"Symphony of Destruction"
Countdown to Extinction (1992)
"Symphony" was real simple. It came from a Time Life magazine commercial and the movie The Manchurian Candidate, 'cause I had just watched that. I've always wondered what it would be like to be that person, to have been programmed in your subconscious and not know it and have a job of that importance and then someone just says a word and [snap] flips the switch on you and the fucking jig is up for everybody. That's what "Symphony of Destruction" was about. And then, during the chorus: I like to always have some positive stuff in there, so I included the Pied Piper, that old proverb, poem, whatever it was called, the story.
I didn't go as far into my personal life around this record, but there was a very dark period around Countdown. We'd gone out on tour with Stone Temple Pilots and towards the end of that tour, things got really dark. I can't remember why, but something prompted me to just start going down into a dark place and we ended up having to stop the tour because there was a riot at the venue in Oregon. They broke the barricade, they rushed the stage, trying to flip the bus over and shit. When you're a kid, you're like, "Woohoo, this is great. They broke the barricade, they're flipping the fucking dressing room over." But you get a little bit older, it's not just a couple crazy people, but it's, like, a lot of really mad people. It was scary stuff.