That self-sabotaging instinct is a malevolent force that runs right through the record. From the explosive opening of Johnny Cash-referencing Head Prison Blues to the allure of death on the Neil Gaiman-inspired Her Wings, and even in the lonely undercurrent felt on loved-up ballad Honeymoon, there’s rarely a moment’s respite from the “emotional whiplash”.
Scissors, too, nails the dichotomy of feeling ‘desperate to be seen’ yet ‘petrified of being perceived’ while ultimately succumbing to negative voices, as the frontman repeatedly screams the mantra, ‘I’m sick of myself’.
“It’s almost like a counterpart to The Angel In The Marble, but sinister,” Lucas explains. “Like, I know I need to change, but negatively. It’s brutal, it’s cruel, and whatever part of me that isn’t good needs [to go], so give me the tourniquet and I’ll saw it off. It’s a very stark song. But when you create stuff, you’ve got to show the beauty and the ugliness. That said, I wouldn’t show this one to my nan!”
Do the people who know you best recognise the person writing the words to these songs?
“A lot of people ask if it’s scary knowing that people you love will read and hear these dark things you’ve written. My mother and sister have said The Angel In The Marble is their favourite song, for example, but it makes them sad. When the band first started, I would be far more sensitive to that [kind of reaction]. I would be able to sing these words to hundreds of strangers, but I almost didn’t want my family members to hear them.”
He's come a long way since then. Like marble that can only reveal the full extent of the beauty underneath when it’s chipped, sculpted and moulded, Lucas had to tear strips of himself away to find out what was hidden all this time. The boy too scared to allow praise, love, or attention to penetrate his defences, is getting better at accepting those things. Inspired by the Japanese tradition of Kintsugi – celebrating and displaying an item’s imperfections with pride – this is an album that puts its ragged heart on full display. It’s naked, raw, and uncompromising in its courage.
“I have our fans to thank for that,” Lucas gushes. “This is the most candid album I’ve written. Before, I hid behind a concept. They were all emotions that I felt but I didn’t explicitly say them, ‘the narrator’ did. Due to the nature of the band and the support I’ve felt throughout the years, I’ve started to feel far more comfortable talking about the ugliest parts of myself. Now I know how ugly everything is, I really value how beautiful everything else is.”