Lillian is the band's lyricist. He says of his earliest forays into songwriting: "I had trouble learning how to read. The only way I could remember sentences was to sing them. I'd make up little songs so when I went to school to take a test I'd know the answers - I'd recite them in my head like a song."
Lillian describes Living Things' music as "anxious and ill-at-ease," saying their songs release "a lot of pent-up emotions." He offers this insight into his thematic preoccupations: "We are taught what to think instead of how to think. We're not told the truth; we're programmed to believe what someone else says is true. I write about the distorted view of America we have. We're told so many lies, with nothing to back them up. The powers that be try to keep everyone in fear so no one will challenge their agenda. I think it's time people stop being so nave about what they're hearing on CNN and MSNBC. The basis of our band is to say, "Wake the fuck up and start asking questions. Don't keep your mouth shut."
Living Things have played throughout the St. Louis area, as well as in Columbia, Mo., Chicago, New York, Nashville and Los Angeles. The band was signed by DreamWorks A&R exec Beth Halper.
Living Things view their shows as communal gatherings. "We're called Living Things because we are all living things - we're us, but we're also you; we're everybody," Lillian posits. "When we play a show, it's not like we're this big band and we're onstage and you're not; we're all onstage."
"Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has 'closed,' the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all their rights unto the leader and gladly so. How do I know? For this is what I have done. AND I AM CAESAR."
- Julius Caesar (as cited in the artwork for Turn In Your Friends & Neighbors)