For one, the nonverbal aspects of music are the most important to me. Then, whatever sort of emotion the music carries, intrinsically, dictates the images that unfold, lyrically. Topical writers usually have the topic before they begin writing the song, but, for me, it's the other way around.
It wasn't just like, "I want to make a record that sounds like classic rock" at all. It was more like, "I want to make a record that is a little more unsettling and maybe isn't as easily understood now. " That just seemed more important, like, for me to make as an artist, than it was to make something to make people feel safe right away.