In June of 2016, our bandmate and friend Chase Mickel passed away in a car accident. This album was written in his honor, featuring songs that he personally helped write and perform. Below is a a track by track description of how the why the songs were written.
This album is dedicated to the family of Chase Mickel. Let's carry his memory and legacy into the future.
1. Kid Rock This is the last "new" song that we performed live as a 4 piece. I have no idea how it got the working title "Kid Rock", but I'm sure there was a stupid inside joke. This was one of the first songs that featured Chase's keyboard lines as a primary instrument. The lyrics were written at a time when we were planning on making a jump to playing music full time. I was feeling very hopeful about the immediate future and ready to jump into the craziness that was waiting for us. It's sad that things didn't shake out that way, but this song will always be a reminder of that time.
2. Send a Shrimp This was the last song that Chase contributed keyboard lines for, specifically the line in the intro and verse. This original song was only halfway written, so we had to finish it for the recording. "Send a Shrimp" was part of a working title for this song. It seems pretty appropriate because of Chase's constant use of the shrimp emoji. The song itself is just a jumbled mess of words. Which feels about right. I feel like everything I've written in the last couple of months have been bunch of disjointed words, loosely held together by a theme. I just imagined that time in the practice space, when this song was written. The ideas, the energy, the laughs. I just tried to write about that I think.
3. Buy a Shirt I bought my fiancé a ukelele a while back and it just sat around until I decided to pick it up and start learning. I really love the ukelele. It helps me convey emotion a lot easier than if I were playing guitar or keys. It's a very simple instrument, but it can be played thoughtfully. I wrote the riff around the time of Chase's accident. I'd find myself sitting alone strumming on that thing for hours. It just made sense to record a song that featured the ukelele for this album. The name is not a working title, instead it's a title with two meanings. first, at the end of our live set, there would be a moment when Chase would be screaming into the mic. It was a semi-spontaneous moment and he's scream different things at the crowd, half of which where "buy a shirt, buy a cd!!!". The second is a little more serious. After his passing, we wanted to do something special in his honor. So we emptied our bank accounts and printed up a ton of t-shirts to sell to give to a non-profit organization. This ended up being very difficult for us. 100+ people shared our post on Facebook, but only 30 actually purchased shirts. If it weren't for some very generous donations we wouldn't have made any money to donate. It was just sad. There are boxes and boxes in a garage with Chases face on it. I hope one day they all get bought up.
4. Town I can't pronounce The music for this song was written over a year ago. It was a late scratch from our album "Tension". The day we recorded drums, I decided to scrap it because it didn't fit the rest of the album. It felt like a good time to bring it back. Tyler originally wrote a version of this and I changed some things around. After Chase passed away, it was hard to imagine a world without him. In my mind it felt like he had just boarded a plane to Europe and left on an adventure. He's just out there bouncing from city to city, meeting new people, getting into trouble, making friends along the way. He's having the time of his life.
5. Bulb This was a difficult song to write, record and even talk about now. The music was written around the time of his accident. It really didn't vibe with what we were writing, but I really liked it. The guitar riff was something I played a lot over the last few months. I just made sense with how I was feeling. The song is so hard for me because it really acknowledges that he's gone. It's not something I am ready to accept yet. I cried when I wrote it, I cried when I recorded it and I cry when I listen to it. In fact, I only recorded one take of the vocals. I just couldn't do it. It may be a little sloppy or out of tune, but it's the most authentic thing I've ever done. At the end of the song I placed a short recording. We used to record live demos for ourselves so we could practice at home. The audio is taken the song "Sky is Falling". It was the first time we played it all together and chase was commenting on a couple of mistakes that he made. It just felt right to include his voice somewhere.