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Meaning of the song ‘Clones’ by ‘Chevelle’

Released: 2011

At its core, “Clones” by Chevelle dives into the theme of conformity and individuality, or the lack thereof, within society. The song is a powerful commentary on how people tend to follow the herd, losing their sense of self in the process. It’s an introspective journey that questions the essence of uniqueness in a world that seems to favor similarity.

The opening lines “You’re just a clone of them / Have you no way to set a fire” immediately set the tone. Here, “setting a fire” metaphorically speaks to igniting change or sparking a sense of individuality in a world where everyone seems to be a clone of the other. The repetition emphasizes the pervasive sense of sameness that the singer feels surrounds him.

The notion of the devil being in the way we live suggests an inherent evil or malice in conformity. “It’s all chemicals by and large it’s not you / Or your excitement” points to the idea that our personalities and enthusiasms are often dulled down to the point where we might as well be chemical compositions, lacking the essence of what makes us unique.

By saying “I’m caught trading blows and climbing walls for a view / Out of resentment”, the lyricist portrays a struggle against this force of uniformity, trying to rise above it to find a perspective that isn’t clouded by societal expectations or the resentment those expectations breed. This idea of fighting for individuality in a homogenized society is a recurring theme throughout the song.

The chorus cries out against being “just a clone of them”, yearning for a spark (“Have you no way to set a fire”) to break free from this collective identity. The song’s bridge, “But this sadness you saw in us / Comes honestly from foreign worlds”, might suggest that the feeling of disconnection or discontent with societal norms isn’t inherent to human nature, but rather, imposed by the society itself, likening those norms to “foreign worlds”.

The resolution or climax of the song is found in the lines, “We need a change I feel / From this saga of old past blandness / Maybe I’ll tase myself / Wake up from this maze of lies built up”. Here, “tasing oneself” is a vivid metaphor for shocking oneself into awakening, suggesting that a drastic measure might be necessary to break free from the conformist “maze of lies”. It’s a shout into the void for individuality, a call to arms for personal revolution against the blandness of being just another clone.

In the grand scheme, “Clones” by Chevelle is a striking critique on the lack of originality and the overwhelming pressure to conform. Through powerful lyrical storytelling, the band challenges listeners to ignite their own fires, to resist being just another clone molded by societal expectations, and to instead, seek out the essence of their true selves, no matter how challenging that journey might be. It’s a call for change, for breaking away from the “old past blandness,” and for embracing the complexity and uniqueness of one’s own identity.

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