"BM : Well, take a song like "Haemoglobin". That's our version of [legendary chanteuse] Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit", but where Billie's walking around observing fruit [dead slaves] hanging from the trees, we've actually placed you inside the man's head. It starts off with him hanging from a tree - he's in a state of resignation. In the second verse, he gets cut down and that resignation turns into confusion. And by the third verse, that confusion has turned into anger and a lust for revenge. It's a simple moral thing, prejudice breeds prejudice and violence breeds violence. We started this band in our early 20s and now we're getting towards our 30s and you look at the world around you a bit more. And it touches you, what people are prepared to do to each other for religion, for land. Violence still exists. There's a war every day, people getting murdered every day. If you watch the news, you get affected by that."
Isn’t it a bold, almost impossible, move to try and understand what was endured by a black slave from a completely different society and era?
BM : " Sure. That's true. But I was trying to make a bit more of a universal point. The things that happened in the American South, from slavery onwards, we're still feeling the repercussions of them today. The L.A. riots. There was something recently in America that made the Rodney King incident seem like "The Simpsons". So, it's just placing it in a historical context to make people think about whether or not it's still around today. And it is. "
Brian Molko, Melody Maker, October 20th 2000
"This album rocks harder than the first two albums put together. It deals with violence quite a lot. We've one song called 'Haemoglobin' which is like our version of (jazz singer) Billie Holiday's 'Strange Fruit' in that it deals with lynching, racism and prejudice breeding prejudice."
Brian Molko, Kerrang! Issue 810, July 15th 2000
"That's our version of Billy Holiday's Strange Fruit and in that song she's walking around looking at all the strange fruit hanging from the trees, which is the bodies of dead black men. In our song you find yourself at the beginning inside of someone being lynched in the American South. They start off in the begining in a state of acceptance of his fate then acceptance becomes confusion and his confusion becomes anger- so it's saying that prejudice breeds prejudice and violence breeds violence"
Brian Molko, Unknown magazine, 2000