The Story Behind Throne
Fun fact: I came up with the intro riff for Throne while messing around on my guitar. Drew felt like it was too similar in construction to other worship songs and suggested that we change some of the chords from major to minor. Obviously, the riff had to change with it. The extensions of that line as played by the piano were Sara's creation. Eventually, the piano took over as the leading instrument and Sara's version of the intro line became the final version. The lyrics were written in the car on my way to and from work.
I felt like the lyrics were supposed to remain wholly focused on God and His power. It seems like many modern praise and worship songs focus primarily on what God does for us. "God, you make a way for ME. You lift ME up. You free ME." All of that is true and those songs have their place. It just seems as if the mainstream worship culture is being inundated with songs about what God does for us. It occurred to me that if we took the world (or the flesh) out of the equation, there would be no situations in which we become concerned with our wellbeing. There would be nothing for us to be lifted above or freed from. If it were just God and us, we'd be floored by Him. We'd be in complete and total awe.
The lyrics of Throne are based on my concept of worship in Heaven. I hesitate to share my exact imaginations as I don't want to influence anyone else's vision of that powerful situation. I will say this. We'd be at the throne of God, surrounded by His glory, love, and mercy. We'd be caught up in amazement and worshipping Him for all of the incredible things He's done. Our self-awareness would be the last thing on our minds. God would be all that mattered.
As for how that concept influenced the composition of the song, I felt that this particular concept would be best fit with an anthemic feel. Especially in the chorus. A sweeping melody accompanied by big chords. I allowed the last two strings of the guitar to remain open for all of the big parts of the song. Those notes represent the constant apparent presence of God's glory, love, and mercy in Heaven. The gang vocals represent the inhabitants of Heaven praising God together. The contrast between the first and second halves of the final chorus represent the difference between our concept of worship on Earth and what worship will truly be like in Heaven. Finally, the song ends by subtly readjusting the listener's ear to a new key. The song itself is in E Major, but it sounds like it ends in A Major. This represents the fact that, while we have all of these concepts of what Heaven is like, it's beyond what we could imagine. When we're eventually praising God in Heaven, the experience will be vastly more powerful than we could ever understand here on Earth. Which sounds like I'm focusing on the experience and how it will impact us. The experience will be different because God is more powerful, more awesome, and more deserving of worship than we could ever imagine.
That is the story behind Throne.
Check out the Behind The Highest Praise studio special below.