Every album has that one song. The one that I just don't know whether to include or not. "Do I Love You Less?" (which we'll just call DILOY from here on out) is that song. It almost didn't make the album. But, I'm a strong encourager of putting out any song you write in some fashion, as it is a piece of the whole picture of you as a songwriter.
DILOY started as a simple idea. I've been a worship musician, leader, and pastor in some form for almost my entire life. At seven years old I was playing piano in church. In college I started playing in bands not connected with the church. Since then I've been asked countless times why I don't write "Christian" music. Church people are always asking me what my favorite worship bands are. I usually tell them I hate almost all Christian music. I can't stand it. It's so boring and simple. That's not to say there aren't bands that I love. I just really don't buy in to the idea that I need to be a Christian music songwriter. I love the thoughts of Jon Foreman from the band Switchfoot. He's talked in depth about the idea that if you're a believer, all your music will reflect that. You don't need to write Christian music for your music to be about God. He, like myself, hates the distinction between sacred and secular art.
The other side of DILOY is directed more to my wife. I write sad songs. I just do. They resonate with me more. My aim was to write music for people that need to hear it. And, when you're happy, you don't typically need anything else. But when you're sad, you just want to feel understood. Music helps me feel understood, so that's how I try to reach others. Plus, it helps me deal with complex emotions that my be hard to work through. But people always ask me why I write sad songs. Is it because I'm sad, too? I'm married to a beautiful woman. I now have a gorgeous daughter. My parents are still very close to me. I have a job I love and hobbies that fulfill me. I should be happy, and therefore I should write happy songs.
These two parts of my life have always been extremely frustrating to me. Why do people care so much? Can't I just play the music I want to play? But, there's also the idea that "Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." Essentially, if I do love God, or my wife, shouldn't I be writing music about that love? If I'm not really writing those songs, then maybe my love isn't deep enough.
Now, I'm not saying I agree with that. It was just some of the things I was working through at the time. So I wrote the song. "Do I love you less because I don't write you songs?"
I mentioned that we almost didn't include the song. Lyrically, I feel it's arguably my weakest song. It's a little too on the nose. A little too pop punk. The song "Rooted" came out of me trying to rewrite DILOY. That's the song that really got to the heart of what I was thinking. But my drummer and piano player really came up with some incredible parts, and the song is so fun to play. I figured I needed a song somewhere on "Another Anodyne" that wasn't so damn heavy. So there it is.