Today marks 1 year since the release of ‘All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us’. I wouldn’t usually sit down to write something so extensive about the birthday of an album. We’ve done 7 of them now and let’s face it, a birthday of an album is little more than an excuse for a post on social media that’ll garner a little attention for the band. It’s daft really. Putting aside my cynicism and engaging my more sentimental side, its hard not to acknowledge the significance of the album for the members of this band. I mentioned some of these things when I spoke with Dan Carter for his SWIM podcast, but I think that some things are worth repeating for those that didn’t listen.
When myself and Tom sat down to write this album, predominantly in July and August 2015, it was one of the most enjoyable and prolific periods of creativity that we ever shared together. It’s no secret now that at that point Tom’s cancer had returned, having been dormant for two years. Tom wasn’t sick, so to speak, but a tumour had shown up in his leg in May of 2015, and it was subsequently removed. He reacted unbelievably well.
The rest of us travelled to South America to do a short tour there but Tom stayed at home in anticipation of his looming test results. We hoped for the best but feared the worst. We were in Buenos Aires when he called to tell me the news. I caught the first plane home to the UK. I was absolutely devastated. Upon arriving home I was met by a jovial Tom, smiling ear to ear and cracking jokes. We met with the surgeon and he was hilarious throughout the consultation. I couldn’t believe it.
The summer months that followed were wonderful. A weight that Tom had previously carried with him was lifted and he was in the form of his life. Funny, full of wisdom, and happier than ever. We wrote the bleakest sounding album of our career in the warm sunshine and in a state of total joy and inspiration. It sounds so ludicrous, but it was an amazing time. We were full of hope. Tom welcomed me into the creative process like never before, which gave me a satisfaction that I’d not been afforded in the past. I loved those months and I will always treasure them. We spent days playing musical chairs at his computer, bouncing ideas off of one another, sometimes witnessing songs come together in a few short hours.
I’m always searching for where to draw the line to preserve Tom’s privacy. So much of what transpired between writing and release should remain between his close friends and family but it goes without saying that there were terribly hard times. The album will always hold a powerful significance to us due to the events that occurred during its creation and recording. I should imagine most that are reading this will be well aware of the poignance of several of the songs too. The emotional potency of those songs has only grown as time has worn on.
I just wanted to communicate that this album was created in a state of joy, not a state of sadness. Yes, the lyrics were an opportunity for Tom to question the nature of this life and to examine his mortality, but please don’t think that this was born in misery, it was often a beautiful experience.
Touring this album has been a difficult but wonderful experience that has helped facilitate a very complex and quite public grieving process for us. There has been some spine tingling and heartwarming moments throughout the 9 months since Tom left us that we will never forget. Thank you for helping us keep Tom’s creation alive. Thank you for letting us bring Tom’s most accomplished work to life night after night. Thank you for keeping us inspired. Thank you for everyone’s support, always.