Soldier was written in Calgary. I wanted to write a song that was geared towards showing appreciation for the sacrifices that soldiers make for their country, and the sacrifices the families make, that have soldiers in them; they can lose loved ones who are fighting for what they believe in. Jasio had written a guitar song that gave me a really strong military feel, and I started to write lyrics and a melody from the view point of benevolence, why someone might choose to spare a life in battle, and what the consequences might be. It was an off and on process writing it over a period of several days in two different locations, first Calgary and then Chicago. I was listening to a lot of Devin Townsend, and Eluveitie at the time.
When we went into Groovemaster Studios in Chicago with producer Johnny K he really helped me make my lyric writing more platonic, so that I was writing for both men and women to listen to the songs. Men and women listen to lyrics differently. Johnny K really opened my mind up to seeing lyrics the way a man would visualize something. The verses in Soldier were really difficult to write for another reason. I was having a tough time conveying the imagery with the musical flow, and telling a complete story from start to finish in such a short period of time. I finally balanced it all out and here are the lyrics for Soldier.
Our fans love it and really connect with it live. We have had a lot of real soldiers coming forward after the show or on social media telling us they felt honored that one of our songs is dedicated to what they are doing out there. “Soldier” will absolutely be on future set lists, we love playing it live.
The video was recorded in an abandoned copper mine just outside of Squamish British Columbia. We rented vintage uniforms and equipment from World War II from a big costuming warehouse in Vancouver. We had the same producer from the 50 Shades of Evil video, Lisa Mann, and she chose the location. The video was shot it all in one day, with some of our last scenes being done as we were running out of battery power for the lights and video cameras while filming in the actual mine. It was a race against time; the angel scenes were done using playback off of an iPhone! The actors were great! I kept some of the costumes and props when the shoot was done.
I don’t live in British Columbia so I had to take the band van on an 11 hour road trip with the guys to get there. Canada has unpredictable weather, and the roads can freeze, even in the middle of summer. We were driving on the backside of a mountain pass with a loaded van, when we hit some black ice. The van did three full rotations sliding forward then slammed back into a forward pitch as we hit the dry pavement again. It was scary as shit! We now keep winter tires on the band van 365 days a year.