The Hero Dies is about several things. First, and most importantly, it’s about Carol, my grandmother, who passed away last year. I dedicate this project to her life and the beautiful memories we’ve shared together. The album cover was taken in her backyard in Arkansas—I jumped a fence and found the best angle to get that shot, not knowing then that it would end up being a cover to an album.
There’s also a song here, titled Carol, that was recorded in the last few days of her life. We were all pulling for her, hoping she’d bounce back, and I did my best to capture that emotion of uncertainty.
The Hero Dies is also about a warrior, or a writer, or someone attempting to change the world. It could be about me—if you’re focusing on the personal aspects of the songs—but I prefer to look at the concepts and the message as an actual superhero, flying through action scenes against a villain, and ultimately, he doesn’t make it.
It’s a big metaphor to say that we’re all battling something. Whether it’s addictions, unhappiness, or like my grandmother: battling for your life—these stories were written to help you reflect on your own journey. Control what you can control, and find peace in the things you can’t.