Heroes [Song Writing Breakdown]

So what’s it all about Joe?

This song is about how we view ourselves as heroes. Unfortunately that perfect view of our own individuality doesn’t always last forever. What if one day you looked in the mirror to see a person that did something you aren’t proud of. Even though I’ve tried to live my life in a moral way, there are definitely things i’d do differently. The song is about the loss of innocence, of naivety or possibly ignorance. Some people will go all there lives thinking they’re heroes, even when they’re in fact villains.

I like to use imagery when I write songs, and for this one I thought about a few visual landscapes. I’m usually thinking about how I can adapt the song into a music video when I have time/budget so I like to stay one step ahead and plan some basic imagery. I’m not going to give away too much of the plot, but you might be able to guess from some of my ramblings.

For the music and atmosphere, I thought a lot about wide open landscapes, and what came to mind were these vast desert planes, or places like the Rocky Mountains in america. I also pictured an interior scene, like a derelict mansion- the literal ‘Heroes Lair’ which has now turned into a ‘Villains Lair’ as it’s neglected and abandoned. I also imagined a broken mirror and our hero staring into into it, his distorted reflection staring back. I’d just watched Unbreakable (2000) recently and was surprised by how well it holds up, it’s an incredibly well written movie script with some great themes.

In that film there is the idea of Heroes and Villains being necessary polar opposites, but in my song I wanted to explore the idea of them being the same person. Being a hero isn’t just about having super powers, it’s about how we act, how we treat others. We can all be heroes- or villains.

Eventually the realization of our own villainy can tear our world apart, when we see our selves for what we really are- the mirror is shattered and the storm begins, or in this case, i pictured a maelstrom a great swirling tempest destroying the oceans, washing away the world.

Which I suppose is the real sign you are a villain, you don’t care about the entire world- only yourself, your own vision or ideas so you will destroy everything else in order to satisfy your rage. That’s how I feel sometimes when I make a mistake. I want to shake it up and start again, but I can’t because that’s not how the world works. You have to make the mistakes and learn to live with them. Learn that nobody is perfect, once your innocence is gone, nothing can bring it back. But that’s okay. All our powers in this world cannot save us. All the technology all the ingenuity, speed and athleticism, all the love- it still can’t make us perfect, but it can help. As long as we stay good then it can help.

‘All our powers cannot save us, unless we’re a force of good.’

‘You die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain’. – The Dark Knight (2008)

A few weeks after I wrapped up this song (atleast to the stage it’s at now… art is never finished- only abandoned) Christian Grimshei of Rabiang Records offered to create a moody remix of the song. The version he created is very different to mine and i think it really captures the atmosphere of someone brooding in their lair.

You can listen to his epic version here:

I hope you found this entertaining! Feel free to leave a comment below, or get in touch with me directly on soundcloud/facebook.

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