IN YOUR HONOUR
"The song itself was just inspired by going out on the campaign trail and experiencing such a strong sense of devotion and belief. People were getting together to make a difference, for the sake of something honourable. It's that overwhelming feeling of connection with something. It could be love, it could be football, it could be music, it could be anything. I'm trying to keep it general so people don't focus on one specific Ithing. It's not political at all."
NO WAY BACK
"I love that song and the record company wanted it be the first single, but to me it sounded too much like a Foo Fighters song. That song's kind of our signature sound and I was afraid that if we were to release that right off the bat then it was too safe and predictable."
"'No Way Back' is another song that I wrote right off the John Kerry campaign trail. It has a lot to do with feeling controlled by a government that you didn't elect. We got a lot of questions when we first released the record because everybody thought the title was dedicated to John Kerry, and it was influenced by that, but it wasn't dedicated to John Kerry. But I kind of denied a lot of the political overtones because I didn't want to step on Green Day's toes or have people think we were a political band and I didn't want us to turn into Rage Against The Machine. By leaving my perspective out of things it made it so general that other people decide their interpretation."
BEST OF YOU
"'Best Of You' is funny because we demoed so many songs for 'In Your Honor', I'd kind of forgotten about 'Best Of You'. I thought we could do better. So it was shelved and it was our manager who came in and said, 'What happened to that 'Best Of You' song?'. So we pulled it out and worked on it a little more. A lot of the songs just start with riffs and melodies and the lyrics come last, but the lyrics came pretty quickly on this one."
THE LAST SONG
"Yeah, let's give everyone something to talk about! (laughs) All I've got to say is that there's a whole lot of people that I love and hate far more than any of the people that you know I know."
"The tricky thing is that most of the demos are instrumental. I may have an idea of the vocal but I don't have any lyrics, so even if I come up with a killer instrumental arrangement but the vocals are like diarrhoea, then it winds up in the trash. Like after I put vocals on 'Free Me' I just knew it was good. At the end of the day, if there's a song that I whole heartedly just don't like then it's not going on the record, even if the other guys are all, 'Yeah!' about it."
THE DEEPEST BLUES ARE BLACK
END OVER END
"Still is probably the first song I ever wrote that comes close to any sort of storytelling. It's about my being a kid, going to the lake by my house on a Saturday morning and seeing all these ambulances and fire trucks because someone decided to kill himself by sitting on the train tracks. When you're a child, you're so naive, you have no idea what's really going on, and you start to explore and find yourself playing with pieces of the....it's a pretty gory story, actually, but it happened."
WHAT IF I DO
"It's an ode to North Carolina. I lived there from 1991- 2002, on the coast where there were these beautiful sand dunes. It's to do with finding yourself by disappearing."
"I'm a huge Zeppelin fan. John Paul Jones is more than just a bass player. He's an arranger, a composer. He came in, listened to the song, put it on piano, played it a few times and it was done."
"Sitting in my control room in a studio that I built with my friends, looking at John Paul Jones, remembering the times I dropped acid listening to 'Going to California', was amazing."
FRIEND OF A FRIEND
"I'd just moved up to Seattle and joined Nirvana. I'd moved in with Kurt in this dirty little apartment. That was the first song I'd ever written on an acoustic guitar with vocal. It gives a nod to the past, where the rest of the record is about looking ahead."
OVER 'N' OUT
"I wrote it five years ago (approximately 2000) and demoed it in my basement. It was an experiment doing something more mellow. One of the things I love about the acoustic record is that there's mics in front of instruments and not a lot between that and the tape. I love it."
ON THE MEND
"It's a simple, easy-feeling song. It was written in London. I wrote it sitting in a hotel room. It's another example of how we'd start with an acoustic guitar, do that first, and then start adding to it."
"It needed a female vocal. I had this Norah Jones record and thought, 'It's her vibe.' When I first told everybody I got the same reaction: 'Norah Jones? That doesn't make any sense.' But I could hear it in my head. After we did it, I thought, 'This is weird, shall we put it on?' and they said, 'That's exactly why we should put it on."
COLD DAY IN THE SUN
"Taylor is a secret weapon. He'd written a song years ago and we tried to record it as a rock track. But it made more sense as an acoustic thing. I love it because it's a feelgood hit."
"Before I recorded it I played at a tsunami benefit in LA. I sat up all night trying to write this song, and it didn't work. I woke up early and started writing lyrics and got it right as the car was coming to pick me up. I was up in the dressing room practising it and Josh (Homme) and I were sharing a room. I said, 'There's a second guitar harmony in this song, try it out.' We played it and I said 'When I record it, you should come down and do it with me.'"
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