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“This is a story about a street musician, a busker. It was inspired by a guy who plays in my local town. He’s there every single day. It doesn’t matter what the weather is like; he’s always there, playing his acoustic guitar and singing these songs. Snow, rain, gale force wind – nothing will stop him from being in his spot.
“And the thing is, he’s terrible, absolutely rubbish. He never seems to get any better, no matter how much he plays these songs. I’m one of many people who pass him every day; he’s part of the street furniture, in a way. I suddenly started thinking, What would happen – God forbid – if he dropped dead in the middle of the street one day? Would people notice that he was no longer there?
“Then I had another thought: He’s the kind of guy who is so set in his routine that even death wouldn’t stop him. So I had this vision that he would drop dead one day, but the next day he’d be back in the same spot, playing the same songs, just like he always did. This kind of idea that somebody could be a ghost in life, as well as a ghost in death, somebody who’s completely ignored even in their lifetime – it hardly makes a difference; and death doesn’t make a difference, either; it doesn’t break the routine. That’s the story behind Luminol.
"It was the first piece I wrote with these musical personalities in mind. We did play it live on the second part of the Grace For Drowning tour, kind of as an experiment to see how it would fit with everybody, and also to see how the audience would react. That all worked out very well.
“Going into the studio with Luminol was a good was to ease us into the recording process. It went down incredibly quickly, and it was an opportunity to test the whole scenario, the idea of doing it live with Alan recording. We didn’t have to worry too much about the piece itself since we all knew it pretty well.
“Musically, you can break the song down into many parts: riffs, harmonies, melodies, rhythms. There is a strong, exciting opening part and then the song section in the middle, and then there’s the big Mellotron part straight after. After that is the recapitulation of the opening.
“There were some things that changed in the recording, but we didn’t really change it too much from the way we played it live. Guthrie was new; he hadn’t played it before. But I didn’t play much guitar. Once you get Guthrie in the band, you take a step back and say, ‘OK, there’s no point in me trying to take solos now.’”