What’s in a name?
Dan let slip on Facebook yesterday that the second album will be completed in recording terms at the end of this week – and that the name of it will be ‘From Without’. He might’ve mentioned that before to be fair, but he encouraged folk to have a hunt on Google to try to find the reference it might be inspired by. So I’ve been doing just that to pass the time – whether I’ve landed on the inspiration for the name or not remains to be seen!
Also, if you haven’t already then get it pre-ordered by Saturday as it will then come signed by the whole band.
In the context of without meaning ‘on the outside’ it’s listed as archaic – so whilst you might be without something, to be – for example – opening a door from without seems a charmingly antiquated way of phrasing compared to opening a door from within. Could it be as simple as that? A traditional way of describing themselves as being from the outside? It sort of fits, no record label, self-releasing, shunning many of the trappings of the modern music industry.
Or maybe more broadly without could mean outside – reminiscent of ‘Outside\Inside’ by Levellers – outside the mainstream, nay, excluded from it – possibly willingly or by design of the system. Ultimately the desire expressed in this song was to eradicate the distinction between outside and inside – could Ferocious Dog be ‘from without’ looking to ‘get within’? I’m not so sure that quite fits! Maybe they’re from the outside and quite happy about it!
Next up I found a potentially fitting quote from Kirby Ferguson – a writer, director, editor who I’ve seen a couple of TED talks from before. It goes like this:
“Our creativity comes from without, not from within. We are not self-made. We are dependent on one another, and admitting this to ourselves isn’t an embrace of mediocrity and derivativeness. It’s a liberation from our misconceptions, and it’s an incentive to not expect so much from ourselves and to simply begin.”
I love this sentiment – whilst of course in literal terms the music that draws us all to Ferocious Dog like bees to flowers is undoubtedly created by the band, the experience of a gig comes from that combined with the crowd, the musical influence each of the members has picked up from bands they admire has subconsciously influenced the songwriting – it reminds me a bit of ‘Frank and Sam’ by Gaz Brookfield: “I’ve got my heroes and I know I’m not alone in this, they’ve got their heroes too so maybe we’re all plagiarists.”
The next reference I found was a quote from a speech President Eisenhower made before a NATO Council in 1951. It seems like an unlikely source of inspiration for a Ferocious Dog album title, but regardless let’s have a look at it:
“Because, therefore, we are defending a way of life, we must be respectful of that way of life as we proceed to the solution of our problem. We must not violate its principles and its precepts, and we must not destroy from within what we are trying to defend from without.”
A Republican American president seems a disconnect with the band to me – although he is often quoted as being outspoken against war and relating back the impact of such activity on his people. I’m not sure how I can twist an analogy around this quote to even vaguely relate to the band though – certainly not in taking the ‘from without’ bit of the quote anyway, I do think there is a conscious will to not take for granted those within whether that be band members, crew or fans – but well, it’s rather tenuous!
I don’t think I’ve got particularly close at unlocking the hidden meaning – the only clues I’ve seen from Dan are that it doesn’t involve The Bible or Gaddafi – which probably wouldn’t have occurred to me as potential sources! Who has any other theories to pass the days before Cambridge? Ooh, and as if by magic Waggy has posted his Harlow pictures on Facebook!