As a songwriter, I am always working on something. After completing the songs for "birth, love, hate, death" I started considering what I should write about for the next CD. Typically I like to have a focus or theme for my collection of tunes.
For example, our first CD, "My Name is Thomas..." was a rock opera totally about faith and reason, meaning and purpose. Our second CD, "mostly True Stories" was a collection of songs about dogma, religion and ideology. Our next CD, "Out of Many, One" was more political in nature. These were the things that were on my mind when I wrote those songs and albums.
Our upcoming release, "birth, love, hate, death" is another rock opera and this time the focus is love. Yes, it took me 4 albums to get the subject most bands start with and never leave! One reason I waited that long was because, in many ways, love is a far more complex a subject than, faith, reason, politics, religion and ideology; I was not previously ready or qualified to write an album dedicated to love.
I may still not be ready or qualified, but I could no longer put it off when I came to the key understanding that love is more than a feeling - it's a behavior. Anyone can claim to "feel" love for another and then behave miserably. This was a key understanding and led me to write a story where the characters clearly come to understand that if they love someone they must sacrifice if necessary for that someone; that is what they must do. It's what you do for love that matters, and what you do better be the right thing, not the selfish thing, not the controlling thing, not the jealous thing and not the vengeful thing. THE RIGHT THING, the thing that is good for the person you love even if it is not thing you want selfishly. No one owes you love after all.
My favorite lyrics always express doubt or some tragic sentiment; in this album the lines that are central (to me) are "I love you so much, I'd risk losing you; I can't do nothing except what's right by you..." (From "Better Man")
Also, in "Honestly," the character declares "I don't know what love is" and "I don't know what I'm doing." Exactly. This is my attempt at telling the truth, the best that I know it.
I will be writing more about the songs I've written in the past but I did want to mention that the next CD will be different, though related; the focus will be family, as if I know anything useful on the subject.