Civilian Ways

Album: Let The Dominoes Fall (2009)

Songfacts®:

  • Let The Dominoes Fall was East Bay punk band Rancid's seventh studio album.
  • Guitarist Tim Armstrong's brother Greg, who served as a soldier in Iraq, inspired this mostly acoustic number. Armstrong told The LA Timest: "When we went into Iraq, our country wasn't at war, 150,000 military families were. It's hard to talk about, so this is my way of telling my family that I love them. When I played this song for my dad, he was in tears."
  • Armstrong commented on the band's MySpace site that when he hears this song, "I think of my brother Greg sitting in the desert in unthinkable heat as darkness falls. Thinking about how when he gets home he is going to sit there in the old house he grew up in and raise his kids, listen to AC/DC, drink his beer, baby his plants and grow old. I feel the fear in a brave man as he sits there waiting not knowing what is going to happen next. Greg told me once that the whole time he was in Iraq he was in that hypervigilent state, where you have eyes in the back of your head and know everything going on all the time. A situation I can't even honestly imagine. I feel like the song is also for me and other family members who have to watch the news every night and hear about the dead soldiers in a place we will never know but where our family's blood may spill."
  • Armstrong added: "My brother Greg has always supported me. He was the first musician I ever played with when I was a teenager. Greg joined the army and I stayed. Music has always been a way for me to communicate with my family. As a songwriter it's my vehicle. I wrote this song pretty quick, almost as if it wrote itself. The idea came after hanging out with Greg on the front porch reminiscing like we've done a thousand times before. This song is inspired by his year in Iraq. It's less about the war and more about a person returning home."
  • Bass guitarist Matt Freeman said: "I play upright bass on it. Originally meant for the acoustic record, when Mr. Brett (producer Brett Gurewitz) heard it he thought it belonged on the actual record."

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