Track By Track: Stray From The Path

August 31, 2011 by Annie Zaleski

Track By Track: Stray From The Path

Guitarist Tom Williams, drummer Dan Bourke and vocalist Drew York from Stray From The Path take AP track by track through their new album, Rising Sun.

“Rising Sun”
The theme behind our last album, Make Your Own History, was our logo, the black flag with the lighthouse, trying to shine a light on this dark music scene. After the dark is the “Rising Sun”—[or] trying to bring a new day in this music scene where everything is about gimmicks, trends and characters. The first couple lines of the song are:

"This is the Rising Sun, it hangs from up above / Blinding the children from the darkness they've come to love"

This represents the kids that have entered the scene, and they see these gimmick-powered groups, because they are being shoved down their throats.

“Rising Sun” is about us, and what you will get—four Long Island hardcore kids who grew up in a hardcore scene, giving the people something real and something more than what is flooding this scene.
--Tom Williams

“Death Beds”
The song “Death Beds” is about the people in the working class
who hate their jobs but continue to do them. The nine-to-fivers that settle for what miserable lives they have created for themselves. I never wanted to be like that, and I never understood how someone could let that happen to themselves. [Spending] day after day with the same routine life would drive me to insanity. The American dream seems more like "the American nightmare" to me. I want our fans to read the lyrics to this song and realize there’s more to life then just doing what you’re told all of the time. I want more people to change their life for the better if they are unhappy with theirs. When I say "put your fist in the air to the sound of the new beat," I’m asking them to join us, to be a part of this band and the things that we stand for.
--Drew York

“Mad Girl”
Long story short, this is a song that I've been trying to write for years. It is about a very personal and very real situation. When I was 19 years old, I became a father. My daughter Madison Marie was born on June 20, 2006. Her mother and I had been middle school/high school sweethearts. We agreed to make things work with a very hectic life, between my exhausting touring schedule and the fact that we were only kids having a baby in our lives. Everything seemed to be going very well for awhile, but it was very hard being away from my daughter all the time. I made the effort to see and talk to her as much as I possibly could. A week before we were getting ready to leave for a tour with the Warriors, Madison’s mother said to me that she couldn’t be with me anymore. The news was shocking and very upsetting to me. I had no choice but to make amends with the situation.

I went on seeing my daughter when I was home on certain days. Her mother then started dating somebody else and told me that she did not want me in Madison’s life. [Due to] circumstances I cannot [talk about], Madison’s mother was able to weed myself and my family out of her life. I have not seen my daughter in over a year. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about her, what she is doing or who she is with. Going through all of this has made it extremely hard to trust [other people], let alone maintain healthy relationships. This song is 1000% about Madison’s mother and the things she has put me through mentally and physically. No matter what happens in the future, I know one day I will be reunited with my daughter. This is not a sappy love song about a girl that broke my heart. This is a song about my life, the life that I want back.
-- Drew York

“Bring It Back To The Streets”
We all want music to be like it used to be when we were growing up. In this day and age, music is recycled through social networking sites, downloaded illegally and forgotten about. When I was growing up, I used to skip school to wait in line at record stores to buy my favorite band’s new record. I distinctively remember doing that when Deftones’ White Pony came out, and when it did, that CD stuck with me for weeks, and became a part of me. Music is supposed to mean something; it’s supposed to be special. Instead of taking hours to make a mix tape, you can make an "on the go" playlist on your iPod in under five minutes. The music industry is going digital fast, and it is killing what I used to love.

“Bring It Back To The Streets” is a song about trying to bring it back to those days of release dates and mix tapes. The kids of the new generation don't know what they are missing out on. It makes me wonder, do people getting into music now feel the way I feel when I listen to [Rage Against The Machine’s] Evil Empire?
--Tom Williams

iMEMBER
This song is very blunt and straightforward. After listening to it a time or two, it’s no secret what it’s about. A lot of shit in the music scene is hideous, and we have front row seats to the disaster.

The one comforting thing is that I know that it won't last. Which is what inspired the chorus of the song.

"And when you’re gone, we'll hang a black flag with a light house shining."

Kids now-a-days can open any magazine, and nine times out of ten, they will land on some crazy neon colors or a band that looks like CATS the musical. And if they are new to the scene, they think that it’s normal.

"Nobody should have to settle for this, this is not how it’s supposed to be, in one ear and out of the other, this is not how it’s supposed to be. Now easy does it, because the kids love it, this is where thoughts go to die—make no mistake, there is nothing the same between you and I"

Those lyrics are pretty self-explanatory once you know the theme. They write easy to listen to music, with lyrics that say nothing to spark the brain. These bands get so big because the majority of the people like easy, they don't like to think; that’s just the world we live in. We feel that music was made to spark reaction, whatever it is, just something.

The title of this song came from the fact that a lot of these bands don't even play their own instruments. They rely on iPods to play backing tracks out of the house systems—so we named the song "iMember."
--Tom Williams

(continued on page 2...)

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track by track stray from the path rising sun long island

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