A lot of contemporary metal lyrics are impossible to understand. One song with a particularly puzzling passage is the Apex Theory’s “Shhh … (Hope Diggy).”
The track features a tribal beat, ringing, distorted guitars and the lyric “Hope-diggy-da/ Chicky-diggy-da/ Ras-pi-ran-te,” which has driven many a fan to hit rewind. While it’s easy to sing along to, it doesn’t make any sense, even in Armenian, the language in which it was written.
“There’s no literal translation,” said vocalist Andy Khachaturian last week from a couch in his manager’s office. “When I was really little, my dad would throw me up in the air and catch me and throw me up in the air again, and that’s what he would be chanting.”
The rest of the lyrics are in English and while they’re also cryptic, they’re nowhere near as lighthearted: “I can’t take the squeaks any more than I can take you/ You say you’re sick of me, well I’m sick of you too/ Haven’t you gone far enough, my friend?”
“That’s about how the people who are closest to you can end up really choking or restraining you, and sometimes they don’t even know it or mean it,” Khachaturian said. “They can hold you back and prevent you from doing what you want to do. I’m just saying we should allow each other to be free.”
The duality between nonsensical and serious lyrics perfectly compliments the Apex Theory’s multi-textured music, which combines metal, prog-rock, Mediterranean music and even jazz. And the off-kilter rhythm, skittering drums, whirlpool guitars and aggressive vocals of “Shhh … (Hope Diggy)” are a perfect taster for the band’s debut album, Topsy-Turvy, which comes out April 2.
“There were some people who had doubts about whether radio would even pick it up because of its intricacies,” bassist David Hakopyan said. “But we figured introducing ourselves with this type of song would be a good way to make an entrance. If you like this, you’ll probably like everything else we do. If you don’t, you don’t want to listen to a thing.”
If you wanna listen, the Apex Theory are currently on the road with the SnoCore Tour, which ends March 27 in Boston.