Some excerpts from an interview with Bill Flanagan on page 51 of the July 10-24,1997 issue of Rolling Stone.
BF: One of the themes of this record is disbelief - trying to make sense of life without believing in God. In "Up From Your Life," you sing, "For an unbeliever like you/There's not much they can do." In "Gaia", you call yourself a "poor, wretched unbeliever."
JT: Well I find myself with a strong spiritual need - in the past five years, particularly. And, certainly, it's acknowledged as an important part of recovery from addiction. Yet, it's hard for me to find an actual handle for it. I'm not saying that it's not helpful to think of having a real handle on the universe, your own personal point of attachment. But...I think it's crazy. But it's an insanity that keeps us sane. You might call a lot of these songs "spirituals for agnostics."
BF: Does not having faith in a personal god make it harder to stick with a 12-step recovery program?
JT: Twelve-step programs say an interesting thing: Either you have a god, or you are God and you don't want the job.