I don't like to write rhetorically or get on a soapbox. I try to make the stuff multi-layered, so that it always has a life outside its social context. I don't believe that you can tell people anything; you can only draw them in.
You make your music, then you try to find whatever audience is out there for it.
I grew up with a very big extended family, with a lot of aunts. We had about five or six houses on one street.
My only general rule was to steer away from things I played with the band over the past couple of tours. I was interested in re-shaping the Rising material for live shows, so people could hear the bare bones of that.