(Photo: Emily Ibarra)
Brent Walsh of I The Mighty takes us track by track through the band's new EP for Equal Vision Records, Karma Never Sleeps.
This is a more in-depth song to describe and probably one that a listener wouldn't fully understand without reading this. The story is about a boy in love with a girl (as so many stories are). It's never explained in the song but I picture the main character as a student. Constantly staring and completely infatuated with this girl. He is unsure of himself and unable to muster up the courage to speak to her and he believes she doesn't even know he exists. However, he has the ability to lucidly dream. So every night when he goes to sleep, he spends eight solid hours with her. Completely in love, the way he fears real life could never be. But you know the feeling you get right before you wake up sometimes...when you know you're sleeping and totally aware you're about to open your eyes? When he gets that feeling every morning, his beautiful dream date is covered by dark clouds and a giant storm, and an earthquake snaps him back into reality.
The story resolves during the bridge when you find out she feels the same way about him and he realizes destiny will never be, until he stops dreaming and just speaks to her. A happy ending, which for a while was a rarity in my writing.
“Dancing On A Tightrope”
The title of the song is a metaphor for living life with reckless abandonment. The song itself was inspired by a friend of mine, who does just that. Yet, no matter what you say to someone, sometimes things need to be learned first hand. "It will all come back to you, of that you can't pretend, because life has a way of equaling itself out at both ends." A statement basically implying that Karma never sleeps.
The song is almost therapy in a way; it relieves stress. The moral of the song is basically that I'm calling her out, but also that I've got her back whenever she's in need. It's a ride or die song, and I think one of the most relatable on the record.
“Cutting Room Floor”
"Cutting Room Floor" is by far the most political song on the record and one of the most dear to me. I go through phases where I follow politics closely, only to turn myself off to it completely because it brings little more than frustration and a greater lack of confidence in humanity. The song is written as if there was a politician strapped to a chair in front of me and I had his undivided attention and a bull horn. You can draw from it lyrically what you will, but the theme of Karma catching up to somebody who lets the persuasive hand of greed be the guiding light by which they live, is the main idea of the song. So many people (if not all) in political power in this country make decisions and take bribes from companies who don't have the betterment of society in mind, but rather the betterment of their profit margin. It's a concept I feel strongly about, and of which will surely not be limited to this one song.
“The Frame III: Sirocco”
"Sirocco" is the third part of a three-song story. The other two songs will likely be on the next record, though we may save part one for our third release.
Sirocco is the name of a Mediterranean windstorm in the desert, which happens to be the way our protagonist defeats his enemies in the end. In a nutshell, a man and his love are framed for a crime and hunted down in a desert town (part one).The girl is shot during their initial escape and our man carries her to safety, but her wounds are too great and she finally dies in his arms (part two). In part three, our hero seeks shelter from a friend, where he formulates his plan of attack that leads his enemies to their demise and his sweet revenge. Once again the theme of Karma is displayed.
We dream of someday making a mini-cinematic adventure telling this whole story through three combined music videos...but oh, how we dream...
“These Streets Are Alive”
One of my favorite tracks on the record. This song is inspired by living in the Bay Area and witnessing the homeless population, especially in San Francisco.
The song is written through the eyes of a homeless man on the streets of San Francisco who seems to be content with the life he chose. He begs for money by day, to use on his drug of choice by night. Though eventually, he realizes the life he chose is not as fulfilling as it had once been and he dreams the American dream. You get out of life what you put in...
"Escalators" is the most obvious display of Karma on the record. The song begins with our character floating down escalators into Hell and relays back on the story of his life, leading to his death. The story takes place in 1909 and is about a man who roams from town to town buying out the little "mom and pop" stores and extending his big chain store with lower prices; hence creating a monopoly and destroying the lives of many town folk.
One day while he's giving a speech to a town about his plans for his store, a man amongst the audience screams in opposition. To flex his political power and to send a message to anyone else thinking of combating his plans, he has the man hung. However, this backfires when the people of the town rise up against him, singing in chorus: "We give you death by '45! It's what we call your last time out!"
The idea behind this song was actually inspired by Walmart and its founder Sam Walton (which was the original name of the song). I decided after a while that, without knowing the guy personally, it was unfair for me to name a song with such a dark message after him. Although I disagree with what his company does (speaking mainly on their policies towards their employees) I don't know nearly enough about him to compare him to the D-bag antagonist in "Escalators." That being said, I have to admit to my hypocrisy, I do occasionally shop there or sleep in their parking lot on tour...it's hard to find another place open 24 hours. alt