I hate the cold, don't you?  So visiting Iceland should be undertaken preferably in summer, which is precisely what we did for Biffy Clyro's double album "Opposites".
 
Opposites
We chose Iceland in order to find waterfalls, which struck me as suitable forceful imagery for the band, and secondly to locate diverse terrains adjacent viz desert and verdant pastures.
Simon had a similar idea to one I had been 'nursing', namely a tree of life, clearly then the front runner as an idea for one album. So I suggested a tree of death for the other album, not that I knew what that was, but it sounded good. 
 
 

Conversely I wanted trees to be the same on both albums, but in two different locations with different objects hanging upon them: one to represent the interconnections of things - tree of life, positive - and one to represent the disconnectedness - tree of death, negative - hence mirrors, which reflect, and scissors, which sever.
Biffy also suggested bones so we did that as well.


Now the tree had to be man made and taken to Iceland or it wouldn't be the same tree on both albums, which I thought important being a double set.
The hanging objects are central - many cultures have them - often called 'votive' or 'wishing trees', intended to warn visitors of sacred ground or as offerings to appease the gods.  Red Indians use eagle feathers, in Japan they use handwritten notes, in Turkey an evil eye, in Hungary padlocks and so on.
These objects are the defining ingredient in my opinion, not the tree which in many instances is commonplace, but Biffy and/or label didn't like the tree thinking it too weedy, too two-dimensional, not rock n' roll enough.
A hiatus ensued until I thought of an old tree, thousands of years old, enduring a prevailing wind forever, thus bent over at a severe angle and darkened and pitted, which fortuitously everyone appeared to like...
Thus there are three covers: one for each separate album and one for the combined double. 
A trifle indulgent you might think, but as ambitious as the double album itself, vindicated by being No. 1. And richly deserved in my view.
 
Storm, Feb 22

P.S. In non Biffy-related news our FREE monthly desktop calendar downloads are continuing. Taken from our latest book "Riding Along In My Automobile" you can get the various designs/specs for March HERE


P.P.S. thanks to all our entries for last month's competition. The quickest on the draw, but not necessarily correct were Greg P, Hans RM, Roger W, Chas J and Gordana AM. We'll contact the winner shortly and will announce them in the next newsletter.