"The song generator is a song about religion the evidence is when Brett says 'like the blood on my door' referring to the Jewish people in the old testament during the plagues. And 'like turbines in the darkness' is referring to god erupting out of nothing."
-E-No Pickle Bit
"Also, about religion he says 'wash me clean and I will run until I reach the shore...' he could be talking about Moses parting the red sea. Generator might also involve a murderer on the run, because he says there's a knife on the floor, and like a twitch before dying."
"This song puzzled me at first. The song talks about blood, weapons, and running. To under stand this song you have to define the word 'Generator' threw the eyes and mined of BAD RELIGION. I think the generator is the chaos and violence that happens and leads to death. These things generate us to have the oppressive society today. Now to BAD RELIGION these things are the generator or 'influence' to escape and run to the shore. Generator means 'influence'."
"'The Generator' is a metaphor for God, so says Mr. Brett in an interview of sorts I once read."
-Amish Rake Fighter
"The 'Generator' could be a metaphor for God. In the words of Mr. Brett: 'The vibe that I'm trying to give is like, if you've ever been in a room and the air conditioner's humming. You don't notice it, of course, because it's a constant hum. Then it turns off and you suddenly notice how quiet it is because it went away. That's the generator; it's just behind everything. It's funny, God and spirituality has been the central conflict of my entire life.' 'It's a song about my concept of god (...) the hammer, window, knife etc. are prose and I don't feel it's appropriate to give you my personal intention, although like any art there is a definite 'meaning' I'm trying to convey. If Generator makes you feel something when you listen to it real loud than chances are you understand it just fine.'"
"I didn't quite understand everything in this song, but what I could figure out is that the generator is this big machine surrounding us, making our everyday life go like it does. He seems to have accepted the fact that there is this huge thing around us, sort of controlling us but at the same time, he's scared. But there's nothing he can do about it."
"I think Generator is a song about problems today, or just a great problem. A door is a symbol of ownership, and a window is a symbol of our senses and a floor is a sign of foundations, and they all have a problem with them (i hammer by it, a knife on it, bloody) But of course, that's just my interpretation."
"I think generator is about God. I think this because it says things like 'Like actors in a photograph' and 'like a hummingbird in silence'. These are things that can't show their full beauty, and are hidden from the world. No-one really understands God and he isn't given enough 'respect' and consideration. The 'wash me clean and i will run until i reach the shore' could be to do with Moses and the red sea, or it could be something to do with murderers etc. asking God for forgiveness. The blood on the door bit, I think, shows that if people took more notice of God then there wouldn't be such bad things happening in the world."
"(Reference to song's lyrics are essential) Generator is a song which can be viewed in many different ways. To me, Generator does not have one single idea, but a collection of ideas brought together. The main theme is perhaps illustrated in the line; I'll remain unperturbed by the joy and the madness that i encounter everywhere I turn. It is saying that all the joy and beauty in the world cannot be appreciated entirely, because there is a force (the madness or the generator) restricting us from enjoying it. The force of the generator is the;- Atomic bomb which tarnishes the beautiful planet. The death after the last twitch of life. The disgusting pollution which has made our once beautiful oceans 'as filthy as pornography'. The glass stopping us from feeling the lovely textures of the flower right in front of us. The silence restricting us from hearing the joyous voice of the hummingbird. The ugly appearance of the man experiencing the joy of laughter. The actors who are depicting reality falsely in a photograph. The brutal men who killed innocent babies in the search for Jesus. (See Like the blood on my door). The Generator is not a person or a thing, it refers to nature (and in some cases the unstoppable nature of the human race) and its mysterious ways. At times seeming to have a purpose or a reason; and at times appearing to have no reason - just working randomly. It almost looks like song author Gurewitz is trying to understand why this force is in place, and why we cannot see it working. We can see the paper blowing in the wind, but we cannot see the force moving it. We can hear the turbine in darkness creating energy, and we know it is creating energy but we cannot see it. Gurewitz asks us; why is the nice laughing man considered to be ugly? why is the hummingbird silent? and what is the meaning of these forces? Sadly, we do not know the answers and Gurewitz may never know"
"I know this sounds sappy, but I cried the first time I saw them play Generator in concert. It has always been, and will always be my all-time favorite BR song no matter what other song I am infatuated with at the time!"
"I think Generator is the most brilliant song BR has come up with. I think the metaphors run far deeper than face value. But I do read into things a bit much, so here is my personal interpretation. I think the Generator is a metaphor for the impersonal energy of all existence. The Brahman. The Generator is the cycling energy of life. It knows no one, and nothing. The Generator is the cosmos, and your heartbeat. It is the protons, neutrons, and electrons that make up all of life and death (like a rock, like a planet, like a fucking atom bomb.....like turbines in darkness). The Generator is a state of awareness found within the individual. I think the entire song is about transcending the mythologies you were socially conditioned to believe are real. It is about enlightenment. Speaking of enlightenment Greg mentions it two times in The New America. It's A Long Way to The Promise Land is so based in Eastern thought I wouldn't be surprised if GG find's Buddist or/or Taiost philosophies a bit enamoring. So if Generator is about transcendence then the song makes total sense. There's a flower behind the window, there's an ugly laughing man. The flower resembles beauty, truth, awareness. There's an ugly laughing man. This is God, well to narrow it down from the thousands of gods man has created, Yahweh. Later in the song the window is referenced....again.....with a hammer. Symbolic to breaking the glass to get to the flower. There's a knife on the floor? Kill what is blocking the window. God. A reference to Neitzsche? hmmm. Wash me clean and I will run until I reach the shore. This is psychological. Wash away everything you were taught and you will reach Truth. I've seen it all before, in books and magazines.....the advertisement of religion. I've known it all along like the bone under my skin.........This is the universal truth that has been jaded by belief. And a beautiful quote from Guatama, A belief in anything is a substitute for truth. This is my personal interpretation of the song. But all of life is interpretation isn't it? If anyone has any feedback, good or bad I would love to hear it! And please excuse the bastardization of the English language I displayed here. Trying to work and type.....AHHHH"
"I would think it is a metaphor of God. I believe the band is God-free, hehe.."
"This song is what really got my attention when I first started listening to the band. the lyrics grabbed me in such a way. i think that any person could read them and have there own explanation to what the generator is. even today it still makes me think. is the generator "god" controller of everything? 'THE BONE UNDER MY SKIN' you know its there you can feel it but never quite understand it. "paper in the wind" we are the paper everything else is the wind. what are we controlling? I'm not much of a religious person anymore but I think it takes guts to accept anything. and bad religion helped me realize this."
-Mary K M