Melodies are just honest. They can only be what they are. Words have the capacity for deception. Theyre all full of subtext, and some of them are cliche and overused and vernacular. Theyre tricky. All I can say is, words are tricky.
Most records, you build from the drums and bass up. This one, we started with the vocals in Nashville and recorded them live with just the guitars and tried to make that complete and lovely-sounding without any adornment at all. I really wanted to get something with the vocal that I've never gotten before Armchair Apocrypha.
I'm coming from a place that's more experimental and indulgent already, so for the last 10 years, it's been more like, "How can I defend my own sensibilities by writing a nugget of a little catchy pop song?" That's how I'm stretching myself, by writing something really simple.
I've literally opened it up to suggestions and it's totally chaotic and kind of a bad idea. You don't need the actual feedback to get a sense. When you're showing a song for the first time, people can feel that newness.
Anyway, I'm digressing, but this is just kind of this 10-and-a-half-minute, ambient - you hear cicadas and birds and the wind outside and crickets as I'm swelling the piece. I could never do that on a pop record. I could, but why would I want to be agitating?