Track-By-Track: A Plea For Purging

July 06 2010, 8:59 AM EDT By AltPress

Frontman ANDY ATKINS tells the stories behind each song on A PLEA FOR PURGING’s The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell.

The Eternal Female
We chose this song as the lead off track because it really sets the tone for the album. It states what you are about to encounter for the next 40 minutes of your life. This is a call out to the wolves hiding among us all, trying to profit off of our naivety. I’ve opened my eyes to the world around me, and I’ve found that all men have a motive, whether they claim it to be pure or not. This song is the end of our silence and the beginning of our fight.

Sick Silent America
Aaron [Sprinkle, producer] came to us with this song. He set out to write one of the fastest, most pissed-off songs on the album, and I think he accomplished it. When I heard the demo, I knew I already had most of the lyrics to it. I keep a notepad open on my Blackberry where I just compile random thoughts, phrases and verses that come to me. Tons of things set off ideas or inspire me. A lot of times, I'll be at the movies or in conversation with a friend and something will be said that sparks something in me. I had a lot of the lines in this song pieced together when I heard the music. I also drew influence on this song from William Blake's book The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell, where we also took the name for the album.

This was one of the first sets of lyrics I wrote for the album.  It really was just sort of a journal entry to myself. We had caught some bad flack for something completely stupid. I was just pissed at the world. All I could think about was that we’re all in this world together, and it’s really hard to get through it alone. We’re supposed to be strengthening each other, but most of the time, I just feel pulled down by those that put me under a microscope. That's no way to share this world. All I could think was, “If I were God, I'd wipe the earth clean. If everyone had pissed all over everything I gave them with their own selfishness, I wouldn't have grace for them.” Good thing I'm not God, huh?

Golden Barriers
I have to point out that this song has a couple of the heaviest riffs on the album. I’m really stoked to jam this one live. With that being said, this song is basically about where I am in my life right now. The opening line, “Fame is a lonely world” is kinda funny because, as most of you know, we aren't the biggest band out there. But I’ve found that this fight to make it to the top, this ever going competition to get higher up the ladder than our peers is not for me. I'm at a point in my life where I’m over playing the games. I don't have anything to lose. If this band were to end today, I had a blast and loved it. I fear nothing that this industry or world can throw against me. I’ll be honest with my music and more importantly, with my life. The song was tentatively titled “The Torch Runners.” I like the idea that we’re here to carry the torch. We’re doing what we can to keep this alive.

The Fall
Well, this song is a big step for us. This is the first song of our career that drops a real singing, “hook” chorus. It was a big jump that we were scared but excited to take. The five of us definitely have a love for melody. Our music used to be so much more melodic than it is now, but it still had rough, gritty vocals. When our music started going heavier and less melodic, we still wanted to keep that aspect of melody in our jams. Blake [Martin, guitar] had been talking about singing some on the album, so we tried it out here and liked the outcome so much that we added singing to other songs. Lyrically speaking, “The Fall” is me realizing that I’m falling from my faith in God and that I need to connect with him on a real level and not blindly follow the religious B.S. that's being thrown out to the masses.

And Weep
This is the very first set of lyrics I wrote for the album.  I started writing this record in a very pissed-off state. I was angry. I was probably coming from a very judgmental place. Throughout the [creation of the album], I realized that a lot of the problem was in me, in us.  We’re just as much a part of the problem in this world [as anyone else]. This album speaks out about marketing and profiting off the name of God. Men are becoming idols and God is being sold.  “And Weep” was my first thoughts in this mindset. I really wanted to say, “One eight seven, murder in the first degree.” I love hip-hop and rap. That line was totally inspired by mid ’90s West Coast hip-hop.

Trembling Hands
Lyrically speaking, I think this song encompasses what we’re trying to say on this album. For those that have lost hope, continue to search for truth. Know there are people in this world who are always going to try and get something out of you. Trust no one but the God that gave you life. Your life is no one's but your own. Live free.

This song really took a turn from its original demo. Months before the majority of the record was written, Blake and I got together and demoed it out. I’d written some really angry, somewhat childish lyrics. I was just really angry and I wanted everyone to know it. The whole feel of the song was, “Hey, I’m gonna say what I want, and if you don't like it, I don't care.”  To be honest, that's probably how I still feel, but there's just a better, more mature way of saying that, right? So after a second demo of the song, everyone asked me to rewrite the lyrics. I was reluctant at the time, but I’m way more pumped on the new feel of the song. It came out to be a real honest song about the pedestal I feel we've been put on. We aren't really looking to lead anyone, we aren't trying to become someone's role model. It’s just the role we've been given when we signed up to be in a band. In this song, I'm saying, "Hey, I'm nothing special, but I'll do my best to be honest with you and to be there for you in any way I can."

The Jealous Wings
We dove right in on this one. The singing parts on the album up until this point were really getting us all excited about the new dynamic of the band. Blake had come to the band with the idea of doing a song with all clean singing. We jokingly call this our “ballad.” It made sense for Blake to write his own lyrics on this song because he did all the singing. Our lyrical writing styles are a bit different [from each other], but I think Blake did an amazing job of giving an honest account of what we’re trying to say. He really tied together the concept of the nine other songs and made this album a concise thought. We’re excited on how this song came out. It’s a lot different for us, but that’s exciting.

The New Born Wonder
This is for sure the most introspective song on the album. After nine songs of being pissed off at others, I have to turn the gun on myself, you know?  When you let the world affect your own mentality or your relationship with your creator, you turn into a bitter cynic. I've learned you can't blame your downfalls and your valleys in life on others. I can only answer for myself and you can only answer for you. I let my anger and distrust in man affect my faith in God. After many years in this twisted music industry and many years of seeing God be turned into an article of commerce, I’ve become very jaded. I'm not the positive, fun, happy kid I always used to be. This song is my realization of that, and my plea to accept grace and find joy and keep it despite what’s going on around me. alt