Track by track comments for: Inhale/Exhale

Written by Anders Jakobson

1. This Is...

- I guess you can call this Nasum's musical manifesto. As the song goes: This is what it's all about.

2. The Masked Face

- The lyrics for "The Masked Face" started with me flipping through the pages of a dictionary and just placed my finger in it to see which word I was pointing at. The word was "picture". I used the word as a verb instead of a noun, which led to the opening line "Picture a masked face". That's one way to write songs. "The Masked Face" is a very strong song, basically a standard song with an extended mosh part in the middle and a crazy guitarsolo in the end, but it works. A personal favorite.

3. Digging In

- 18 seconds of total mayhem. No comments!

4. Time To Act!

- As far as I know this is the most covered Nasum song. I don't know why bands pick this song, maybe it's because its easy structure and the easy riffs? A funny song but I always feel bad when I hear it due to a recording error. I know if we'd written this song two albums later we would have had the bass playing the verse one octave lower. As it is today it only sounds weak and thin and that's bad!

5. Disdain And Contempt

- Short and weird hardcore song that we used to combine with "Blinded". Very weird rhythms in the beginning, almost ugly.

6. I See Lies

- "I See Lies" is the fastest song on the album, at least it feels like that due to the aggressive vibe in all parts. Live it got fast as hell! The noisy thing in the beginning is actually a guitar chord from a miked amp rubbed against a metal chair! Originally we were supposed to have a guitarsolo on that part but the riff changed scales all of the time which made it impossible to compose something that didn't sound out of tune, and I guess the chord just fell on the chair as we were unplugging it from the guitar. We liked the sound and recorded the "solo"!

7. Inhale/Exhale

- I think I came up with the title first and wrote the riffs from an idea of just repeating the words "inhale" and "exhale" over and over. The idea was also to write a song that had an industrial stiffness. The way "Inhale/Exhale" is performed on the album is very straight, whereas the live version was a little bit more vivid. When we did our first tour in the US we started all but one show with this song, which might seem a little bit strange, but it was our first tour and we wanted to start with a "warm up" song. Little did we know that "Inhale/Exhale" would be our biggest "hit". I think the one thing that makes it stand out is that you can't compair it with any other Nasum song. It's not grind or crust, it's not a mosh song, it's... I don't know what it is!

8. Too Naked To Distort

- This song has a quite funny structure with all the different drumbreaks between the parts. It was one of the early liveset songs and we played it after "Inhale/Exhale" as on the record, so it was a nice way to get the gig grinding. I remember that Mieszko and Jesper played a simpler version of the verse riff live as it was a little tricky to play and sing at the same time.

9. There's No Escape

- This track was often mentioned as a favorite among some fans, and it's a very cool song with a very aggressive chorus. I remember Mieszko complained about struggeling with the words as we played it live, but I think he managed to pull it of well. As many other songs this song was slightly changed when we played it live, mainly how the intro was played.

10. The Rest Is Over

- Not one of my favorite songs. The intro with the feedback counting in is really cool but the rest of the song doesn't do anything for me. The closing blast was quite wild though.

11. Disappointed

- The little drumthing in the beginning (snare-ride-China) was taken from an early Korn song. I thought it was a cool little thing to do before starting the beat. I've heard other bands using it as well, so I guess I wasn't the only drummer who thought it was cool. The lyrics to this song probably originates from all the times I came first to the rehearsal place and waited for my friends. A little inside critizism in disguise! Hehe!

12. Lägg Om!

- The first song in Swedish on "Inhale/Exhale". People often asked us why some songs were in Swedish and why those songs, and one of the reasons was that the punkier stuff we wrote felt like it should be in Swedish and this is a prime example. Feedback, roughness and another 18 seconds of mayhem.

13. You're Obsolete

- You might wonder what the point is with the moment of silence is five seconds into the song. In hindsight I wonder too, but it's not entirely silent, there's a low thunder in the background. Anyway, an effect as good as any else. The song itself isn't too exiting but I still dig the ending with the grinding guitar repeating the riff as it fades out. A quite original ending.

14. Tested

- The working title for this one was "the Burst song" which was kind of funny since a member from Burst joined the band after this release. It was those fast accents in the beginning that was inspired by an old demo track of Burst. Another live favorite due to its kick ass feeling. The outro with the repeated line "I think you're full of shit!" is really striking.

15. Shapeshifter

- The moshiest track on the album and a pretty cool one too. I think this song would have been a nice addition to our liveset but we never managed to play it. Mieszko said it was impossible to sing and play the rhythmic verse riff at the same time, and it probably was.

16. Feed Them, Kill Them, Skin Them

- Another one of my favorite tracks on "Inhale/Exhale". I think the inspiration for the verse riff came from a Soundgarden song ("Jesus Christ Pose" possible) which might sound odd. I like the variety of this song. Although some parts return they are never played the same way twice. We brought this song into our liveset during some "Helvete" shows, but it never became a regular song, unfortunately.

17. When Science Fails

- This song was written to present some sort of break between all the grind songs, and "break songs" became an internal expression within the band, and this song was followed by "The Professional League" ("Human 2.0"), "Relics" ("Helvete") and "Wrath" ("Shift"). The song has got a good groove. The lyrics came out of a thought expressed by Swedish comedian/actor Claes Malmberg in the very weird talkshow "Måndagsklubben" where he talked about that we might have had a cure for AIDS by now if it had struck rich people first, instead of gay people and tribes in Africa. That was an interesting thought.

18. Closing In

- Apart from the closing blast this song is a real treat for crust fans. A good tempo overall and I really like the sound of the chorus as Mieszko yells "Stagnated / Ignorant / Future is / Closing in" - sounds very much like early Brutal Truth (probably due to the use of the word "ignorant").

19. The World That You Made

- This song is really weird. The riffs, the beats, the overall feeling. I like it! It's a different song on the album. I got some help with the lyrics by a friend I was talking to over the Internet. The basic idea of the lyrics was the importance (for some) to make a carreer by all means and always reaching new levels. I wanted to call the song "Levelling" but there's not such a word, as my friend told me.

20. The System Has Failed Again

- This is a good example of a Nasum standard song. Easy structure and easy lyrics. Everything is pretty straight with this one, no weirdness at all. Maybe a little bit boring but a highly effective song.

21. For What Cause?

- Someone once pointed out the similarity between the intro to this song and the song "Terroristattack" by our sideproject Krigshot. I can't remember who recorded what first and if Nasum recorded "For What Cause?" first I doubt that Jallo (who wrote "Terroristattack") stole the riff. Whatever. The second guitarsolo in this song is very weird and original. A good song.

22. Fullmatad

- Mieszko asked me to sing as deep as possible and it sounds kind of funny. The mosh part (with a "Mosh!" of course) is really cool. You gotta love moshparts!

23. Screwed

- This song builds up in a very nice way. Starting with the "Stockholm beat" going through a couple of crust parts and then a relentless blast, a break and another relentless blast and then a dark ending - excellent!

24. Shaping The End

- I really enjoyed playing "Shaping the End" since it gave me room to really freak out behind the drums. It was a regular song in our liveset during the first 20-25 shows I guess and it was a personal highlight. The part in the song after each chorus where the guitars strikes a chord and the drums continue to end with pow!-pow!-pow! on the toms was totally, 100% stolen from the Swedish band Daybreak. Mieszko had recorded a demo or two with them and liked this part from one of their songs and just ripped it right of. The song was even called "the Daybreak song" during the writing process. Daybreak lated did two albums (both recorded by Mieszko, and both very good) but never got a big break.

25. The New Firing-Squad

- I like two things about this song: the lyrics in the verses which I think is very cleaver written - they are kind of the same but not at all at the same time, and I like the last two parts in the song. The first one of these is really weird.

26. No Sign Of Improvement

- More mosh combined with relentless blasting... I love it! This was also an early live favorite. It was such joy playing this song in front of a headbanging/slamdancing audience.

27. My Philosophy

- I remember that a local band really adored the intro of this song. I think it's cooler when it returns as a crust part with the distorted screams in the end.

28. I'm Not Silent

- Ah, the old Repulsion trick - a massive bass that indicates total mayhem and then a slow part. But this song isn't a slow one. The riff is really cool and all in all a pretty nice song.

29. The Breathing Furnace

- A quite powerful crust song that relies a lot on the harmonies, like the intro and that weirdly paced part after the choruses. The image of the human being as a breathing furnace is quite cool. I loved the "Breathe and burn" bit in the song.

30. Information Is Free

- The intro on this song is very catchy. The Slayerish drum beat with the ride roll à la Carcass as a little bonus really gets me into a good mood. The title of the song was the motto of a Swedish fanzine/magazine called Flashback which often had a provocative content (for some people anyway), and I remember Mieszko cursing himself for not coming up with the idea of using the phrase as a title! Hehe! Looking at this song now, the intro is better than the song...

31. Burning Inside

- The title is borrowed from a Ministry song. I can't remember if I really stole it or if it just happened. Anyway, this song goes hand in hand with "The Breathing Furnace". Not that they sound alike, but I think I wrote them at the same time. The feel connected in my mind anyway. I remember arguing a little bit with Mieszko during the guitar takes as he wanted to play that jumpy part following the second chorus a little simpler than I originally wrote it. But I really wanted the riff to follow the drums as close as possible. And he did it.

32. A Request For Guidance

- We used to start this song live by announcing it as "a really slow song" and do a count on the hihat at half the tempo and then just pound out this motherfucker. I remember that it used to crack Mitch Dickinson (Napalm Death's merch and drum guy during the 2000 tour and overall legendary hardcore/grind God) up everytime. I like the lyrics to this song and it's a great track.

33. Grey

- Such depressing lyrics! I must have been really down when I wrote it. The song is kind of grey as well. Ah well.

34. Worldcraft

- Another "breaksong" on the album which also tries to mimic the industrial stiffness, which the distorted vocals emphasizes. Mieszko and I used different references for our political metaphores. Mieszko used computer games. Worldcraft was a level editor for some game he played and it became a good source of inspiration for the song. It's an odd number on the album, but I like it. It stands out.

35. It's Never Too Late

- A full on blast song with a stange part in the middle. I remember first writing the lyrics in Swedish, but then translating them word by word to English. It sounded better in English for sure.

36. Du Är Bevakad

- This is one of my favorite tracks on the album, due to an amazing rehearsal version we recorded in the studio prior to the album recording. We played it live for a while and I had the posibility to go completely wild during the verses which was fun as hell. The song was a struggle for Mieszko to sing so he often voted it out of the setlist. I think the track is great.

37. Blinded

- Yet another hardcore song which was meant to be performed as fast as possible. When you play a d-beat fast enough it creates sort of a rolling sensation and I think we were aiming for that.

38. Can De Lach

- There was usually no argument while setting the tracklist about which songs should close the albums. It was pretty obvious when I wrote this song. I was aiming for a kind of eerie feeling à la Slayer's "Spill the Blood" for the intro. The squeking noises is the tip of a drumstick rubbed against the ride cymbal. I think you hear it quite well just before the music starts. "Can De Lach" (which means "Heart of the Unformed" in some made up Stephen King language - the song is completely inspired by his "Desperation" book) was first performed live during some of the shows supporting "Helvete", but we felt it hard to really adapt it live, but it was fun playing it after all those years.

Track by track comments

Inhale/Exhale
Human 2.0
Helvete
Shift

Discography in recording order

1. "Blind World"
split 7" EP (Poserslaughter)
2. "Really Fast vol 9"
comp LP (Really Fast)
3. "Grindwork"
comp MCD (Grindwork Productions)
4. "Smile When You're Dead"
split 7" EP (Ax/ction)
5. "Domedagen"
demo (self released)
6. "Industrislaven"
MCD (Poserslaughter)
7. "Industrislaven"
12" EP (Yellow Dog)
8. "World In Turmoil"
7" EP (Blurred)
9. "The Black Illusions"
split 7" EP with Abstain (Yellow Dog)
10. "Regressive Hostility"
comp CD (Hostile Regression)
12. "Inhale/Exhale"
CD (Relapse)
13. "Inhale/Exhale"
LP (Distortion/Relapse)
14. "Untitled" bonus 7" with "Inhale/Exhale" LP (Distortion/Relapse)
15. "The Nasum Campaign"
split 7" EP with Warhate (Relapse)
16. "Relapse Winter 2000 sample"
promo comp CD (Relapse)
17. "Human 2.0"
CD (Relapse)
18. "Human 2.0"
LP (Distortion/Relapse)
19. "Human 2.01"
CD (Ritual/Howling Bull)
20. "The Bloodbath is Coming"
comp 2x7" EP (Sound of Betrayal)
21. "Untitled" split 7" EP with Asterisk* (Black Mask Collective/Busted Heads/Putrid Filth)
23. "Untitled"
split 7" EP with Skitsystem (No Tolerance)
24. "Polar Grinder"
comp LP (Putrid Filth/Manufactured cR)
25. "Collapsed"
comp CD (Ritual/Howling Bull)
26. "Helvete"
CD (Relapse)
27. "Helvete"
LP (Relapse)
28. "Helvete"
CD (Ritual/Howling Bull)
29. "Shift"
CD (Burning Heart)
30. "Shift"
CD (Relapse)
31. "Shift"
CD (Ritual/Howling Bull)
32. "Shift"
LP (No Tolerance)
33. "Helvete"
Pic-LP (Vinyl Maniacs/GMR)
34. "Human 2.0"
Pic-LP (Vinyl Maniacs/GMR)
35. "Inhale/Exhale"
Pic-LP (Vinyl Maniacs/GMR)
36. "Grind Finale"
2xCD (Relapse)
37. "Grind Finale"
2xCD (Ritual/Howling Bull)
38. "Grind Finale"
4xLP (Unrest)
39. "Doombringer"
CD (Relapse)
40. "Doombringer"
LP (Relapse)
41. "SOS Japan - Grind Kaijyu Attack!" split 12" picture disc with Napalm Death (FETO)