Welcome to "The End" - DAY 1
A man I met while waiting for the train saw my guitar and asked what I did with it. I told him I played in a band and wrote songs, that kinda thing. He asked how many songs I knew. I didn't know what he meant but didn't feel like asking him, so I just said my band was going to release a record soon.
This seemed to puzzle the man. He was, I'd guess, in his late seventies, and I assumed he thought I'd meant a vinyl record and was surprised that a "whippersnapper" like myself even knew what vinyl records were, much less that people (presumably the other whippersnappers I know) would buy them.
Turns out he didn't mean any of that.
Right before I launched into my response, which would've been a rambling explanation that, first of all, I was neither "whippy" nor "snappy," and that while we likely weren't pressing vinyl this time around plenty of bands still did, and plenty of folks actually do buy them, and so, sir, you're just wrong ... blah, blah ... But before any of that came out, he spoke again.
"So are you gonna just trickle out the songs online, or are you gonna do something meaningful with them?"
It was at this very moment I started to cough. A lot. I even coughed right in the man's face, I think. A piece of spit must've gone down the wrong way, but I think I was just surprised or perhaps unconsciously stalling as I tried to deduce what exactly I was dealing with here. Who was this man? What did he know about trickling out songs? Was he a musician? If not, then how did he know the confusion and heartache of trying to prove you exist in a world where no one seems to notice or care what you're doing and a world where, even if they do, your "commodity" has been devalued to the point where you have to pretend it's just a hobby, yet you push forward, year after year, despite these realities in an attempt to find meaning and purpose and joy and maybe even a little sense of who you are in life? Also: Why isn't this man kicking my ass right now for coughing in his face??
Seconds later (felt like minutes), I regained control of my lungs, apologized profusely, and finally said, "Yeah, man. Something meaningful, I hope."
He went on to say he'd read a lot about how the internet was taking a wrecking ball to the business of the arts, while also freeing the artists themselves. "It's beautiful, actually," he said. "The wrecking ball's gonna do it's thing, but the other ball—the one that matters—is now in your court."
I almost wept at the sentiment, though I'm still not sure I understand it. I just know that I got on that crowded train moments later with a newfound goal for our record: Do something meaningful.
Ironically, and with a smidge of undeniable shame, in the end we decided that trickling out the songs online would be the (affordable) solution. But hey, I can assure you it means something. To us, anyway. The man, however, would probably—and should probably—kick my ass.
Thanks for casting a bit of carefree trust in our direction and tuning in for the "launch" of our debut album, The End. Have a look around, and you can get access to days 2-5 below (for free).
-Matt/This Kills Me
(download or stream below)
"Oblivious," like most of these songs, was recorded in our basement practice space last year and was mixed by the lovely Bill Stevenson (of Descendents, ALL, Black Flag).
Live, we’ve opened with this song more times than not. It’s also the first song on the album. We mainly play it, though, because our friend Aaron (from Tiger Castle/Tough Guy Soda) likes it, even though he always calls it “Oblivion” for some inexplicable, insane reason. Or wait, maybe I do say that word, too.
Anyway, sometimes when things die they last longer than if they hadn’t. I guess that's what this one's about.
If you ask me, the absolute coolest part of this song, "CG," is the backup vocal stuff.
We sent this one to Bill for mixing, along with the open-ended complaint that we hadn't figured out backups or harmonies even though this song needed them. It was more of a disclaimer than a request, but lo and behold, when he sent us back the mix, he had added ALL of the additional non-me vocals that you hear.
Bill is a MONSTER musician, likely capable of anything, and one of the best songwriters of our time. So it's truly exciting that he added a lil' somethin' to our record. (He actually sings on tomorrow's song, too.) Thank ya, Bill.
Streaming in all the places
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