still absurdly all too common in our culture. This is a song about vigilante justice. However, when it comes down to how I really feel, I’m not advocating eye for an eye punishment. I just get livid that so many innocent women, and some men, have been affected by this. And the perpetrator almost always gets away with it, justice failing over and over again. Can we all be raised with more common sense morals?
Glass Half Empty: I count my blessings daily. While I am sincerely grateful for everything I have been given or achieved in my life, this song is about another side of me: never being satisfied. Wanting everything I can’t have. Not trusting my own feelings about what it is I crave, if and when I get it. This seems to be a common theme in my life. While it can help me to constantly seek to accomplish, it can get frustrating to navigate.
On Existence: This song is about absolute random thoughts that came to my mind in the moment I was demoing vocals for it. I had never kept those types of lyrics before, so I did it this time.