I buy magazines. I buy them every month. Every month I buy Alternative Press, Spin, Rolling Stone, Vibe etc. because even if there isn't one band in the issue I like, I will read it front to back. I'm not entirely sure why, but I always do and it always interests me. I've also realized the internet has made everybody a critic. I am not complaining about this; I think it's interesting and entirely hilarious. I also think the internet has also made a new type of rock star in our day and age. People talk about how the music industry is failing and this and that, but I don't buy into any of it. From what I can tell, big labels are hurting—boo hoo. Bands still do well, bands still get rich and who really cares anyway? If we ever got rich, I would have a heart shaped swimming pool, though.
I don't think there is a right way to operate your band. I think there are many different ways to do it that can be equally effective and none are really better than the others. I also think that when people are so concerned about getting a certain point across, being an artist, or worried about the future of their band, it can be poison to what you are doing. If I ever realized I was writing a song for Mixtapes and started thinking about how it would go over or if other people would like it, I think it would be time to stop playing music.
Coming back around to the sleepless nights, I've had a lot of them. After my dad passed away, it hit me hard. I could never sleep. I had night terrors and started just getting very irresponsible. When you get depressed like that, I think there comes a point where you are in such a routine that you just become used to it. I think to a degree you can get addicted to being sad. This doesn't necessarily even mean you enjoy it, but in its own way it's comfortable. I realized at some point that nothing is too strong for us to get through no matter what it feels like. I have some great friends and there are periods where I haven't always been there, lied, made excuses and did anything I could to be alone with my horrible thoughts. One day you wake up and wonder why in the world would you do that.
“One For The Ozarks”
I wrote a decent amount of this album in Springfield, Missouri. My family lives there and my aunt and cousins have this property with three houses for them, a stream and a dirt bike and four-wheelers. It's a cool place. She has no internet or anything, so I would just go there over this past winter for days at a time and write and spend time with my cousin Adam. We talked about everything from his kids to our band to my dad, who he had also been close with. Adam had cancer, and each time I would go there he would be doing worse. One day after I left, we got the call a few days later he had passed away. Anyone who has dealt with death personally knows how weird of a feeling it is to just have someone be gone that you were just with. It's not really something you can ever prepare for. This is a song for anyone who has lost somebody close to them and is realizing how to deal with it in a way that can at least be constructive.
“Just When You Thought It Was Over”
This is honestly just a song for the people who always called you goofy for quitting a job to tour or to make a go at being in a band. Most people write these songs after they become successful, and I guess that's fine. I wrote this song while being basically broke because the tours we get to do, people buying our records and the friends we have made already beat out any job or college experience. I wrote the song because I felt justified in our decisions to quit life for a while and play music every day. I can always go back to college at 50 years old. I think starting a punk band then might be kind of embarrassing.
This song is about losing someone but more about the way it affects your life on a day-to-day basis. When terrible things happen, it's easy to look at the big picture because it is a big deal. I kind of explored how I felt during normal day-to-day activities when you feel empty and feel very unsure of pretty much everything. When going through something that breaks you down an hour can feel like five hours, and just a short pointless conversation with someone can seem like an eternity. I think I've gotten to the point where I wasn't even sure I was crying and then back around to knowing exactly what was wrong, sometimes in the same day. I've also realized you can't beat yourself up over things you can't change, even though it is all too easy to do. It's okay to feel golden sometimes, and in any terrible situation or loss there are always tons of good memories to overcome the bad ones. Therein lies the struggle.
Maura Weaver: I wrote these lyrics a few months before "Hey Ma, Pt. 2," but they essentially express the same feeling I talked about above. In this song, I write about people who only seem to go to shows for an ego boost—the people who make cliques like in high school, but judge you on skin-to-tattoo ratio or how rare your 7-inches might be. This insecurity fest definitely exists within every scene in varying degrees, but I've felt especially alienated from the scene in my hometown. Maybe that's normal—I don't know.
Specifically, this song is about bullshit like watching friends of a band mosh to their friends' band and then leave for all the touring bands or stand in the front and text or laugh at new faces in the crowd and feeling like I'm just standing by and watching it all happen. It's a feeling that especially makes me want to get the hell away from people.
This is a song about sitting around with your friends in your driveway for hours telling stories, recounting memories and making each other laugh. This is a song about not getting sucked down into seasonal blues and listening to goofy songs that make you feel depressed so you can feel like you relate to them. This song is about a balance of hanging out with the people you love and struggling with not wanting to be alone even if you feel like you do. This song is about looking darkness in the face and not being afraid of it, finding sanctuary in places or people that you know make you stronger. This song is about reminiscing about all the crazy things you have done, and realizing one day where you are and not being entirely sure how you got there, but feeling lucky. This is a song about everything else on this album leading up to this and a thank you letter for an amazing group of friends and all the people that this song is about. In a lot of ways, these ridiculous people I choose to spend my time with have saved my life. I've realized over the past two years that everything I have gone through has helped make me who I am and the decisions I make. I have some of the best friends I could ever ask for and you all know who you are.
This album, to me, is a thank you letter to people that inspire you, but also a thank you latter to hard times, bad ideas and everything we go through on a daily basis. I've realized if everything was good we wouldn't know what was bad, and with that comes some of the greatest memories we can have. In times of suffering there will always be something to put everything in perspective for you.