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“The movements are named after the fact; that all comes as I’m writing the lyrics. We might feel as though there are certain movements, but we’re not defining them, like, ‘Here’s where they begin and end.’
“Going into it, we have it in our heads that we’re going to write a 20-minute-ish song like this. That way, everybody can be on the same page. One guy doesn’t think we’re writing an intro piece, and another guy doesn’t think we’re doing a five-minute piece – we're all on board.
“The second thing is, we have a vision as to the flow of the song and the bigger picture – pardon the pun – of the song. It starts out with a theme, which actually was a part of The Enemy Inside – this was something I had written a few years ago in Japan. Having that part at the beginning sort of sets the mood, like, ‘All right, this is gonna be an epic.’
“We also had an idea that we know would be a great end piece because it had that kind of vibe to it. It’s a part hat we had written in another part of Asia during the Dramatic Turn Of Events tour. I had archived it, but I remembered that it would make a really great climax to one of our songs. So you have the beginning and the end.
“The middle part, where everybody fades away, and then you have the whole atmospheric thing and then the sound effects, that was also planned out. The idea was to make a big song that doesn’t have a crazy instrumental part in the middle; rather, it does the exact opposite and there’s no band members. It leaves you time to reflect, but then it fools you: It gets nice and dreamy, and then it punches you in the face when the next part comes in with the bass and drums group.
“That beginning, middle and end was all mapped out, and then we had a bunch of other ideas that we had either jammed on or archived, all of these different seeds and pieces. Having the ability to step back and see the flow of the song before it was done really helped with the overall success of the piece.
“I have a bunch of solos, and they all have different purposes. There’s one sort of in the middle where the guitar is really featured; that’s a good example of a seed that I had one day, I wrote it and recorded it on my iPhone, and I archived it and said, ‘If we need a really cool guitar passage, I’m gonna use this.’ It’s a very composed, technical part that weaves in and out of specific chord progressions.
“Then there’s a more jamming-type solo that’s in the 6/8-like big Queen groove thing – again, Jordan and I are trading. That’s when I just busted out the wah-wah and did the no-holds-barred thing, more raw, more obnoxious, more rock ‘n’ roll.
“In the ending, it’s a whole different mindset. My job is to be the final thing you hear on the album, and I’m going to carry it off into the sunset. I wanted to make it big melodically and have the kind of climax where you really felt things came to a definite point. I’m so happy at how this piece turned out. We’re all pretty proud of it.”