Did I set out to write the most controversial songs on each of our albums? No. It just seems to happen. Whether it is a song that repeats “kick his ass” 32 times, a rap song that drops the S-bomb multiple times, or even a song about prostitute murder, I just wrote them because it is what I heard in my head and what felt right. They just ended up being the edgiest lyrically. In this case, it was truly unintentional.
This song has become bittersweet for me at this point, mainly because I love playing it and designed it specifically to be a good song to play live. When I wrote it over a year ago, Nazis weren’t constantly in the headlines, so it didn’t seem like such a taboo topic to put into a song. Now, I’m not sure if we’ll ever feel comfortable playing it live, because it has many clear references to Nazism. Sure, it is tongue-in-cheek about the theme of the Patterns Of Force episode in which the Enterprise crew visits a planet that has been turned into a 23rd century Nazi Germany, but not every person in any random audience is going to get that we aren’t pro-Nazi. So this song may be reserved indefinitely for specific audiences and situations where it won’t be misconstrued. Oh well. I guess that will make hearing it live a rare treat for a select few.
Anyway, this song isn’t really even about Nazis. It’s actually a love song, or more of an infatuation song. It is from the point of view of someone who admires another person from afar. We can see that she is mixed up with the wrong crowd, but we know that she is truly good at heart. We can also tell that she is a badass and a force to be reckoned with.
The lyrics end with a message that is good for any era, a message that comes directly from the end of the Patterns Of Force episode: “It is time to stop the bloodshed and bury the dead. Let the killing end.”
The style of the song is heavily influenced by one of my idols, Jimi Hendrix, and has chunky guitar rock with bluesy riffs. The main riff throughout the song is something I had been toying around with at practices for at least 3 years. Most things we come up with at practice disappear and fade away almost immediately. I just randomly made it up one day and never forgot it. It stuck with me. After a while, the guys started to recognize it and kept asking me when I was going to make it into a song. In fact, I think we joked about it being Patterns Of Force one day, since that was a song I hadn’t written yet. So I decided to make it that. I always strive to keep things new and avoid too much repeat with my music, and I feel this is unlike any of my previous songs. I love the keyboard sound in this song and how it counters the main guitar in an duet.
In the end, it is just a song, and I hope people enjoy it for what it is.
Five Year Mission
Patterns of Force
Written by Mike Rittenhouse