Excerpt from Liars Biography 2009:

“The earliest seeds of this record grew out of a strong distaste for America’s love affair with positive thinking,” explains [Angus] Andrew. “The almost mandatory cultural attitude of being upbeat, cheerful and optimistic and how it’s supposed to be the key to success and prosperity. How this can make people feel unworthy—full of self-blame for not having the right sunny outlook—and make it easy to develop a morbid preoccupation with eradicating ‘negative’ thoughts. Our experience of this was everywhere and compounded by living in the land of lost dreams—LA.

“Positivity can be a crippling habit. The people who are sick or jobless—they just aren’t thinking positively.

“When we began writing, Obama was just elected and the country was perfecting its science of happiness. But at the same time the anger in LA was palpable with protests over the outcome of Prop 8 banning gay marriage in California. Simultaneously, the big economic downturn, based on some giant refusal to consider negative outcomes, was everywhere. It was an interesting moment that seemed to encapsulate how the great tide of positivity could leave many stranded in its wake.”