"It was just a sense of, I'm trying to communicate something that seemed reasonable, and if they didn't want to listen or understand," he says. "I definitely said, 'We're just going to have to agree to disagree' a lot on the trip. Some people accepted that, and some people just said, 'No, I won't agree; that's so wrong,' and then they'd turn around and leave. If there was somebody I had a context for, that I liked and respected, that would be one thing. But when it's just rude, presumptuous, totally dogmatic strangers [demanding answers], I can't be worried about that shit."
Further records from Bazan would only illustrate the gap between his Christian fan base and the songwriter. Achilles' Heel (2004), Pedro the Lion's finest hour, diverged from the concept-record format, instead painting inspired, Warren Zevon-esque vignettes about cheating lovers ("Arizona") and debauched nights on the town ("Keep Swinging"). It also took things even further than Control in the content department, inserting an F-bomb into the Holy Spirit's speech to a well-meaning believer ("Foregone Conclusions"). When Bazan shut Pedro the Lion down altogether ("I think it's a dumb band name," he says. "If I can help it, I won't ever use that name again") he released Curse Your Branches, which critic Jessica Hopper described beautifully and accurately as a "breakup record — except he's dumping God, Jesus, and the evangelical life" in her feature, "The Passion of David Bazan," for the Chicago Reader.
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Bazan says he's not fond of looking backward, and that the decision to tour in commemoration of Control was an awkward one. But the Pedro the Lion catalog has recently been remastered and reissued, and touring seemed the most effective way to communicate that "Bazan" and "Pedro the Lion" are really the same "brand."
"It was a tough decision when it came up," Bazan says. "It just kind of smacked off all that cashing-in nostalgia stuff. Honestly, without the re-releases, I would never commemorate the 10th anniversary by playing it from end to end. 'David Bazan Band Plays Pedro the Lion's Control' is pretty wordy, but that seemed like it would be an effective way to do it, and that I wasn't going to feel too negative about doing it. As it turns out, I feel pretty good."
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