KC: We don't like to use the word "concept." We think "theme," because "concept" makes it sound as if all the eggs are in that basket. In the writing, there were common threads, and we just said, "There are so many common threads, let's string it all together." As opposed to setting out and being like&ldots;
AB: The title track was one of the first songs written, and that was when&ldots;You've got a band that has been around for 15 years, and it's our seventh studio album. I think we're happy with every record that we've put out, but the challenge remains, when you're going to do another new record, "What are we going to do differently?" "How are we going to make this the same, yet different?" Y'know? The essence of us still there, but have it be exciting for us and the listener.
KC: We were doing it in such a short time frame that as we were writing, we were doing simultaneous stuff. We were thinking about, "Where are we going to shoot the video?" "Where are we going to shoot the record cover?"
AB: "What's going to be the first song?"
KC: Normally, we write over a longer period, but we just shut everything down, and I went to look at this funeral home to see if it would be a good spot for the video and to shoot the cover. When I went to look at it in the afternoon, there was a body in the casket. We had already written the song, and I looked at the casket, and the guy had a Patriots jersey on. He's in his 80s, and I'm like, "This dude must have been a cool guy to hang out with." And I knelt down and said a prayer because I felt disrespectful. The whole song was about your last hurrah, the final party of your wake, and here I felt like I was kind of stepping on this guy's last few moments of peace. As I was kneeling there saying a prayer to the guy, I just kind of thought, "I wonder what this guy's whole life&ldots;.I wonder, we've written a song about this last day, but maybe we should trace it back." A lot of the ideas we had already been working on were songs, some of them about our grandparents and stuff, so they fit into the timeline of what this guy's life might've been like in the 1940's and 1950's. We maybe had three or four other songs started that were already right in that idea. That's when we decided to say, "Let's keep going with this." And it made the writing process easier, because it gave us some direction.
AB: We've always written from a standpoint of family. That's always been a huge influence in the band's music anyways. So that, by far, wasn't a stretch for us anyway. There's a lot of our personal lives wrapped up in the character.
KC: It's a combination of a lot of stories throughout our lives, and a lot of relatives. James' grandfather came to America from Ireland, fought in Korea, wasn't even a US citizen, got wounded, got a Purple Heart, still didn't get citizenship.
AB: Married his sweetheart.