It's a true story. Barsuk [Records, which is putting out the record] had hired a courier — who does international stuff all the time and who they had used before — to bring [the album] back from Canada, where I was working on it. And he got to the border and he had all his paperwork and it was all cool, only they turned him away, and they confiscated the drive and gave it to the computer-forensics division of our Homeland Security-type people.
I'm calling it Field Manual because myself and the guy who designed the packaging were looking through all these Army field guides from World War II. And there was one that he found that was really terrifying, actually...It was basically a manual issued by the Army in the late '30s, early '40s, about how to build what we now call an [improvised explosive device] in Iraq or Afghanistan. Like how to hide a bomb in a bed or in a tube of toothpaste. Just terrible stuff, and I started having this feeling of, like, 'Well, we need a new field manual.'
two important questions still remain:
1. What was Walla (or his music) doing in Canada, anyway?
2. When did Walla get all political on us?