This is personal.
When I wrote “Rock ‘N Roll Depression,” I was sitting on my balcony at home and banged it out on my phone as a draft. I didn’t really put much thought into what it all meant, I just wanted to share a story from my life; something about the other side of my rock ‘n roll career. I used to say in interviews that I wished I could take every fan out on tour for one day – to show them what it was really like. I don’t mean to downplay the awesomeness that is/was being in a band, because trust me, it was freaking crazy fun, but there is a side that no one thinks about or sees when they’re buying records and pogoing along at shows.
In writing the post, I was just letting out some stuff in my head, little more. I didn’t think about the people who might read it or what it might make them think or feel. Kind of selfish I guess, but that’s what having a personal blog is all about. I’m not here for you, I’m here for me…but you’re more than welcome to join in. That was kind of the same philosophy I had in the Bloodhound Gang – I was up there having fun for myself, but it just so happened that anywhere from 2 people to 100,000 people were there as well. (Yes, I once played in front of 100,000 people. It was fucking intense.)
Anyway, as you can see by the screenshot in this post, my analytics lit up like a Christmas tree. I’m super stoked about that fact, because even though I blog for myself, it is always cool to see that people are reading and I’m not just writing a diary in the dark. What blows me away more though are the stories I’ve been getting from people. I didn’t intend to have some profound affect on people’s lives and I don’t really think I have, but I’ve heard stories…personal stories. I’m not going to pretend that post is going to save the world, but it makes me think. If one person can read it, if one person can get something out of it, then perhaps I’ve done something bigger than just spilling out the words in my head. Perhaps someone will get some comfort from it or maybe seek some help because they too know the feeling of emptiness that is depression.
Probably the most telling of all the stories was a comment on Facebook from a old friend’s sister. My friend, Dave Warner, lost his battle with depression a few years ago. I flew back for the funeral and buried my friend along with a lot of old high school friends. Guys I had been in bands with or bought metal records with. Guys who turned me on to punk rock and drove me to hardcore shows. These people were my musical foundation – the very people who got me to a point where I could be in a band like Bloodhound Gang. Dave was my early childhood musical equivalent to John Lennon. Him and I wrote songs constantly and had several bands together. When I was with him, I could write songs without thinking. Guitar riffs just came to me. Him and I would pour over liner notes of the records we just bought and we’d sit in his bedroom listening to the latest from Iron Maiden, Anthrax, Slayer, or Cannibal Corpse, usually while watching his favorite movie, Re-Animator. I’m currently reading an autobiography of Metallica and him and I were like James and Lars – constantly challenging one another with new music we had read about in the pages of Kerrang! or Metal Hammer.
A lot of fond memories rushed back reading his sister’s comments and telling her some facts that I had long since forgotten. Like how the riff in “Kiss Me Where It Smells Funny” was actually something him and I had toyed around with back when we were a band called Uncle Otto’s Truck. I had forgotten all about that. I feel like I’m getting a bit off track here, but the point is this – never did I realize that that simple story of some of my darker days would resonate with anyone other than myself and maybe a few close friends who knew about it. But I wrote it anyway. And that’s what I’m taking away from this – sharing is a good thing. Telling your story is a good thing. Your life is more meaningful when people know about it. All of it. Maybe you don’t want to share everything, but time and time again, I see stories that people connect with and learn from. Stories that they find solace in or discover a new way of thinking from. Stories that make them angry, that make them cry, that make them think life is worth living. Stories are the greatest connection we have to each other, because within those stories are the secrets to living. So, what’s your story?