“Murder, grief and sorrow:” Ojay share track-by-track insights into their new album ‘The Ride’

It’s a rare treat when a band offers a behind-the-scenes peek at their creative process, but that’s exactly what we got when Ojay delivered a walk-through of their latest album, offering fans a glimpse into the joy and inspiration behind the music.

Perth four-piece Ojay detail the epic tale behind their new album ‘The Ride’ — an odyssey of characters ‘The Arsonist’ and ‘The Anarchist.’ For many great bands, the catchiness of a given hook or chorus often belies what is the true, sometimes bleak meaning of a song.

It’s a bait-and-switch approach to songwriting that has been employed by the likes of Paramore and Two Door Cinema Club, and is put to masterful use by Ojay. Released earlier this year, The Ride is — on its surface — an ode to pop-punk euphoria, but the lyricism behind it is less cheery than its earworm refrains might suggest. It’s the sort of complex songwriting that only a well-oiled band could pull off, with The Ride spanning heavy topics around grief and mortality atop production that’s equally suited to the dancefloor.

Ojay new album 'The Ride'
Credit: Press


A concept album exploring the highs and lows of life in Perth, the album follows the characters of The Arsonist and The Anarchast, with each track serving as a continuation of their story. For a run-through of how this epic story was constructed, we sat down with Ojay for a track-by-track guide through their sophomore album The Ride.

Ojay press image new album 'The Ride'
Credit: Press

Take a deep dive into an album that “covers all the ground you could ask for” with Ojay’s complete track-by-track insights below, and head here to listen to four-piece’s new album The Ride.     

I Don’t Care

The short, fast, hard-hitting opening track is almost like a prologue to the story. It touches on that toxic side of yourself that you’re often too scared to acknowledge. It also introduces the first ambiguous “character” of the story – The Anarchist.


This one begins to fully explore the narrative of The Ride. It introduces us to our female lead, The Arsonist – a rebellious woman with a symbolic obsession with fire, a recurring theme throughout the record. The song outlines her love/hate abusive relationship, and her coping mechanism in arson and substance abuse.

Burning Bright

This song is a direct continuation of the previous track, in which the inner turmoil of her abusive relationship culminates in only one solution – taking out her abuser and setting the world on fire.

These Kids

While These Kids is an anthem about Ojay’s friends – past and present, yearning for meaning and chasing dreams, it also pursues the story of The Ride. The Arsonist, with nothing to lose, set out to watch the world burn, recruits a legion of likeminded, disenfranchised youth. Along the way she encounters The Anarchist, who fall in love over their shared ideology of anti-establishment.

Blue Tongue

Blue Tongue is The Anarchist’s first chance to speak his mind – a solemn love-poem for The Arsonist, armoured in fast punk power chords and slamming drums. He swears he’ll never be the man she left behind.

Time Moves A Little Slower Here

A deep dive into the reality of living in an isolated place like Perth. Once the curtains are drawn are the constant parties really all they’re cracked up to be? The Anarchist and The Arsonist struggle to find meaning in the mundane moments.

Error 404 & Untitled Love

A punk song followed by a pop song. You always want what you can’t have. The spark is gone, too much too soon, and The Anarchist cuts it off with her, followed by immediate regret. An explosion of love followed by confusion and loneliness.

Ecstasy Legacy

For better or worse, a huge part of our lives leading up to writing this record was drug-use. Sometimes every night of the week taking MDMA, real abuse stuff. When you have that much of that kind of substance running through your body the line between real and imaginary gets blurred real quick. It’s hard to tell if the love you experience for a person is real or manufactured. That’s what this song is about, and also what our two characters here are experiencing.


Along with the previous track, Misery is part of the slow descent of the vibe of the record. These last few tracks really belt out the inevitable grief that’s been building since I Don’t Care. Misery is The Anarchist realising that he became exactly what he swore he wouldn’t, letting down his girl, and also introduces a recurring dream of his – the suicide of his love.

Carpe Noctem

I went to see a stadium concert, and immediately came home and was inspired to write the chorus to this song. The “Arsonist” of my life at the time had asked me to write a song about the way we lived our lives, and so Carpe Noctem happened. From our chain-smoking to the near-death experience we had in a rolling car crash, this song really explores our lifestyle at the time. A perfect reflection for The Anarchist’s story, too.

Mr Man

This was the first song I wrote for our sophomore album before the first album was even released. I was always extremely inspired by songs like Bohemian Rhapsody, Welcome to the Black Parade, Jesus of Suburbia, and American Pie. So I wrote a little multi-part song with a story about a girl. A year later I met a girl, and before I knew it the story I experienced with her was the exact same thing I wrote in my little multi-part song. It felt like life imitating art. It was so bizarre and I knew I had to turn it into an album.

This song has 5 distinct sections, each representing one of the 5 stages of grief. It is written from The Arsonist’s perspective as she tries to make sense of The Anarchist’s betrayal of her. She blames him and the world for her state of depression, which juxtaposes his perspective of gratitude for his life in the previous track. This song and the whole album ultimately comes to a climax when his dream from Misery comes true – she takes her own life.

The Ride

If I Don’t Care was the prologue to the story, then The Ride is the epilogue. This song was written solely from my experience with a girl – my own “Arsonist”, which inspired the story of this entire record. I really wanted to wrap it up into one song and so the song ended up being 8 minutes long. It wasn’t until the rest of the album was written that I realised this song is the perfect bookend for The Anarchist’s story. I have always imagined this song as a eulogy spoken alone at The Arsonist’s grave, when all was said and done.