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“It was one of those moments when I was down in my studio playing this riff, and the whole song kind of unfolded in my head. I was thinking of the tragedy here in America over the last decade and what greed and stupidity have done to generations of families, in both their ability to make a living and build a life.
“Leading up to writing this song, I must have read 10 books on the economic collapse and how everything led to the crash of 2008. I really developed a historical view of situation and how it went back several administrations; how the lessening of control over Wall Street opened a Pandora’s Box of greed.
“And it’s not fair. It’s not fair to families who are leading good lives, raising families and living the American life, only to get undone by this small group of people who will do anything to make a little more money. This needs to be rescued; it needs to be fixed. The American dream, which is a work in progress, has to be re-dreamt every day. We’re still a young country, but we have to be tweaked, and we have to constantly look out for the nasty elements that are dragging us down.
“I know that’s really heavy, and obviously, I didn’t want the song to be this crushing weight. It turned out to be pretty upbeat and relentless, just powering along. The chorus is this ascending thing with these big chords, and it has a bit of a heartland vibe to it. The verse is quite dreamy. I always say it’s very ‘Joe’-like – a little rough around the edges, not quite defined, and it leans a lot on the delays. If I could only have that in my daily life – a huge digital delay! [Laughs]
“The ride-out is very minimalist. I always think that a guy doing a guitar record would be compelled to solo all the time. But we’re just playing the riff, and there’s power in that. It’s what the song needed, just this big killer riff driving it home.”