Even though we are still a month (to the day) out from releasing the new album, I have already been hard at work writing the collection of songs for our next studio effort. The most difficult, and most interesting, part of beginning a new song is the moment when you are staring at a blank page. In the past, we have had such a wealth of unrecorded material that heading into the studio was more of a catching-up process than bringing new ideas to life.
Our upcoming record was the first time since our inception that I have deviated from that process. In particular, I had an idea for a new song called “If I Left For A Year” right as we were entering the early planning stages of the recording process. This is the first time that I have taken something that I have written honestly, quickly, and brought it to life in the studio in such a short window of time. What is exciting about this for me is that regardless of how people respond to the song, their reaction will be a reflection on who I am as a writer right now.
Which brings me back to the blank page. In the case of “If I Left For A Year“, the first verse was inspired by a series of observations of a friend (whom to this day is unaware of his inspirational role) and my attempt to understand his perspective on a particular struggle in his life. Once that was in place, I internalized the observation and wrote the remainder of the lyrics reflecting on what this could mean in the context of my life, the decisions I have already made, and the ones I have yet to make. Then I tried to infuse a certain degree of ambiguity that would hopefully leave room for individual interpretation and thematic universality.
So, what does this have to do with the best movie i’ve seen that everyone hates?
Much of my writing for the next collection of songs has been loosely inspired by the movie “I Melt With You“, and its commentary on male culture, friendship, society, love, drugs, failure, satisfaction, and purpose. Let me be absolutely clear: Everyone hates this movie. It holds a 13% rating on Rotten Tomates. And if you watch it, you will hate it too.
I stumbled across the movie accidentally a little over a month ago. I had faintly remember seeing the trailer a year before, and I was home alone with nothing to do so I gave it a chance. With reviews this terrible, I knew there needed to be something redeeming about it.
I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. And it might be one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.