Vocalist Gage Speas takes us track by track through TO SPEAK OF WOLVES' new album for Solid State Records, Find Your Worth, Come Home.
This one is about my parents’ divorce and how I felt after it all happened. My mother lives in Oregon and my father lives in New Mexico, so I always felt that I could never satisfy either of them because I really never saw them. I talk about the disappointment they felt when I dropped out of high school to start touring. It was more of a “Well, you did this to me, so now I'm going to do this to you” kind of thing. But there is a real sense of hope in this song, too, because even though they gave up on each other, that doesn't mean that I will let that happen to me.
“Stand Alone Complex”
This song deals with a few different things. It's about how I was an atheist for a long time. So in the song, I'm questioning everything that I'd previously believed about God, like why good people suffer and why my parents got divorced. Pretty much, “Why me?” I felt like I did all these things for God and yet my life still fell apart. I was extremely blunt with this song. I blatantly ask my mom to come back home. The line says, “Mom, come home when you can. I swear dad has changed, he's still a good man. If I'm wrong, I'll hold my head high. I'll let God spit in my face.” Basically, what I'm talking about is since my life is already a wreck, then it wouldn't even matter if God spat in my face. Another awesome thing about this song is that Micah Kinard of Oh, Sleeper did guest vocals. He is my mentor and go-to dude. That dude has put me back on my feet many times. That was a dream come true having him sing on that song. Corey's stoner metal riff at the end is so awesome!
When I first heard this song, I absolutely hated it! I thought it sounded too weird. I didn't even want it on the record. Since the timing was weird, it was super hard to sing. But once I started tracking vocals, I fell in love with it! This one talks about a failed relationship. Someone is walking out of your life, but you love them so much you still hope for the best. I'll never understand the female species.
“Broken Birds” was a lot of fun to record. I remember Matt McClellan and I were tracking it really early, at about 7:00 or 8:00 a.m. The first time I heard the chorus, it sounded haunted in some way. It has that siren noise going off that reminded me of an alarm. The song is about how our generation lacks self worth. It's about watching someone you love just stay stagnant and how you don't want to leave them behind, but there is nothing you can do until they realize what they are worth.
“A Simple Thought That Changed Everything”
The song is about the void that everyone one has in their life, how you feel like there is no God in the sky, that your prayers go unheard or like you’re praying to a brass Heaven and all your prayers just bounce off and never reach God’s ears. I felt like that for a long time. My all-time favorite lyrics I’ve ever written are in this song. They say, “The crown on my head won't fit, my sword is dull from the drag. I am the wounded carried, I’m not carrying the wounded.” I wrote that back in high school and always loved it. My good friend Zach Tobin who plays in Barrow wrote the first half to the chorus. That was awesome, because I know Zach had the same struggle I had. The best part of this song, though, is when Corey sings at the end. Cuts you like a knife! When we all heard this song mastered, we freaked!
This song was so much fun to record. It was one of the first songs we wrote for the record. We did some demos with our buddy Steven Price at Pearl St. Studios a while back; this was one of the songs we did. After I wrote the lyrics to this song, I realized I was being really personal with my lyrics. It's about how my parents raised me one way, but then they went back on everything they ever taught me and my siblings. I talk about a few different things in this song, but mostly about all my greatest fears, like my brothers not believing in Christ, how I feel like my dad is extremely lonely even though he is engaged, my little sister being confused because everything she was ever taught went right out the window and finally my mother never forgiving herself.
“Je Suis Fini”
This song was the first I ever recorded with the band. I've changed the lyrics to this song a lot. I was never satisfied with them. I thought of the chorus in the shower when we were at the studio. This is one of my favorite songs on the record! It's about being who you were born to be.
Oh, man, this song. Well, for the music aspect of it, I have never argued with Aaron (Kisler, guitarist) more in my year of being in this band. We both just wanted what's best for this song. I would sing something one way, and he wouldn't like it. He would write a guitar part for it, and I wouldn't like it. So we both made sacrifices, and when we heard this song mastered he and I were so proud of it. We both looked at each other and were like, “Dude, you rule!” I rewrote the lyrics to this song so many times. This song talks about how I didn't have the heart to tell my dad I knew my mom left. I watched her drive away with my little sister. This song kills me. Sorry, dad…
This song is about me never getting to say goodbye to my grandfather before he died. It makes me feel helpless.
This was one of the first songs we wrote for the record. It's about me letting go of everything that had happened to me. It's about making peace with God, and realizing my worth. You can't base God off of other people’s actions, you have to find it for yourself or else it'll never mean anything. The ending of this song is so heavy!
This song was the hardest to record. It’s about my two of my best friends name Levi (Levi The Poet) and Bree's father killing himself. I remember talking to Bree super-late at night when I got the idea to write the song. She and Levi told me I could do it. Aaron wrote pretty much everything in this song.
The piano part of this song tears me apart. I wrote so many lyrics for this song, but when it came time to record I ended up only using the first two lines. Then, McClellan would hit record and let me rant. This is the best song on the record. I was so stoked to have Levi and Bree both share their heart on this song. I know it took a lot for them to talk about their dad, but they’re what makes this song so powerful. alt