BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#765 - "Tanks" by Satellites & Sirens
Satellites & Sirens is determined to spread the message of a love that breaks down the barriers of offense and differences of opinion.
 


BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS, #765 -
Posted: October 18, 2016 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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This long awaited new fourth studio album TANKS by Satellites & Sirens has captivated my spirit. The album includes standout recordings like the sing at the top of your lungs anthems "Tanks" and "Wildfire," along with the reflective vibe of "Who We Are" and "Old Souls." 

From my first listen, I wanted to tell others about this great new album which immediately reminded me of some of my favorite emotional alternative rock artists like Jimmy Eat World, The Killers and The Rocket Summer. They are a fantastic blend of those awesome musical styles, and they have quickly become my favorite Christian alternative rock band. I truly enjoyed their first three albums and the stand-out hit songs "Jump Start My Heart," "Feel Alive," "Anchor" and "Take Me Back." If you liked those songs, you'll love this new album.  I had the chance to speak with lead singer Geoff Hunker about the call-to-action title track "Tanks."

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

This song came out of Proverbs 25, which says if your enemy is hungry, feed him. If your enemy is thirsty, give him a drink. That idea is the opposite of what we seem to be seeing in our culture, where there is so much hate happening and so much bullying. This song is based on the concept that instead of trying to be right in a circumstance, to think about what would it look like if we treated our enemies with love. What would God do with that? This song is addressing that just because it is love, it doesn't need to be a defensive move. It's still an offensive move sometimes.

As Christians, we see all over Scripture that we are supposed to love. How would it change things if that kid that is being bullied showed love and tried to understand the other person? That's what this song is also addressing. The same battles are going on inside of the person doing the bullying as the one being bullied, and the people expressing hate as the ones being hated. We can think about how to reach them as well. We are called to think about that other person as well.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Proverbs 25:21 (NIV): "If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink."

Matthew 25:40 (NIV): The King will reply, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for Me."

Psalm 19:14 (NKJV): "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer."
 
Matthew 15:18 (NKJV): "But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man."
 
James 3:9-10 (NIV): "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be."

What is the takeaway message?

Many of us have heard the expression "love the sinner, but hate the sin." I've heard it as "love the sinner and hate your own sin." In that case, if we really think about our own sin and we hate that part of us, hopefully it brings grace and we have more understanding of those who are offending us and who we disagree with. Does that perspective bring an attitude of grace for that person we see sinning, to not think of their identity as based on their sin? 

I feel like there's a handful of things we'd like people to take away from this album. In "Chasing Photos" we are reminding people to not be so focused on chasing after that perfect photo that we want to post on social media, but instead to live in each moment. Oftentimes we live in the past or think about the future instead of living in the moment. That moment we are living in right now is when we can connect with God. If we are always thinking about the future, we are missing out on what God has for us now. We want people to stop portraying something that isn't really there, but to be real and be who we are and let God use us.

Lyrics:
You shoot your words like a gun 
Take your aim
And shoot if you must
Play this game

Cut me down with your lies
Throw your blame
But Iʼm telling you this wonʼt end well
Cuz Iʼm sheltered in love

I know you
Are fighting yourself
Call a truce
And surrender will sound
If you choose to go ahead and lay it down

Weʼre taking love to the front lines
Where the heart beats louder than the cry for war 
And like TANKS you can trust
We will crush everything with love

You throw your looks like a knife Itʼs not you
Itʼs the fire inside
Burning through
We will never survive
Until you go ahead and take control

Weʼre taking love to the front lines
Where the heart beats louder than the cry for war 
And like TANKS you can trust
We will crush everything with love

Love is the new fight Love is the new fight

Weʼre taking love to the front lines
Where the heart beats louder than the cry for war 
And like TANKS you can trust
We will crush everything with love


This song really reminds listeners of the power of words and the need to "tame our tongues" from James 3. The tongue is capable of use for both virtue and vice. The same mouth uses the tongue for these contradictory purposes. James echoes Jesus' emphasis on the crucial importance of the use of words in daily life. This is a great brand new collection of declaration-style anthems designed to inspire listeners to fight the good fight of faith. 

"Tanks" articulates what it means to live a God-centered life in a turbulent world. As a dad of three young girls, my wife and I have tried to raise our daughters to have confidence that they "have been made in God's likeness." We've also urged them to not compromise their values from peer pressure or make fun of other people. That's a tough balance we have as believers, and we can all take strength in knowing that our Savior, Jesus has promised us that the world will hate us because it hated Him first. Jesus commands believers to love others as He loved us, and to show His love by helping people who can't help themselves. That's how we can show God in us to others. Also, look for God in the "least of these."

The takeaway is that this is not something we can do on our own, and we're not going to always succeed in these areas and be encouraging all the time. This is a daily prayer asking God to come and change our hearts and change our lives in such a way that our behavior and the way we live flows from God living inside of us as believers. As Christians, we're called to speak out about injustice. We often mistake staying quiet about issues as turning the other cheek. The truth is that Jesus flipped over the tables in the temple when He saw injustice. In Micah 6:8 (NKJV) we are told, "He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?"

"Tanks" is an upbeat, hooky rock song that represents the theme of this uplifting album with the bridge "love is the new fight." These are some of the strongest lyrics I've heard by this talented band, all in extremely catchy songs. Geoff's emotive vocals and the exciting musical bed takes me on an emotional journey that causes me to excitedly worship along with the stirring lyrics every time I hear the song. In our society filled with war, bullying and a lack of care for others, this anthem is the cry of my heart with the much needed call to action message for Christians: "Weʼre taking love to the front lines, where the heart beats louder than the cry for war, and like tanks you can trust, we will crush everything with love." Amen to that!

Watch the lyric video below.
 

 

NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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