Choke

Album: The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here (2013)
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Songfacts®:

  • Guitarist Jerry Cantrell explained the song's meaning to AllMusic:"That song could relate to your best friend, your girlfriend, your brother, or business partner. It's not necessarily saying, 'Splitting.' It's essentially assessing, 'Where are we at here? Is this working? Is it not working?' It's keeping the communication open to figure that out. It speaks to that.

    "At the same time, I think this is a common theme through all of our work," he continued. "When a lot of people get hung up on the negativity and the darker elements of the songs, that's not the end of it. It's more like, "Okay, where do we go? We can go this way or that way? Where are we going here?" There's an opportunity to steer it back on to the road. There's always the urge to take it off into the fu--ing railing. You know what I mean? That's fu--ing life. It's just a quick twitch into the fu--ing headlights, or you're like, 'No, I'm not going to do that. Let's bring it back on to the road.'. That song speaks to all of those elements."
  • Cantrell shared with All Music how producer Nick Raskulinecz was forced to put his foot down on this song. "He took that song down, especially in the verses to let it lift in the chorus and B-section. That was his call. We didn't agree with it at first."

    Drummer Sean Kinney added: "I wasn't digging it [Laughs]. On all of those previous records, nobody ever said anything in our whole career. I guess we're fortunate for that. We weren't really open to that. With Nick, he had some suggestions. With how we get along, we listened."

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