Cass McCombs tells the story here of US soldier Bradley Manning, who later transitioned to Chelsea Manning. The American army whistleblower was convicted by court-martial in July 2013 and sentenced to 35 years in prison, after disclosing to WikiLeaks nearly three-quarters of a million classified or sensitive documents.
"With politics, sometimes it needs to shoved in people's faces, other times people like myself have to use more subtle means of revolutionizing people," explained McCombs to Uncut. "With that song I just wanted to get away from a political song that was preaching to the people. I just wanted to tell a story - it's a biographical song, it could be about anyone, it just happens to be about Chelsea Manning."
McCombs premiered the song on the Democracy Now News Hour in 2012, a year before Bradley Manning's trial.
The Flaming Lips' "Do You Realize??" was named in March 2009 the official Rock Song of Oklahoma. Four years later, Oklahoma's governor Mary Fallin pulled the tune as the state's official rock song in a move her office said had more to do with priorities than musical taste.