amo - Bring Me the Horizon

It’s no longer possible to call Bring Me the Horizon a rock band. On their sixth album, the Sheffield four-piece draw on so many genres and ideas, they evade any attempt at categorisation. “I’ve always thought there’s too many borders, too many bridges, that people don’t cross in music,” frontman Oli Sykes tells Apple Music. “The real world has too much of that as it is. I guess that’s our crusade.” amo—Portuguese for “love”—stretches from bittersweet pop to electronic experimentalism, calling on an art-pop visionary, a legendary beatboxer and an extreme-metal icon along the way. Here, Sykes breaks down their crusade, track by track.

i apologise if you feel something
“We knew it was almost impossible to give anyone a heads-up of what this album was going to sound like. It was important for that first track just to be like, ‘Forget whatever you think it’s going to sound like, because you’re not going to be able to guess from anything we’ve shown you before.’”

MANTRA
“At the end of the writing process, I had a bit of a meltdown. Even though we did have a lot of stuff, we didn’t have that song where we were like, ‘This is what we’re going to show the world first.’ ‘MANTRA’ was born out of that: [It’s] not so different that people are alienated, but [it’s] giving you a taste that it’s not the same as the last record. It’s about the similarities between starting a relationship and starting a cult—how you can throw away your whole life for something and you have to put all belief and faith into this thing that might or might not be right for you.”

nihilist blues (feat. Grimes)
“We had no idea if Grimes would even be interested in doing a song with us. But she was really just gushing, like, ‘This is one of the greatest songs I’ve ever heard.’ I’ve always loved dance songs that had a dark edge—something almost primitive that triggers me. Getting it into our sound was really exciting.”

in the dark
“When we first started writing this, it sounded more like something we would have written on the last album. But it turned into this dark, poppy ballad that we all really loved. I love bittersweet, dark pop songs.”

wonderful life (feat. Dani Filth)
“I did all the lyrics and vocals in a day in the studio. I think it was the day The 1975 released ‘Give Yourself a Try’—that inspired me to get up on the mic and just say stuff that came out. I dropped [Cradle of Filth frontman] Dani Filth a line on Instagram to see if he’d be interested in working on the song. He didn’t believe it was me at first. I think he said something very quintessentially English, like ‘If this is indeed you, young man, then, yes, I would love to.’”

ouch
“It was one of those bittersweet realisations that you’re happy something’s happened, but a lot of heartache or pain came with getting to that realisation. I just wanted to present the lyrics in a way that wasn’t too dark, a way that feels low-key—and the jammy sound came from that.”

medicine
“‘ouch’ is a kind of prelude to this, quite linked to its vibe. It’s that idea that you often don’t realise you’re in a toxic relationship until you’re out the other side. It’s not like a ‘f*** you’ song, it’s just, ‘This is finally me having my say, and I’m actually going to think about how it affected me and not how it affected you for once.’”

sugar honey ice & tea
“It sounds ridiculous, but just with the drums and everything, we approached it differently and ended up making something that felt quite fresh. It started off a lot more, dare I say, hip-hop-sounding, electro, and there’s elements in there that still remain. We kept a little bit of each version it went through.”

why you gotta kick me when I’m down?
“I was quite scolded by the way I was treated when I was going through hard times with my divorce and stuff that no one knew about. I was quite hurt by the way I was treated by people that I thought were there for me. The song’s saying, ‘I totally get it, it’s fine, but stop pretending it’s coming from a place of love or care, because it’s not—it’s coming from a place of your own problems where you don’t want someone to change or grow.’”

fresh bruises
“This was a very organic song, it came very naturally. It was one we just wanted to make—a song that wasn’t verse, chorus, verse, chorus, but more of an electronic vibe. The kind of music I listen to is like that, centred around a hook, and it has a drop and it has a build-up. Not in an EDM sense, but more like lo-fi electronic, avant-garde. It just felt cool to make something more jammy and free like that.”

mother tongue
“[Love] is really all this addresses—saying to someone, ‘There’s no need to play games, just be open about the way you feel and everything will be fine.’”

heavy metal (feat. Rahzel)
“Getting [beatboxing legend] Rahzel was [keyboardist] Jordan [Fish]’s idea, because we had this beat that almost sounded like there was beatboxing on it. We used to be this death-metal-sounding, crazy band, and now we play pop music—it’s something that pisses some people off. We’re so confident and proud of what we’re doing, and at the same time, we’re human and we have our insecurities. This track is just a little in-joke that it can still ruin our day if some kid goes, ‘This is the biggest load of s*** I’ve ever heard. What happened to this band?’”

i don’t know what to say
“It’s about a friend that passed away from cancer. It’s me trying to figure out what to say in that situation and my regret that I didn’t see him in his final few days—but also an explanation why. To do my best to talk about how speechless I am at his strength and his courage, and the way he took it all in stride. You’ll hear that story echoed from so many people who have lost people to cancer—they just become unrealistically strong and courageous.”

Get this new release now from iTunes