Singled Out: Whalers' Battleships
Kyle Rother (guitar): As often happens with our songs, one of the two guitarists (Dan Martin or I) usually brings a rough idea to the table for the rest of the band to build upon or mold into something. In this case, Dan, had this idea for a straight forward song that was structured almost like a pyramid, starting out in one place, building up to a high point, then working back down the other side, like "A-B-C-B-A." In fact, we even called the song "The Nile" to start with because of this. Unfortunately, the song sort of started to sound a lot like "Reptilia" from The Strokes, and while we're fans, we didn't want to just create a similar, and ultimately inferior, song. Regardless, we took it to the rest of the album writing sessions at a ranch in South East Texas, in a small camphouse in the middle of 1,000 acres of land. After demoing over the course of a day the idea just wouldn't take hold, so the idea just fizzed out.
As the idea was slowly dying, and various members took their obligatory smoke breaks, I was trying to help our bassist, Amir, figure out the chorus section. All of a sudden he hit upon the bass progression and it was like clockwork from there. My guitar fell perfectly in line with it, and the drums easily fell into place as well. The idea of the pyramid-like structure stuck, and ironically the hardest part of the song's composition ended up being getting Dan's guitar back in the mix in such a way that he wasn't just unnecessary clutter. That finally came about while we were recording when he hit upon these great long sustained notes that drift throughout the verses echoing the primary bass notes.
Gus Smalley (vocals, lyrics): Lyrically, this song is a celebration of truth triumphing over secrecy, darkness and public manipulation. In recent years the public has learned about the Iraq war WMD coverup, the NSA spying on American people, massive bank fraud (and the subsequent government bailout/pardon of the perpetrators), and much much more shadiness. The people with big money, whether it's private entities or governments, have been using that money to spread information and disinformation in order to manipulate the public into agreement. In the case of the government, they are using our own money to steer us along.
"Battleships" is about the great awakening that is happening right now, where truth is rising to power. Information is getting gout of control, and this song is celebrating that.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album right here!