It’s Saturday night and I’m at home with my dog. Sitting in front of a keyboard I can barely play and an MPC. My friend Roger just sent me a rough mix of a new track his band Gather to Burn just recorded and I’m blown away. So I need to create something. Something from nothing but emotion and heart.
I leave my phone on the keyboard and a static crackle comes through my head phones and it’s a text from my guitar player, Dean. It’s a video of a new riff. I get a text from our bass player, Will, and he has an idea for a new show lined up. A text from Dan, with news about the video we’re finishing up for our new single “Cruisin’ ‘Til the Wheels Fall Off.”
We’re all in sync. Making something out of nothing. Just heart and guts and the need to create something a little bigger than us. Something we can’t do alone. If it’s in you, it’s in you. How long it’s in you differs from person to person but with us, it’s there forever. Nothing faked. Maybe the only real thing we can do.
It’s a Saturday night and we’re all on the same page, in separate boroughs and cities. Needing to create. Needing to get out the week’s bullshit. Looking ever forward to that next show where for 30 to 40 minutes, we can truly be free men.
We can leave it all out there. We can share our pains and hates and sadness with strangers and friends alike and for that span of time, hopefully get them to be free men and women. To let it all go and just be. Whether that’s headbanging or just hanging, we appreciate it all and feed off it as we scream and riff and pound out our demons one song at a time.
To truly let go, even briefly, is being free. And in this day and age, all we get are these brief moments. We have work and school; we have wives and kids; we have businesses to run and deadlines to meet. We have what the American dream has become: an overbearing responsibility to make money.
And here we are, on a Saturday night working on things that will never make us any money but makes our lives so much richer that we can turn down the bullshit of the week. We can turn down the bullshit in our lives. The same bullshit everyone has. The different bullshit we all have. The weight we all carry a little differently.
I’ve seen some bands break up.
I’ve seen some bands just stop.
I’ve seen some bands who should have. Because the fire was gone. But we can’t. And we won’t.
Because we need this.
We need this release to stay sane. And live. We can be insane for those few minutes and it feels so good to let it go. And even if there was a time we didn’t want to, there would never be a time we didn’t have to. We need this — selfishly maybe — but we need this. For ourselves. For the few people out there who feel the same way, the same burdens. The ones that have the same nightmares. The ones that just need a good time. Music is great that way. It’s something different and magical to each individual. It’s a release, a savior, a life force, a reminder that no one is alone.
I sit here on a Saturday night, alone as my dog snores behind me on the couch, in front of a keyboard I can barely play, trying to make a sound that can change the world — even if it’s just my world. We don’t do this because we feel obligated. We do this because the need and want are the only things balanced evenly in our lives. Music is amazing. Music saves lives. It continues to save mine.
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