Interlinc has posted an article written directly by Jon Foreman about the lead single, "Mess of Me." Here it is in it's entirety:
"He not busy being born is busy dying." - Bob Dylan
"You were born a white man in mid-twentieth century industrial America. You came into the world armed to the teeth with an arsenal of weapons. The weapons of privilege, racial privilege, sexual privilege, economic privilege. You wanna be a pacifist, it's not just giving up guns and knives and clubs and fists and angry words, but giving up the weapons of privilege, and going into the world completely disarmed. Try that." - Ammon Hennessy
Lyrically the song is yearning for abundant life to spring from past mistakes. The song attempts to explore the darkest parts of the human animal and transcend them, rising above these gloomy moments to find true life. If you're Freud, you call these darker urges the death drive. If you're St. Paul, you talk about doing the things you don't want to do. Whatever you call them, these dark places destroy us if we leave them unchecked. I feel that tension everyday, between the right and the wrong, between life and death. And yet there is no easy path to freedom from self. It’s a narrow road and few find it. We've all thought about the quick fix: that special something/someone that could take the pain away. Yet the problems in my life are much bigger than any temporary solution. We die a little everyday- physically, spiritually; we are in sorry shape. Ain't no drug to make me well. Ain't no drug that can relieve me from the monster of myself. Ain't no one to blame. But my decision is made. I want to follow this through... I want to spend the rest of my life alive.
This tune has lived several lives all revolving around the guitar hook. It started out as a song called "I Saw Satan (Fall Like Lightning)" I wrote it a couple years back when I was stealing heavily from scripture. We dragged it into the studio with Charlie Peacock for a week of recording at Big Fish Studios and came out with a really great bridge. Then we wrote a new chorus, called the song "There Ain't No Drug" and built the verse lyrics around the new chorus. We made the bridge the chorus after that. (And at this point I was about as lost as you, dear reader. These are the limitations of having no limitations!) So we stepped away from this song. We knew it was a great one, we were just too inside it. When we came back to it we realized that we were really close... we just needed the final push- so we re-tracked everything at Mike's place. Tim was the champion of this tune: lifting it from one phase to the next, never giving up on the riff. I'm really proud of Tim for pushing through till the final version that ended up on the record.
^That's is an interesting read, for sure. "Mess of Me" definitely seems to be a labor of love from the Switchfoot boys. I for one will certainly be listening to this song with much more appreciation than I already do bestow upon this song. :)
Note: Be sure to catch the live acoustic show on Charlotte, NC's WEND radio station here, at 11:30 - noonish, EST.