I Will Be There – “It’s Hard to Make a Heart Forget” – Part 5 of 10

This is a song that a lot of people have told me is their favorite track on the new record. I had recorded a version of it for the last album, “Hope”, but that album already had 17 other tracks on it, and I thought it better to sit on this one a little bit longer. I’m glad it was worth the wait! 🙂

The Story
I had been invited by the folks over at GreenRoots in Los Angeles to attend a songwriting meet-up. They would take 15 writers, split them up, and then after a couple hours, everyone would come back together and share the songs that they had written. I love cowriting, as I said the other day, and this sounded awesome to me. At the same time, I was pretty nervous about who I would be matched up with. (There are some people that I don’t necessarily get along with in LA… if you didn’t know…)

We all met up at Mikal Blue’s studio, Revolver Studios, in Thousand Oaks, and were put into groups. I won the lottery and got in one of the biggest rooms with two of my favorite people in the entire world- Nina Storey and JT Spangler. This would be one of the best nights that I had when I was living in LA.

We all sat down in our room- Nina at her keyboard, and JT and I across the room with our guitars and started getting to work. JT started with sharing a line he had written- “It’s hard to make a heart forget…” and Nina and I both coo’d “OOOOOOOoooooooo…” We started with the chorus, and it took about an hour. I was feeling a little down about it taking so long, but I felt good about it, because we stuck to the format, and it fit really well.

We then moved to the verses. JT was the one who’s voice we were writing for, so it was a little out of my range, but he had some great ideas like when he said, “I like to throw in a line that throws people off, like “It took all my composure…” I don’t think people say things like that… Nina and I agreed.

We all threw lines back and forth, and eyes were getting pretty teary in there. Nina and I had just gone through breakups and it was fresh for both of us. (JT would go through a break up soon afterwards… but I doubt it was cause of the song… but I’m not going to rule that out…)

We finished the first verse, and we had about an hour and a half before we were supposed to be finished. There is a funny joke that we started where if someone needs to leave for the restroom, they say something to the effect of, “I need to use the restroom… finish the song while I’m gone and put my name on it…” It was a JT’s turn to use the commode, and I told Nina to write down whatever I sang. I started freestyling the second verse and…. I don’t want to brag… but KNEW that I nailed it, when I looked up and saw her absolutely sobbing behind the keyboard. I ran over and gave her a hug, (made sure she actually HAD written it down…) and we cried it out. JT came back and said, “Are you guys done?” and we both looked up and said, “Kinda…” I played it for him, and he said, “Brilliant!” and we worked on the bridge.

When we went into the meeting room to play our song for everyone else, we went second to last. I think we all felt pretty confident, because all three of us loved our song- However, when the other artists started playing their songs, they were all positive and happy! I started feeling pretty awkward and whispered to Nina, “We are totally going to ruin this party…” Sure enough, when we played, I can still remember tears in Angelique Sheppard’s (Owner of GreenRoots) eyes when she said, “This is exactly why we do what we do.”

And here’s your song!

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I Will Be There – “Tennessee” – Part 4 of 10

Tennessee. I dig it. Kinda.

The City
I’ve been able to spend a bit of time in Nashville, Tennessee during my career. I have even thought about moving there a few times! The first encounter I had with Nashville was in 2008, when I was selected for the top 30 for a TV show on NBC called, “Nashville Star”. I was nervous, self-conscious about my weight, and ended up ultimately psyching myself out while being sequestered in my room during the auditions. I can honestly remember it being one of the lowest, most depressing moments in my career, when I was told that I didn’t make the show, and was flying back to California.

I think of that moment often, when I come into parts of my career that feel like setbacks. You have your imagination be let free by the possibility of getting on a show, only to have it come crashing down when some producer doesn’t think you’d be the right “Fit”. As I’ve gotten older, and with the help of my label, Randm Records, I’ve seen that those types of shows, (American Idol, The Voice, Etc…) Aren’t really what music is about. For some reason, somewhere down the road, it became about that- and it’s ruined the entire music experience/industry for me.

Some could say, “You’re just crying about sour grapes, cause you didn’t make the show…” But is it? I’ve auditioned multiple times and been called back and ultimately not chosen, but do I really want to be some pre-taped/canned version of myself, or would I rather do it my own way, with my own words. In a way, I guess that’s what this whole blog is about. You know that those TV shows would HATE to have me say what I really was thinking backstage… And doesn’t the same, “Oh whoa is me… I’ll never make it in the music biz, because I’ve gone through this and this…” into, “I’m just so happy to be here!!!” into, “I can’t believe I won!!!” get old after a while? I just want to say this. “I did my best, wrote the best songs I could, and performed them for people who were feeling the way I do.”

That’s the first part of what Tennessee is about. It’s about the disconnect between the actual music industry, and the glitz and glam of the “fame game” that it’s become. Why do I have to worry about people judging my appearance/care of some stupid radio dj likes my song? Why can’t I just be happy with playing a song I wrote at an open mic, and going back to where I was when this all began in 2006? I used to LIVE for showing up to gigs. Now, sometimes it feels like a chore. I do more behind the scenes, than the actual thing I want to do- play and write and sing. Randm Records has been doing their best to give me that opportunity again and I’m running with it.

The Girl
I mean… one of my songs that wasn’t about a girl??? psh… probably not gonna happen… right? 😛

I had a close friend who I had fallen for a few times… (The whole “Push Me-Pull You” effect…) And she ended up moving to Tennessee. When she did, she also changed. We talked regularly, and then out of nowhere, she just disappeared. I’ve tried to figure out what happened, but sometimes, you just got to let it go. When I refer to her in the song, it’s usually about the idea of friends who become too “big” or “busy” to still keep you as a friend. I don’t know if that’s what happened in this case, but I do know that this song has taken on a whole knew meaning since she started ignoring me. Here’s the play-by-play:

The Song
My dear, Tennessee 
(Tennessee being the Music Industry and the Girl)
Well, you’re just too big for me (Music Industry and Girl – not worth paying attention to me) 
Your neon lights lay heavy on my sky (Girl/ Your memory brings me down. Industry/ Your glitz and glamour brings me down)

Oh what have you done, 
What great city you’ve become (Girl and Industry – You’ve changed, congrats.)
To let the minstrels sing before they die (Girl – Thanks for the last hoorah, before you hurt me/ Industry- Thanks for letting us sing before you tear us apart)

Say a prayer for me
All you saints of Galilee (This is directed at all of my fans/friends/possibly even angels… Please think about me while I struggle with this- Mike Butler suggested this line, and I really dug it. I originally had said, “Saints and pixies”.)
Cause I don’t know who I will be tomorrow (This has to deal with my bipolar disorder- it basically means that I don’t know how I’ll feel about any of this in the future/tomorrow)

But once the night has come
I can drink until the sun (Tonight, I’m going to do whatever I can to forget about all of this)
Ruins me, the way it always does (Tomorrow, I’ll be depressed about you again- Both the girl and the music industry)

Oh Tennessee, Tennessee,
Won’t you pray for me
You’ve taken all, all I had to give (I gave this my best shot.)

When all the love is gone
I guess it’s time for getting on
But you’ll always have the center of my heart (I’m over this, but just so you know, I’m never going to forget about you)

Houses made of cards
And smiles filled of scars
Are all I hear, when you whisper name (Mostly about the music industry – The idea that what you’re showing/promising musicians is completely fake.)

Lines and promises
Empty kisses
All your pretty words, they all just sound the same 
(Mostly about the music industry as well – All of the fake compliments and half-hearted agreements you give are just the same old thing and I’m done believing you.)

Explanations
So a few further explanations- The music industry is a combination of DJ’s, other artists, producers, labels, etc… It’s not just some silly TV show- its the constant grind and posturing and backstabbing that goes on. (So you can blame LA for some of that too… It’s not all Nashville…) The problem I had with Nashville is that everyone had accents, and I couldn’t tell who was my friend and who wasn’t, because they all sounded like sweet, innocent people!

As far as my friend is concerned, I don’t know how she feels about anything, and at this point, I’m honestly over it. You can only do so much before you just have to let it go.

This song holds so much emotion to me that I wanted to name the entire record “Tennessee”, but that was vetoed. (Probably a good decision.) I don’t usually write in metaphors, but this was probably one of my favorite songs to write and sing on the album. The vocals on this track are also the original tracking vocals, and my producer Mike Butler liked them so much, that he kept them in. When the band that played on the record and I finished, we all sat back and stared at each other- we all loved this track. I hope you do, too.

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I Will Be There – “Goodbye, Good Times” – Part 3 of 10

New Album, "I Will Be There" Available on Randm Records!

New Album, “I Will Be There” Available on Randm Records!

The Co-Write
One of the things I love about Nashville is that rather than saying, “Let’s do sushi, sometime.” (Like in LA) they say, “Let’s cowrite sometime!” Cowriting is one of the most rewarding experiences that I’ve been able to take part in during my time as a songwriter. Hearing other people’s ideas and pulling from chord changes that I’ve never attempted brings out new melodies and ideas that I’ve never used before.

This is the story about the only cowrite that I’ve ever done with my guitar player, Ariel Levine, and how brilliant it was.

The Melody
Ariel came over and sat in my favorite chair at my pad. “Nuh uh…” I said… “that’s my spot.” (This is not vital to the story… I just wanted to let you all know that I’d treat you the same way, unless you’re elderly, or bigger than me.)

After we found the correct positions, Ariel grabbed my Taylor and showed me a chord progression he had been working on for a long time. I loved it immediately. I hummed out the melody for what would be our chorus immediately, before he even had a chance to say anything. I had walked into the other room to grab a cup of coffee, and while walking in the room,I said, “You know what that melody is, right? It’s hmmmm- HMMMM- HMm- Hmm -hmm- hmmmm- HMMMMM—- HMMMM -HMMmm- Hmmm- Hmmmm- Hm- Hmm- Hmmmm -Hmmmmm…” (Obviously, this is the best sentence I’ve ever blogged…)

Ariel looked up at me and gave me the single kindest compliment he’s ever given me. “Shit, dude… That’s exactly it… I’ve been working on this song for three years and you nailed it on your first try.” I honestly can say it was one of my proudest moments. (Ariel is NOT easily impressed.)

The Words
We came up with the idea of an “out of luck” character who just didn’t have a chance against the world. At each point of his story, we wanted him to just be completely unlucky- but not unlikeable. And that’s how the story began….

Started way back when I was just four years old
Never did as I was told
Oh no
20 years later and not a damn thing has changed
Yeah, I’m still the same
And I’m still deranged

Well the cops came and locked me up
All because I just couldn’t stop
And now I’m doing five
in the penitentiary

In the first chapter of our story, we’re not really sure who our character is, but most people just assume it’s me since I’m the one singing. I’m cool with that. Did you know that the most googled question about me is, “How old is Josh Damigo”? I’ve had many people already ask if I was 24, based on this song. I’ll take it. 🙂 Based on this chapter, I’m guessing that we’re all pretty much thinking he’s in jail for petty crimes… but nothing really big to make us dislike him.

Goodbye, all of my good times
I had some good times, saying goodbye

I just love the play on words in this song. It’s so fun to just move it back and forth. You can really say so much in so little words. You know that doing bad things can be fun… right? (I didn’t type that.. I’m not sure how it got in my blog, Grandma… Just ignore that….)

Now I’m out on the street trying not to break parole
I’m going to church
Sitting in the front row

They passed me the biggest offering plate I’d ever seen
I couldn’t help myself
There was so much “green”!

Well the Pastor called the cops
and they came and they locked me up
and now I’m doing ten
in the penitentiary

I love the idea of taking money OUT of the offering plate. I would never do that… but it’s so funny to me. I mean, here we have a guy who just got out of jail and is trying to do the right thing, but what are you going to do? They just put a big plate full of money in front of him… Surely, you wouldn’t put a plate of food in front of a starving man and expect him not to touch it? Obviously, he’s getting more years for this crime than the first one, because… well… he should’ve learned.

Now I’m out on the street trying to keep my nose clean
I got me a job
in a bowling league

Well the women’s team captain is a ball bustin’ son of a gun
She got in my face
So I just swung

Well, That was my third strike
Cause she was the Sheriff’s wife
And now I’m doing life
in the penitentiary

It’s an odd saying, “Keep my nose clean.” I’m sure it’s a drug reference, but I didn’t know that. I love the idea of criminals working at a bowling league. I just feel like a smokey room like that with the pool tables and cruddy bar would be a perfect place for our unlucky leading man. On top of that- the idea of a woman’s bowling league captain getting in the face of an employee. How annoying would that be? And a guy who’s had to be on edge in prison for that long? His only reaction would be to protect himself and go on the offensive. In light of the Ray Rice incident, the idea of hitting a woman is not funny, and therefore, I find it fitting that he gets life in jail…. (Even if it’s mostly because she was married to the sheriff… how unlucky can you get?)

Me and Big Larry busted out of the prison walls
And we made our way
To Mexico, yeah

A pretty señorita sang a song of sweet seduction
but just my luck
She was the Federali’s wife, WHY?

Now I’m wearing a blindfold
and I’m having my last smoke
and this firing squad
is gonna be the death of me

The lyrics were originally “Gay Larry” cause that’s funnier, but I love the idea that our character makes friends in jail and breaks out. We don’t hear about prison breaks much anymore. That’s kind of a bummer. It would make life much more romantic.

Ariel came up with his alliterated line of “señorita sang a song of sweet seduction” and wouldn’t let me change it, even though I tried to, a dozen times. It grew on me. I’m into it now.

I also dig that our character has not only angered the police in the US, but now, he’s also done so internationally. Poor guy…

Obviously, the only way to end a story like this is with a pun about firing squads and death.

By far, one of the most fun songs to play live on the record and gives me a ton of extra street credit, since there’s no way I could or would do any of the crimes in this story… But I could see situations where I accidentally flirt with the wrong señorita….

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I Will Be There – “Just Give Me a Call” – Part 2 of 10

(If you want to purchase it!)
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/i-will-be-there/id919422691
Happy Reading!

The Call

I was dating my ex, and getting ready for tour when I penned this one. She was going through a rough decision as to what she should do as a career, and mentioned that she didn’t want to bother me with her “problems.”  This has always been a balance that I haven’t done well with, as I’m told by multiple people that I’m terrible to read on the phone. (Texts…etc…) A lot of my good friends have commented that they hate to call me because I always sound annoyed on the phone. I think I do have some sort of telephonic anxiety as to “get to the point… you’re annoying me…” and would rather not be on the phone than to be on the phone just listening to silence… (So annoying!!! Say something!!!) but I wouldn’t want someone to not call me because of that! I wrote this one to reassure her that I would always answer if she called.

“When the very earth you stand on
starts to tumble down

When you’ve overstayed your welcome
and you’re tired of this old town

When your friends, they all desert you
and you want to come around,

Just give me a call.” I guess this part is pretty self-explanatory. Basically, I wanted her to know that no matter what situation she was in, she could run to me, and I’d be there.

“When you’re tired of all the liars
and all the politics,
When your heart is nearly broken
and you feel like it could quit,
When your world just won’t stop spinning
and you want it all to end,
Just give me a call.” Again, pretty self explanatory. I think the one part that is a little deeper is the idea of the liars and politics. I can’t stand people who hit you up just when they need something. I regularly get calls from people out of the blue, just because they want a favor or advice. I’m more than happy to give it, if we have a good relationship/talk a lot, but if we haven’t talked in a year or two, and you’re just hitting me up because you want free tickets to an upcoming show… psh… that’s rude. The idea of “Politics” refers to those friends you have who treat your friendship like a power play. I watched the entire season of “House of Cards” in two days… don’t try to pull that stuff on me… 😛

“I will be there
to put the blue back in your skies,
I will be there
Before the tears fill up your eyes,
I will be there
To hold you through it all,
Just give me a call” -I think this has a dual meaning. Part of it is my faith- the idea that God loves me and could literally be there for me before tears show up in my eyes. The other part is a longing to be able to do this for someone. How great would it be to stop a friend from crying just by having them know that you’re there for them? The power in that is unbelievable to me. I hope that I’m able to supply that for someone one day. (If I haven’t already.)

When you’re searching for a reason
But it just can’t be found,
When you’re all filled up with poison
And your body’s on the ground,
When you want someone to love you
Without making a sound,
Just give me a call.  -I’d guess that the middle of this section has the deepest meaning of the whole track, and that people are going to get it wrong. (Which is fine! I want it to mean something different to everyone…) But since it’s my blog and I’m talking about it in my words, the lines, “When you’re all filled up with poison”, doesn’t actually refer to alcohol. It refers to negativity. Sometimes, you just need to talk to a friend who is positive to get you out of the funk, and that’s what I’m trying to be there.

The second part is “When you want someone to love you without making a sound.” I’ve already had people joke about this one and say, “What kind of sex is that?” HA! That’s not what I meant at all. The idea that I had was one of being next to someone that you cared about and just holding their hands. Sometimes, in life, there are no words that you can use to help someone out. If a child died, what do you say to the parents? “God has a plan?”, “It will get better?” even, “Sorry for your loss.” All seem like such terrible responses. I think it’s better to just hold them and say nothing at all. That’s what that line means to me.

The Second Meaning
The meaning that this has taken on for me since releasing the single, was that of hope for those who are depressed. In the light of Robin William’s suicide, I was incredibly moved to make sure that everyone I know and come in contact with, would feel important and loved. You never know how much someone is hurting inside, and I believe it’s good to think of those things whenever you see someone. I hope that I’m always someone who comes across to others as one who cares about their well beings, and even in an argument, they would know that I want their lives to be as beautiful as possible.

Two days down! Eight more to go! Here’s your song clip and lyrics!
-j

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I Will Be There – “Walking With Your Shoes Untied” – Part 1 of 10

Well, here’s the beginning! The big reveal of what my songs mean… I know you’ve all been waiting in anticipation since I announced it last Wednesday. (I hope I don’t let you down!!!)

The Game
My good friend, Cathryn Beeks, runs a friendly competition called “The Game” every other month in San Diego. The way that this game is played is simple- she supplies a title, and all of the writers have a few weeks to write a song, and then perform it for everyone at a show. You end up hearing 20 songs with the same title, but all completely different. The “winners” are those who participate and those lucky enough to find seats to the show. 🙂

She had received the title, “Walking With Your Shoes Untied” from the great writer, Jack Tempchin, who’s song “Peaceful, Easy Feeling” was one of the greatest songs released by The Eagles. At shows, I usually would explain this song, this way: “I like to tell people that I wrote this song with the great, Jack Tempchin! He wrote a bunch of hit songs including “Peaceful, Easy Feeling” by The Eagles! But that’s a lie… I don’t think he knows who I am…” And then I start the song…

What it Means
I feel like I’ve gone through a lot in the last few years. A rendezvous in a city that didn’t feel like home, with people who just want to be famous, relationships that completely unraveled (with no explanation), and depression that left me gaining 50 pounds (which I’ve lost!!! Yay!!!) are just the tip of the iceberg. When I heard the title, I immediately thought about a Bible verse that I love. Psalm 37:23-24 reads, “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and he delights in his way. When he falls, he will not fall face-first, for the Lord holds his hand.” To me, what better friend is there, than someone who will be there when your life hits the pavement, or takes a nose dive into the mud?

I went to writing the song as a way for me to snap out of my funky times in life. “Every song won’t be a hit.” Is directed right at me, because I have too high expectations of myself. It’s just a reminder not to be upset if I write a dud. (Don’t worry- I’d never let you hear one when I do…;-)

“Every year won’t be your best” – It was around New Years, and everyone was talking about how “Amaaaazzzzzing” or “Terrrrrible” 2013 was. It usually had to do with their outlook on life, and not really how the year went. (Just watch social media on December 27th… You’ll roll your eyes too!)

“But if you learn something from it, there’s no need to hang your head…” Just a reminder to keep my head up… And it rhymes… 😉

“Every wrong turn isn’t wrong, and all the right moves don’t always work…” This was a reminder to me to keep working, and to do it, in Frank Sinatra’s Words, “My way.” Everyone tells you how you “should” do something, but just because that’s how others do it, it doesn’t mean that’s how I have to!

“But if you learn a lesson dear, don’t let nothing bother you!” Sorry about the double negative… I just wanted to make sure you knew to “shake it off”, no matter what it is you’re going through.

“It’s like walking with your shoes untied,
Singing with the clouds in your skies,
Laughing through the tears in your eyes,
It’s just a little thing called, “life”
And it’s like walking with your shoes untied.”
I honestly have never been able to be the kinda guy who can just be easy going- like so many San Diegans… I guess that’s why I seem to be so “uptight” in SD, but “easy going” in LA… Weird, right? This is just about learning to be carefree.

“Every plan won’t always work
And you may fall flat on your face
But once you brush off all the dirt,
You’ll see, it’s gonna be a beautiful day”
Similar reminder from earlier in the song- and back to that Bible verse- just brush the dirt off and remember how beautiful everything is!

Last part- “now don’t you get me wrong,
It’s not always, rainbows and love songs” this part is about those people I meet who are completely disillusioned with the idea that life is always amaaaaaazing… I can’t ever go that far- I’m not that naive- but I heard a fantastic quote for those times in your life. “There are only two things in life you can control, and those are your attitude and your work ethic, everything else is completely out of your control, so let it go, therefore – “But you can’t do anything, except change the way you look at things!”

So I guess that’s the whole song. I hope it give you as much as encouragement as it sometimes gives me. 😛 Even on your hardest days, try to keep your head up, because sometimes, that’s all you can do.

See you tomorrow.
-j

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“I Will Be There” – A 10 Part Series

New Album, "I Will Be There" Available on Randm Records!

New Album, “I Will Be There” Available on Randm Records!

Greetings and Salutations! (Man, I’m glad I don’t really talk like that…)

I wanted to make a quick announcement to all of you who read. (And for those of you who have other people read for you… or maybe have an app that is reading this now…)

Over the next week and a half (starting on Monday, October 13th) I’ll be posting the stories/meanings behind the songs from my new album, “I Will Be There” which is available now through Randm Records.

So what are you going to do to pass the time? Study it by downloading it on iTunes?? Purchase the physical album by going to Music.RandmRecords.com? Watch videos of cats eating people food? (You’re weird.)

Thanks for supporting, and I look forward to telling you all of the dirty little secrets of this record!

I will be there.
Josh Damigo

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Robin Williams, Depression, and Me

I’ve been thinking about this post for a while. My grandmother complains that I’m not writing blogs enough, and to be honest, with the ease of tumblr (the platform for joshdamigo.com) and the amount of work/studio time/songwriting/gigging, my blog has been slacking, pretty badly. (Hi Grandma! Please don’t correct my grammar…)

The Robin Williams tragedy has really been playing in my head over and over again. It’s just not fair. Here’s a guy who’s seemingly, to a struggling singer/songwriter like myself, was “living the life.”While I’m fighting at every gig for attention, over some lame story about work that some loudmouth at the bar is screaming to the bartender. Robin could easily sell out a club if there was just a “rumor” that he was showing up. I’m writing and gigging and struggling and he’s putting out dozens of great flicks. He’s got all the talent in the world, and then it ends the way it did.

I am not as talented as Robin Williams, nor am I trying to promote myself to his level. But he was someone who I’ve always looked up to. I believe my first real “Robin Williams” experience was in the movie, “Hook”. He plays the struggling father character who means well, but is caught up in life, and that has always resonated with me. I think I probably watched that movie 50 times as a kid.

Depression and Me

When I was 19 years old, I was diagnosed with a type of bipolar disorder that I’ve struggled with my whole life. For those of you who don’t know what this type of depression is like, think of my emotions as a roller coaster. My “highs” are higher than normal. If I like a new kind of cookie, I completely indulge in it. I study it. I obsess over it. I tell everyone I know about it. I LOVE this cookie. The “highs” are awesome. The “lows” aren’t. The dips that happen are so intense that it gets hard to cope. Panic attacks happen semi-regularly, and things regularly seem more bleak than they really are. A co-worker does a shady deal that screws me, and I can’t focus at work for 3 days afterwards because it keeps playing over and over again in my mind. I go to bed and dream about it. I wake up and it’s the first thing on my mind. It’s like a fog that you just can’t shake. (Shoot… I just blogged about it… and I really shouldn’t care…)

It’s always been this way for me. I’ve always been really “intense”. As a kid, I’d think all of my friends hated me on a regular basis and cry for no reason. (Sometimes I still do.) My imagination takes over, and I react differently to the same stimulus almost every time. Some people may call me “moody” or not understand, and whenever I become close with someone I try to explain to them what this disorder is like so that they can understand how I work. I regularly tell people that if they had my phone number, they’d hate me, because of the way I react when I get texts and calls. Depending on my mood, I can be the most cold person one moment, and the most cuddly and loving the next.

Oh, and the “indulging”… Things like shopping or over-eating are like my “Go to” drug when I get binges of depression. I gained about 50 pounds when I was depressed in Los Angeles and it took a ton of work to get that weight down when I moved back to San Diego. It can also be good, however…. I can write intensely. I can focus all of my energy on working out, playing sports, playing gigs, etc… and it can fuel me to push past the point of exhaustion.

When I heard about Robin Williams, I completely felt like I knew how he was feeling. When I heard more about what he was going through- Money problems, the beginning stages of Parkinson’s, having to do supporting rolls in small shows, depression…- I thought… “I get that.” ::Holding back tears::

I don’t talk much about my lows, because it’s really hard to. I hide. Every time. Jeff,(my manager/Best Friend/Roommate), my mom, my grandma, and maybe a few other incredibly close friends are the only ones who I’ve ever really let in when I go through my depression. Jeff said he can tell when a “Storm” is coming. (Many times after a huge high, like a big show or something…)

To me, It’s like the scene in the latest Superman movie when Clark starts getting all of his powers in grade school and locks himself in the hall closet. Here’s how the convo goes:

Clark Kent – age 9: The world’s too big, Mom.
Martha Kent: Then make it small. Just, um, focus on my voice. Pretend it’s an island out in the ocean. Can you see it?
Clark Kent – age 9: I see it.
Martha Kent: Then swim towards it, honey.

I can’t tell you how hard this scene makes me cry… every single time. Sometimes, I’m so gripped with panic attacks, that all I can do is sit in the bathtub with the shower running and cry until it finishes.

So why talk about this?

In light of what just happened to one of my childhood heroes, I thought maybe there may be someone, somewhere who needed to know that they weren’t the only one who is going through this type of thing. I do, too. I’ve tried medication in the past, but it stifled my creativity. I went a whole year without writing a single song. I just sat in my room and stared out the window during my Sophomore year of college, completely numb.

I don’t want to live that way. I want to feel. I want experience the highs of playing with Kory, Ariel, and Chris at the House of Blues on Mondays.(Sigh) I want to fall in love, get hurt, and do it again. (Not much more… so if my future wife could just appear, already, that would be nice…)

My last album was entitled, “Hope”, because it was a running theme through the entire record. Either the abundance of hope, or the lack of it, was threaded through every track. After listening to this new album,(15 times in the last 28 hours…) it could be called, “Hope… Act 2” and I don’t think anyone would mind.

I guess I’m still writing songs about keeping your chin up when you’re knocked down and diving into the sea of despair on other tracks and I really, really, hope that you guys like it.

So now what?

This isn’t meant to be a pitch for the record, just a note to let you guys know that if you need someone, please find someone. (I can’t be that to all of you… so don’t pick me… :-P… BUT find someone in your life who you can confide in….) I know some of my listeners work at hotlines and talk to people fighting depression and other mental disabilities regularly. I’m sure you could literally type in “Depression” into google and find toll-free hotlines.(I’m not advocating for any particular one, because I don’t have any experience with any myself…) Please do something. Life/this world is always going to be better with you in it.

My heart goes out to the William’s family, and I’m so sorry for your loss.

I hope you guys all have a good night, life, and know that we’re all in this together… during the beautiful days, and the rough ones. Thanks for being there to pick me up when I’m down, and I hope you’ll think of this post, or my music when you are.

-j

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