Sword and Shield

Album: Chasing Daylight (2003)
  • Written as a love song for his wife, Sister Hazel front-man Ken Block wanted to create something that wasn't "deeply cheesy," which is sometimes quite a challenge. "The dance is to try to say things in a unique way that everyone can relate to once they hear it," he says. "Everyone can be able to plug in. I wanted to talk about the timelessness of love, and how it goes as far back and forward as eternity goes. And that I absolutely would be everything - I will never be that person who lets you down. And the only way I could put it that didn't seem so cheesy was, 'I'll be your sword, I'll be your shield, I'll be there when the oceans dry, when our idols have fallen, I'll be the mortar that's holding your walls.' And I tried to just close my eyes and think of timeless images of strength and power and love and protection and security and safety. And every time I closed my eyes, and it just sort of fell to me."
  • For Ken, the songwriting process is never the same twice. "It comes in a lot of ways. Sometimes the songs come flying at me, and other times it's like I'm sitting in a desert all by myself and there's not a noise to be had anywhere. It's dry." And it's all about allowing the songs to come, which means "sometimes you have to make time, and sometimes they'll beat you over the head, and sometimes someone will say something, or you'll see something that starts a train of thought, or starts a story line, or starts imagery, and other times you just need to sit down and take your time to kind of allow a song to kind of tap you on the shoulder and come to fruition. I'm one of those guys that believes that painters paint, and writers write. They don't necessarily just talk. I say that they're a painter, I say that they're a writer, and they do it. And that's where the gifts lie, is when you listen, and you really play with it. You know when something pops in your head right away if it's the right thing, and you know when it's kind of just waiting out there and you have to kind of walk through the bushes to try to find it." (Read more in our interview with Ken Block.)
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