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“The main theme at the very beginning, which is also the chorus, stemmed from another song – it might have even been The Enemy Inside. That song had a lot of parts originally, and arranging them required some rewrites, pulling things out and shifting them around. As we were writing it, we had the song break down into this whole other section, and that became The Bigger Picture.
“To me, this is one of the more melodic songs on the album, and it shows off our prettier musical side – you hear that on songs like Surrounded. There’s a certain musical chemistry that Jordan and I have – even back when we were working on Liquid Tension Experiment – and I really hear it on the verses of this song. It’s so beautiful to me. Our stuff doesn’t always have to be dark and mysterious.
“The song is a great centerpiece of the album. It breaks up the flow and gives you a chance to kind of collect your thoughts, almost as if you were watching a movie: You had your opening; you were excited by the first few scenes, which got you into the story; and then there’s this big, cool, character-changing part, which is The Bigger Picture. After that is the rest of the movie. Even though this isn’t a concept album, it moves along in much the same way.
“There’s a particular kind of ostinato part that allows the song to build, especially when you hear the chord changes moving by. I love playing that role – it’s definitely a Pete Townshend thing to do. There’s also a moment in the song where I play a melody – it’s not really a guitar solo – and on the repeat, a harmony line comes along. That’s a good example of us keeping something as it was written. It had a very soulful feel to it, and after I did it I thought, ‘You know, it’s not going to get any better than that.’ There was no reason to overthink it.”