To The Blade

Album: Get To Heaven (2015)

Songfacts®:

  • This menacing track sees Jonathan Higgs singing about the ISIS beheadings, in particular the brutal murder of British taxi driver-turned-humanitarian aid worker Alan Henning. "When they killed him, I lost it, totally. I just couldn't believe it," vocalist Jonathan Higgs recalled to NME. "That guy was no ordinary person – he was the dictionary definition of a 'good man.' He had chosen to go out there to help people and they cut his f---ing head off."

    "Somewhere between those two lives I felt like the whole world was getting all too much and I felt like a bomb waiting to go off," he continued. "How can you beat a belief that makes you do those things? How can you fight faith and ideas like that? It's just unknowable."
  • The lyrics, "well you called him a liar, you called him a piece of dirt" refer to the words spoken by the executioner in the horrifying beheading video released to the world with Higgs adding, "In the final seconds, I think he knew everything you were, a plague on the horizon."
  • Bassist Jeremy Pritchard told NME: "We didn't really have any idea of how we wanted the verses to sound. It was almost like Queen's 'Seven Seas of Rhye' - we recorded lots of different ideas, scrapped almost all of them and went for this lo-fi feeling of gaining consciousness rather than multiple arpeggios."
  • Everything Everything debuted this at at the Oval Space in east London on April 9, 2015.
  • Jonathan Higgs explained the song's meaning to The Line Of Best Fit. "It's written as a letter to someone who is close a person who's done something terrible," he said. "Basically, it's three times removed from the person who did the act themselves, and I'm talking to somebody - maybe their son has joined ISIS and is rejected from society or their wife has become a monster - about this feeling of not understanding why what is happening is happening, or how anybody could ever be driven to something terrible."

    "I'm almost trying to comfort them... but there are also bits in the song that suggest that in the right situation anyone would do the same thing, and that's really very scary, but I think it's worth saying," Higgs continued. "It's something people won't consider for a second - that they could be one of these monsters if they were in different circumstances."

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