The Violence

Songfacts®:

  • Here, Tim McIlrath sings about the band's fear of a World War III. He told Kerrang the background to this song:

    "As we were watching the news and seeing all the different things unfold around the planet, I realised that violence has such a role in a lot of what we see when the world is falling apart. The violence is a reflection of whether our aggression is in our nature, our DNA, or whether we have a choice to be part of it. And it is a choice that we make - a conscious one - to use violence as a means to an end. Aren't we better than this? Aren't we the apex of the animal kingdom? Aren't we the only ones on the planet that have the capacity for compassion? Aren't we good enough or brave enough to not sink to violence?"
  • Rise Against requested a permit to film the video for this song in a field in Virginia which is covered in 43 giant concrete busts of former presidents. The 43 heads are the remains of the 'Presidents Park', a former open-air sculpture museum in Williamsburg, Virginia.

    Writing in a Facebook post, the band explained that though the permit was initially granted, the Board of Directors who oversee the location changed their minds as "They decided we were 'anti-government.'"

    Regarding their choice of location the band said. "The song talks about whether violence is an inevitability of the human condition, or whether it's a choice we make, and therefore, can reject. The video would attempt to distal this concept. Our director approached us with the idea of filming in a field full of the Presidential busts (basically the giant concrete heads of Roosevelt, Lincoln, Washington, etc)… We found this location compelling as the President heads represent power on both sides of the aisle. Rise Against has unapologetically spoken truth to power."

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