“I don’t think we really got there,” admits Perkins, “so we just went back in” and the strung-out sessions resumed. According to Champagne, he caught band members “nodding off in the corner” during some of the Ritual sessions, and he’d yell, “Dude, wake up!” The engineer continues: “Everybody knew what was going on.”
"I love that song, especially nowadays ..."
The songs on Ritual were decidedly more progressive than those found on Nothing’s Shocking, with Navarro’s innovative hooks and aggressively paced power chords coupled with Avery’s imposing, accelerative basslines and punctuated by Perkin’s mathematically flawless, tribal drumwork and Farrell’s intense and singular vocals.
Ritual famously begins with the sensual voice of actress Cindyana Santangelo, a woman Farrell says he met “one of the few times I was in rehab.” Santangelo spoke Spanish, Farrell explains, so he asked her if she would recite something for the LP. “I gave her what to say, wrote it down -- and honestly, then she had to go to her parents, because she was like, ‘Oh no,’” the singer says. “I said, 'This is going to be recorded, so make sure that you’re not saying something stupid.’ She came in with a piece of paper that her mom wrote out, and she went into the booth.”
Fans know Santangelo takes a pregnant pause between saying, in Spanish, “We have more influence over your children than you do” and “But we want them.” Farrell says that was not intentional.
“If you listen to her, she’s talking, and then she stops, because she got nervous for a second,” Farrell says, of the unintended pause. “At that point, she looked down at the paper, to read the rest of it.” Adds Perkins: “It was the perfect dramatic pause you couldn’t produce, and it had to happen organically.”
On Ritual, there was a rare authenticity to Farrell’s poetic lyricism, probably because the situations and scenarios he was writing about actually happened, and the individuals he described in his songs actually existed. Take the lyrics for “No One’s Leaving,” in which Farrell urges for racial inclusion by recounting how his sister was disowned by their parents after having a “gorgeous” child with a black man.