Trembling Bells founder and drummer Alex Nielson says: “This
song was inspired by reading letters exchanged between Arthur
Rimbaud and his former tutor, Paul Demeny, whereby the 16 year old
detailed a programme for deranging and cultivating the poetic soul:
‘To make the soul monstrous; Imagine a man planting and cultivating
warts on his face.’
“The more I read about Rimbaud’s methodology the more parallels I drew with my own attitudes towards improvised music. I was further heartened by reading about his subsequent volte-face away from an all consuming, highly attuned immersion in avant garde practice.
“My own feeling is that this probably coincided with a mental breakdown due to a diet of hash and absinthe; the resounding indifference that greeted the self-publication of his poetry; his exclusion from Parisian literary society; being shot by his former lover Paul Verlaine; and the strain of perpetual poetic revelation. Regardless, studying the magnesium life of this troubled and brilliant boy brought me profound pleasure.”