“The first half of the song is about the wide-eyed enthusiasm you have as a young musician out on the road, experiencing all this stuff. The second half is just the character trying to balance the love in his life with the music and adventure, trying to balance home and away, being fortunate enough to be with someone who was dedicated and said, “If you’ll be here for me then I’ll be here for you, no matter what happens”.”Jim James (311)

The Way That He Sings

“This song deals with intuition. I feel like I’m a 3 year old because I’m always asking “Why?” But there are some things I know. We have all this information coming to us from what I like to call the spiritual pipeline. I like this song, I like that guys voice but I don’t know why. There are certain singers that inspired this song and I tried, when I first started out and was first learning to sing, I wanted to find them somewhere and ask them for help getting to the high notes. Singers like Roy Orbison, Marvin Gaye, people who could really hit those high notes. Sometimes when we’re playing a show and I’m trying to hit a high note or take it to an emotional place, I’ll try to find them, which is why I spend a lot of the shows with my eyes closed – to find them, in the hope they can help me.”Jim James (311)


“I took the very loose definition of “great destroyer,” especially when religion is used in politics, it’s horribly destructive and horribly divisive. “Gideon” is just trying to explore that like, how should religion be used in a peaceful way that everybody understands.”Jim James (311)

Movin Away

“This song is about the process of moving, how you fall in love with somebody and you happen to not live not in the same place geographically, so the two of you go through a process of “what are we going to do to be together, are we going to continue a long distance relationship or is somebody going to step up to the plate and actually move to make the relationship possible.” So this song is about all the feelings you’re going to go through and who you’re going to miss and who you’re not going to miss when you move away.”Jim James (311)


“All I can say is he was a real brilliant soul. I met him in 4th grade, we were the same age but I always felt like he was a little older than me, he knew a little bit more than me. We always had big dreams, we played in our first band together. No matter how much you told him how special he was he could never hear it, you just can’t get through to him. Unfortunately like so many people like that he just chose to leave this world. Every time we play this song he is with us. We dreamed so much together and he didn’t get to live out the ability to chase his dreams. I wanted him to get the chance to play Storytellers with us.”Jim James (311)

Smokin From Shootin

“This song is about examining a relationship that wasn’t working and you’re trying to figure it out. Trying to figure out why it’s not working when I really love this person, I really this person is beautiful, and an amazing person but for some reason it’s just not working and you wonder, is it me, and I feel like, at least for myself, you build up all this negative cargo that you carry with you and all those things you think about yourself that just aren’t true – that you are good, that you do have worth, that you do deserve whatever you want. This song is just about the ways that people try to justify what they’re running from instead of just facing it. They try to justify it through God or through all these avenues that can never justify it when you’re shooting but you’re not hitting anything, you’re just wasting all your ammunition.”Jim James (311)


“I think it’s important for everyone to have a purpose, I think there’s a crazy thing going on with a lot of younger kids coming up nowadays and I don’t know if everybody feels this way, but there’s a thing with all this new technology where people are not developing real interests much anymore as they grow up. There’s all these things flashing and buzzing in your face, video games to play and text messages to send and reality TV to watch. More and more people are not developing as they could, learning to play a sport, learning to play the guitar, whatever it is you want to do, being constructive with your own life and learning something real. I just feel it’s so valuable for someone to learn something and love something because there’s this place you go when you love something, you’re lost in that zone. This song is just about trying to find the zone and stay in it.”Jim James (311)

One Big Holiday

“We had this idea of what would it be like to live one big holiday, your whole life, just a huge party. No work. Just touring. But we quickly found out when we got in our van, Rosie, we’re sleeping in 30 degree weather, all huddled together in the van, fixing the van when it broke, we quickly found out that The Beastie Boys had lied [“On location touring around the nation, Beastie Boys always on vacation” – from No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn – Ed], this is not true, it’s a ton of hard work.”Jim James (311)

Big Decisions

“It’s partly about sitting at lunch with friends for the umpteenth time, going, “Oh, God, I hate this fucking thing” – like touring. [It’s about why people don’t change what makes them unhappy – Ed].”Jim James (725)