For anyone who wanted something bigger than the back to basics rock of Titus Andronicus’ Local Business (especially after the overwhelming ambition of The Monitor) we have some good news. In a recent interview with Missoulian, Patrick Stickles discussed his plans for the next Titus album — a rock opera with over 30 songs and an accompanying movie. Adding that the record will be even more ambitious than The Monitor, Stickles says the story will be heavily inspired by his own experiences with manic depression:
The plot, he said, is inspired in part by Nietzsche’s “The Birth of Tragedy,” and “Touched with Fire,” psychologist Kay Redfield Jamison’s book on how manic depression relates to the artistic temperament.
“Basically we meet a guy, a fella, and he’s a very depressed, sad guy, and he doesn’t have much hope about life,” Stickles said.
The character went through some sort of trauma he doesn’t fully understand that left him less outgoing, less ambitious than he once was.
A “mysterious, shadowy” figure appears, a “doppelgänger of our hero,” who reveals that the main character used to be part of an ancient race of humans.
“This superhuman race has this curse upon it, and the reason that they’re able to do all these great things is the same reason that they ultimately are doomed to destroy themselves. They’re a self-destructive race that’s dispersed amongst the regular population,” he said.
And so the source of all his power is the same thing that put him in the “bad state” at the beginning of the story.
After a love interest enters his life, the hero has to decide whether to reveal his true nature, and whether he wants to live like a regular person.
“So that’s the question, what’s he going to do? Is he going to become a human, or live out his true destiny? The true destiny is more painful, you understand? But it’s got bigger rewards but there are consequences,” Stickles said.
“It’s all a way of questioning, would you want to live your life in the middle … or would you accept the lows because they’re the price of the highs? Mostly it’s a metaphor for manic depression, is the thing,” he said.
Stickles also promises the music will be faster, with more distorted guitars. You can pre-order the album, due November 2014, here.
Check out the full Q&A here and live footage of the new song “Fatal Flaw” below.