Guitarist Zach Blair told Ultimate-Guitar.com
how this song's dark tone was created accidentally: "On 'The Strength to Go On,' Jason Livermore, the engineer, hadn't killed the signal to one of the cabinets out in the control room. And he had muted it in the room so we were listening to the track, but we were listening to the track so loud it was vibrating the strings of the guitar. And so it was kinda doing this real low-end feedbacky kind of hum for the entire time and accidentally he printed it. So, when we listened back to the song again, we kept hearing this in the background and it was perfect for the song. It was more of a darker song; I think the song was tuned to a dropped D and it totally worked for the song."