Dave first brought the opening riff into rehearsal and we immediately started jamming on it to try out different feels and permutations. Rather than write the whole song at once, Dave likes to write a lot of little bits and then expand on them with the whole band. He gets an idea in his head of where he might want the song to go, but leaves it open to everyone's input.
We were going for a Tool vibe in the first verse so I wrote a real minimalist keyboard part and Doug layed down some Danny Carey-esque tribal drums. The vocals floated nicely over everything as we built up to the frantic transition to the chorus. We also wanted to throw the listener for a loop by slipping in a small key change in the chorus.
We always treat our verses differently, and we were able to use the frantic transition riff as the main section of the second verse where John and I play intertwining guitar/key duet. In rehearsal, Dave first tried the long high note before the bridge, in a funny, Bruce Dickinson epic kind of way. We tend to come up with ridiculous working titles for our songs, and we called this one "Pumpin Iron Dave" combining Dave's Iron Maiden moment with his love for lifting weights.
After playing around with different rhythms and feels, we wanted to really slam through a heavy bridge section and propel the song into its second half. We had a really cool sequence at the end where we layered the first verse keyboard part over several key changes and we couldn't find a good ending. We tried a bunch of things, but nothing seemed to work. About a week before we headed into the studio, we still didn't have an ending. By chance, we were hanging out in Dave's bedroom, when we tried the chord progression from the first verse on a really huge string sound. It sounded amazing, and we knew we finally had an ending.
The lyrics deal with a lot of the uncertainties going on in the world right now, and fit perfectly with the roller coaster ride of emotions within the song. It has a real apocalyptic sound, which is what inspired the title "The Reaping Tide".
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album - right here!