QA on Perfect Chapter

We got some questions from a curious fan the other day regarding lyrics and artwork on Perfect Chapter album.

We thought it would be a good idea to share it with you so here it is!


Today I received your album “Perfect Chapter” and since I read the lyrics some days before and today again I have some questions and hope you will help me. 

Q: First of all I don’t really understand the relation between the content of the lyrics and the artwork. Before today I only knew the cover and haven’t had much thoughts about it, but the inlay shows a person which I can only interpret as a witch or at least in any magic context. In addition on page 2 and 3 of the booklet I see a dead person floating on the water. Please can you give me a hint how I should interpret that?

A: As far as the relation between the artwork and the lyrics: I guess there isn’t any really strong concept that binds it all together. As most of you know, Ola is the one responsible for most of the lyrics, and in addition they have been written over quite a long period of time. I (Staffan) created the artwork with the lyrics in mind. Here are some thoughts on the main illustrations from the cover and booklet:

1. The cover art, which features a lady distributing some sort of dark matter into an otherwise quite idyllic landscape. I would say this is primarily a metaphor for the fact that something beautiful at the same time can prove to be destructive. Perhaps it is a bit unfair to attribute this destructive quality to an external force, as most of the time we are quite good at generating the darker aspects of life by ourselves. Nevertheless, it is an interpretation of how darkness and negative energy enters and influences our lives. The fact that the originator, or perhaps conduit of this dark force takes female form is perhaps a reflection of the circumstances that surround some of the lyrics, and how they are mostly based on inter-human relations. I also wanted to draw lots of hair.

2. The variation of the lady from the cover, which makes up the art of the actual disc, and also resides in parts of the booklet. In her left hand she carries a withered plant, and in her right, an ominously dark sphere hovers. She stands on top of something that looks like an oceanic planet, where her oblivious presence seems to create a bit of a stir. This depiction is thought to represent a previous state, or just an alternate view of the destructive force described above. The plant in her hand is of a course a VERY subtle metaphor of her capacity to drain life and joy out of all things living. I wouldn’t say she is a witch (as suggested by the writer of the letter), but rather a force on a more cosmic scale.

3. The floating man. Despite the apparent lack of life, this man is not dead. Instead, he has surrendered himself entirely to the universe, perceiving and accepting everything that befalls him. With some luck, this experience will prove strenghtening and provide the man in question with the right tools to maneuver the path that awaits him ahead. There is not a tight connection to the lyrics here either, more than the fact that it suggests some sort of attitude to be employed by anyone suffering the thoughts described in the lyrics.

Q: Second, I must admit I haven’t managed to make out who the addressee of your lyrics is. Is it a formerly well-known human friend, is it God or someone else? Maybe I can interpret it as a dialogue but then I don’t get along with the paragraphs. ;-) I’d really wish to get some information from you.

A: Some of the lyrics were actually written with particular persons or recepients in mind. However, they are perhaps best seen as some sort of internal dialogue/monologue that is externalized through the music. The basis for most of them are experiences of relations between people. Some of them not so successful, and some of them even less successful. The addressee could in some cases be some sort of conceptual “god” (even though none of us subscribe to any religious views of the world); someone who could be held responsible for repeatedly f**cking up our earthly lives. Despite our modest ambitions, happiness mostly seems a flickering mirage, somewhere beyond the dark horizon.
Q: As I see the lyrics for now they seem open and not decided which way the literal speaker will go or where he really comes from but he definitively sees his world quite dark with less joy. Am I allowed to ask you something personal? Do you identify with your lyrics? On video I see you as a talented band with much fun. I don’t get the connection to these sadly appearing texts.

A: Well, in Ola’s words – sort of – the lyrics on Perfect Chapter are an outcome of how he sees the world. As a “half full glass” if you will :-) . They are also meant to not be interpreted literally, and do not always present a full picture of the subject matter at hand. On top of that there is a certain amount of irony involved… One could also say that, even though the lyrics are quite dark, they represent a snapshot of an emotional state that existed at that time (and most of the times that particular state of mind was probably cured with a fair amount of beer).



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