by Utopia Now

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"Besides" is a collection of previously unreleased songs that never quite made it past the demo stage and were, for one reason or another, dropped by the bands I had written them for. Most of these songs were written and recorded at least 8 years ago, some are even older.

With the exception of the drums, all these recordings are the original recordings made at the time, so much of the guitar work is somewhat sloppy, and the singing isn't as good as it could be. I redid all the drums and polished the production. After all, an album absolutely needs a good (drum)sound. Much more work than I had anticipated went into this album, so I hope you derive some enjoyment from it. The songs are undoubtedly somewhat different at times. That might be why they were dropped back then. Then again, they partially provide a different Utopia Now sound mostly unheard of so far.


released December 3, 2012

All music and lyrics written, performed, and recorded by Stephan Serowy unless stated otherwise.

"The end" written by Jonny Strachan (music and lyrics).

"Derail" guitar solo written, performed, and recorded by Philipp Stüber.




Utopia Now Berlin, Germany

Utopia Now started out in 2006 but had been known under the name Indigo since 2002, sharing the stage with bands such as Lagwagon, Anti Flag, A Wilhelm Scream, No Trigger, Good Clean Fun, Venerea and many more. However, the band was short-lived and split in 2007. Today the band lives on in the form of an online solo project by the band’s founder, singer, and songwriter, Stephan Serowy. ... more

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Track Name: Beyond the horizon
- Beyond the horizon -

Today the sky is in mourning dress
pouring tears on a bloody mess
to cleanse the giant blemish beneath
and let awareness grow.
But when the last innocence was killed
dreams of peace beyond the horizon
were the last opponent to the guilt;
Silent, vague, and unfulfilled...

In the realm of shadows down here
there's a grotesquerie in a twilight sphere.
Shooting stars explode in the dark
and burn this world away.
But when the last dim candle was dead
dreams of light beyond the horizon
were the last opponent to the dread;
Silent, vague, and never met.
Track Name: Equal inequality
- Equal inequality -

We started out as one race
crouching on the ground,
one people, one struggle,
a community safe and sound.
Then came the day
that some broke away
learning to steal, how to cheat, and to betray.
So why are you better than me?
Could it be that it's greed that drives you on?
Is there a latter I can't see,
which I could climb to become a higher human being?

A cruel steeplechase,
just mistrust, class, and race,
six billion brothers don't recognize your face.
Someone tell me
when we lost the key
to that fortress we once named "Unity"?
So why are you better than me?
Could it be that it's greed that drives you on?
Is there a latter I can't see,
which I could climb to become a higher human being?

I've been many places
but all that I've seen is equal inequality.
I've seen all those faces
of sorrow and grief,
is this how it's supposed to be?

I heard someone say,
"a can of beans and some hay
in an abandoned wagon is but romantic cliché"!
But that someone there
lives everywhere
in marble palaces beyond poverty and despair.
So why are you better than me?
Could it be that it's greed that drives you on?
Is there a latter I can't see,
which I could climb to become a higher human being?

Track Name: A giant leap
- A giant leap -

Omnivorous reality, the silent beast of prey
is raiding all the carelessly abandoned every day.
But those who write the story of our kind up in the clouds
have never seen its face.
So, the headwind blows from a fatally wrong direction
and barracks drown in rhetorical spate.
But a wave of high, global aspirations
won't cure one hopeless fate.

So acclaim the elite, heroes are what we need.
For glory ans fame and for national pride.
A small step for a state to subtract the poor and weak,
but for us a giant leap – backwards!

Neosocial liberty, the stallion full of pride:
A neologist's analogy that carries a sneer inside.
And on its back, lofty lords who never touch the ground,
enjoying an easy ride.
How come outward splendor and reputation
weigh so much more than common life
while the cracked columns of a nation
are struggling to survive?


You're trying to build a monument
on masses of feeble grains of sand.
So ignominiously arrogant and ignorant.

Chorus II:
SO forget the elite, common sense is what we need
and a focus on those we have lost along the way.
A small step for a state to support the poor and weak,
but for us a giant leap.
Track Name: Atavistic dreams
- Atavistic dreams -

There's a child alone at night
snuggled up close to the heater.
There's a tear drop and a smile and twitching eyes.
Hand in hand underneath blue skies,
dancing, rejoicing on pastures open wide,
protective comfort and intimacy and love.

But the day is so disenchanting
in a world without understanding.
In eternal emotional winter
these are but atavistic dreams.

There's an old, sequestered man
snuggled up close to the bridge pier,
a face to petrified but sparking, absent eyes.
Congregating in family peace,
talking, embracing with interhuman ease,
sweet vulnerability, benevolence and love.

Track Name: Pain and regret - Take One
- Pain and regret -

the voice is dry and busy, the words bring nothing new,
another life wasted, and a family broken in two.
And somewhere loud support becomes silent maternal tragedy.

With mechanic conviction he gave his flag a kiss
and followed his king into the ultimate human abyss.
But when he lost his legs, he also lost his simplicity.

But nothing comes for free; tell me:

Don’t you wonder why happiness has to burn
before a human being will ever learn?
We’re all heavily armed, and no one could harm
a one-man army equipped with eyes and a brain,
yet they prefer to learn from pain and regret.

The road is long and dusty, the vision never clear,
there's cleverly aimed fire that's confusingly near,
And a voice safe inside fails to identify the enemy.

With suppliant urgency the jeopardy unveils,
and transcendental indolence proves hammer and nails
to shut the wooden box and bury our rationality.

So we’re no longer free; tell me:

Track Name: Head over heels
- Head over heels -

Lonely searching for reprieve,
hidden deep inside a concrete shell,
safe from reality there’s a trace of hope.
Shadows dance on mighty walls,
rock-solid and undisturbed they stand and defy the world.
But not time.


And I slip away, the sunlight fades, the candles melt,
for nothing can hold the enemy that can’t be held.
Longing for eternity, but living in a memory.
The moment is gone and in the past,
security is not built to last.

Hopeless searching for reprieve,
hidden deep inside a distant dream,
safe from reality there’s omnipotence.
Tornadoes knock on my forehead,
rock-solid and unperturbed this bone will defy the world.
But not time.

I dreamed of a goddess with long hair.
She turned away and that skull was bare.
Then I heard distant trumpets blow,
I understood, and now I know:

Chorus II:
I need to set sail for the future, let tomorrow come,
on this giant rollercoaster heading for the sun.
The real enemy is all the waste of energy to fear.
I’m breaking steel, spinning the wheel, jumping in head over heels.
Track Name: Unleash the fire
- Unleash the fire -

My lungs burn like fire as I'm running so fast
from this expanding, fatal shadow.
When the sun goes down on this world
there's nothing left to keep us warm.
Like love, like hearty communion,
something to show we're one family.
The fire eye gets close to the horizon,
can anybody stop it now?

My eyes burn like acid as I'm trying to find
the light through toxic haze of progress.
When it has devoured the sun
there's nothing left to keep us warm.
Like good deeds and a snow-white conscience,
and strength unleashed by a common goal.
That portentous veil will cut this world's engine.
Can anybody stop it now?

Light a match, create a glaring spark.
Let a beacon of awakening conquer the human dark.
But so few still know that there's a sleeping volcano in us,
unleash the fire.
Track Name: King for a night
- King for a night -

Black, cold pavement seems to be
leading to eternity,
a world beneath that gloomy cloth in which I feel so free.
No noise, no breeze, just nightly freeze,
no bird to release its ditty.

I inhale cold air, it's scathing me
yet fills my heart with liberty.
Prosperity, security – I'll trade it for autonomy.
No haste, no load, just the remote
rhythmic humming of the city.

Tonight I'm free, no exposing light,
evil seems to sleep.
Tonight I'm free, king for a night.
My kingdom lies in plastic peace.

All too aware that time flies fast,
propelled by turbines vague and vast.
Sun will bring back toil and strain and put me under ball and chain.
The gain is tragic pain.
The overload, it makes me giddy.

Track Name: Odyssey
- Odyssey -

Time, space, and life in between,
a supersonic ride, and everchanging dream.
The cryptic play of chance in a sea
of unknown factors and mystery.
A knight with shield and lance is as mighty as a little baby.
So much wasted drive
in a pointless attempt to conquer life.

Control, the old fairytale for the blind
who chase after a treasure they can never find.
Negative figured climb rapidly,
and war proofs that it defies all strategy.
All nuclear defense just projects a mirage of safety.

So much wasted drive in a foolish attempt
to believe in a giant fraud,
to catch a bird that can't be caught.
A plan like a fruit that will not thrive in life.

Throw away your crown and that self-built throne you won't sit on.
Dig up your thirst for life and your adventure boots.
You can do your best, but you have to understand,
it's an odyssey till the end.
Track Name: The modern way
- The modern way -

Words are spoken just to be denied,
promises broken, too bad I relied.
Another disillusion along the way.

Deeds performed are rendered meaningless
cause no one is there to bear the consequences,
another encounter with my old friend naivety.

So many empty stories told.
It's almost getting old.
Act like a man, but hide if you can
when consequence unfolds.

Clumsy efforts to justify a lie.
Despair sets in as social waves rise up high.
A slippy tightrope walk, and gray bull ride.

When truth reveals your attitude depraved
it's time to evade and to save what can be saved.
Routine in a life of constant seek and hide.

If you step on waver-thin ice
be sure that you can swim.
Action-reaction is not hard to understand,
yet nobody does.

The modern way,
it's martial law today.
Duplicity is a mighty fist, and I'm stuck in a social fray.
Track Name: Business suits and combat boots – Take One
- Business suits and combat boots – Take One -

Hey, Mr. Expensive Suit up there
signing papers all day, you're having fun.
Your hands are always clean
cause you never held a gun.
If you want a war, go fight it yourself.
You and your friends could do some damage.
Conscience starts with an easy frown,
so take your ballpoint pen and lay it down.

Hey, Mr. Soldier down in the trench
shivering and bleeding to death for no one.
Your hand's as red as it gets cause it turned into a gun.
Pity for you, you misled fool
tragically wasting your life all in vain.
Your face shows a constant frown,
so take your rifle and lay it down.
Track Name: Derail
- Derail -

Once there was a mill all alone up on a hill,
her millstone was broken but she never stood still.
So after a year and two million turns
she hadn't milled a single corn.

And once there was a clown who would struggle all in vain
for serious acceptance and for recognition.
So after a life of sad, plastic smiles
he committed suicide.

Every day along the way I shudder and recall these tales,
as I see countless trains of life derail.
Self-directed lies, just a vain enterprise
cause this life works by a simple scheme.
In the end, I know, the truth will show
but a broken dream.
Track Name: Different roads
- Different roads -

So, another sad scene through glasses of green,
one more goodbye.
A point we've all been before, a fate so unsure
and the big desperate "why?".
When the world calls
we must heed the harsh tone of time.
Tear down these old, familiar walls
and find your path apart from mine.

Grey, familiar clouds cast shadows and doubts
as you start to reflect:
Although we do our best, birds leaving the nest
don't always come back.
When the world calls
there's sweet potential despite threat.
But when the final curtain falls
it's the taste of stale regret.

But today we're going separate ways.
Right now it doesn't seem to make sense.
There are different roads that we all must take,
and they may cross again.

The self-evident past is precious at last
like a treasure we keep.
The presence may fade, but memories stay
and uncertainty.
When the world calls
something is always left behind.
Venture today, the might haul
is a new chapter in time.


It's a life-sized truth, it's more than rhyme,
it's no crime to cry.
Changes hurt but signify the essence of life.
Don't ask why, I would lie if I tried to tell you
"everything will be just fine".

Track Name: Reinvented
- Reinvented -

Look at him, what is it that you see?
A monstrous portrait of human tragedy,
a shadow of what he used to be,
the ugly face of consequence.

Among the pieces of his shattered faith
he sits in a black hole counting the days
since he'd lost himself in a horrible past.
A grim experience.

And it's more than just a single case,
it's about you and me, an entire race.
When life strikes hard it's mostly unjust.
Some get back up, some die in the dust.
Everything must cease.
Reduced to memories the old must leave
until a new status is achieved.

Look at him, what is it that you see?
A frightening portrait of time and agony,
the creation of a harsh reality
that's inflexible as steel.

A life under uncertainty's dark coat
brings more than just one bump in the road.
It's a poison with a lethal antidote.
That's a part of this binding deal.


"We are who we are",
whoever said that probably wasn't thinking.
Every day is a whole gale and potentially the last
for countless ships that are sinking.
But that's not the end, every loss is a gain.
Reinvent his smile.
He'll be fine and better each time.
Track Name: The end
- The end -

We fear the conclusion we all have to face,
persistently we try to search in vain for answers to the end.
Something opens our perception, let's defenses fall down.
A moment can change it all.
But will it be the closure that we want?

Something makes the fabrics of what we believe
entangled and twisted to see that we're not the same.

So why is a faith so related to death,
and why can't our lives be the key to guide us through and pave a better way?
Tell me what there is to lose when we accept what we know,
can all that we hoped be in vain?
We owe a death, a closure in the end.


Something's gotta break it, something's gotta make us whole.
The pain that makes this feeling takes us home.