“Relevant Letters” is the only song on the album where the “devil” himself appears. The rest of the songs have specific entities, with a few exceptions. “Fight Through The Night” is a demon of anxiety, “Rulebreaker” is set in a house that the girl lives in, and a physical manifestation of Depression always stands by her holding her hand. That song actually starts with the protagonist knocking on the door. The dialogue of the song comes from the protagonist and the girl. “War Paint”, she is in a line with a number of other people basically being spoke to by the sergeant/general. (Spoiler alert, this person actually turns out to be the closest thing represented as Jesus in the album. You learn this by the end of the song.) The battalion is being readied for actual physically represented spiritual warfare, like on a battlefield. The first chorus is the first battle, it goes great, and in the second the general is basically saying the war isn’t over, so be ready. Then after the second chorus, the girl is lost off the battlefield. The sergeant comes and finds her and uses language like “You’ve aged how I’ve designed you, but you’re still so young at heart – You’ve ended on the wrong path so I’ll walk with you to the start.”
“De-Vision” is EXACTLY about science and religion. Now to give you a bit of insight about me, I love love love science. I very much so believe that science and religion only work to the fullest if they coincide, not contradict. Some of this song moves around in subject matter – some of it criticizes arguments on both sides, some criticizes closemindedness, some criticizes churches (we need less lights, less camera, more action.) The main nifty thing about the song is that (other than the intro verses and ending verses) all of the lines that are spoken could be coming from EITHER the scientist or the priest. The song really ends in more of a consensus that mystery and uncertainty is on both sides, yet beauty is found within the unity.
So your interpretation of “Visual Creatures” was awesome to read. Super cool insight because it’s totally different than I’ve ever seen it, and I MEAN it when I say it’s awesome. The song is actually focused on lust. This is the most vulnerable I’ve ever been in a song or my writing. Throughout the process of writing the album, I was trying to figure out who this girl in the story is. I couldn’t really figure it out… The closest I got was that it was a manifestation of many different women who have impacted me in my life. This song, as I see it, is a song from my prospective about my battles with lust. It ties in the story with a lot of, if I’m being honest, shameful admittance that I’ve seen this girl – this character – as a victim of my lust. But the song ends in redemption, which was very important for me. I want everyone who listens to this who struggles with their battles concerning lust that they are redeemed. “If the measure of a man is in his stead, then my crops are short and the fields are dead… But there’s a storm ahead.” There’s redemption on the horizon. “I’ve found I’m just Temptation’s whore, but I’m not just a physical creature anymore.”
Dude, you freaking nailed it on “Prophet Margins” being about money! It’s not 100% about money, but focuses a lot on Greed as a spiritual presence. The first bit of the song actually is talking about Fear. Fear appears to the girl as a whisper in her ear. “I can hear your step and feel your breath on the back of my neck.” This is kind of the final battle she has against any personal demons, and Fear was referenced as a greater being in Rulebreaker. So I see Fear as being the root of all of these things, and this main character just owns it. She’s beaten everything else and straight dominates this fool. Haha it gets me hyped just typing this. This is also when the protagonist from earlier in the story appears for the final time. He says to the girl “I see a demon on your back. Are you hear to make a profit? Or are you here to make prophets?” This is effectively where she is no longer being tormented by any of these forces. The part about being thankful was a “on the whim” thing while I was recording the song. It was one of those straight from the heart things. Haha it means more to me than anyone else probably, but it is what it is.
“White Flag” is a band favorite: The scene for it is actually the battlefield from War Paint. There’s noone there. Just her walking amongst it. It’s a barren land, almost a desert. She basically recalls all the battles. She looks in the distance and see’s her Sergeant holding a white flag to represent the end of the battle. This was a pretty open worship song on my end. “Where my words die out is where Your song begins.”
So † or “alt-t” as we call is, is basically where the biggest transformation happens. There is a beggar and a rich man – the voice is coming from the girl now. She has effectively become the “protagonist” for these two people now. She’s now beginning the story for someone elses life.
The story ends with a bunch of voices kind of coming up – we put out a message on the band accounts asking for people to pray for people listening to the album and send us the audio of their prayers. Those fade up, and then Trevor’s father. Fred Floyd, ends the album with a prayer for all listening. Also, the band all sat around a microphone when the album was done and prayed over everyone listening during every track – so no matter what song you’re listening to, there is an audio track deep in the recording of you being prayed for. By us, and by all who sent in their prayers.