Directions - The Story
In life we are presented with decisions that will forever shape us into who we become. Tens of hundreds of thousands of choices are laid out to pick at any given time. One right move can lead towards our ultimate dreams, goals, successes, and prosperity. One wrong move can leave us spiraling downward into a torturous sense of confusion and perplexity. Regardless of both outcomes, we must make these many simple and occasional life defining choices. Are you worried about making another wrong choice? The story of our first album “Directions” will prove that any choice made is not ill faded and will ultimately lead you to your final goal if you continue to hold tight to the following outline of making those tough life decisions.
Let’s face it, sometimes we’re left scared by the negative effects a bad decision has on us. For Someone Else is recognizing the scar on your heart will forever stay, but with the power of understanding that comes from the rest of the story, you know there is no other choice but to move on. It’s okay to recognize your past mistakes and even hold them close. We can’t however be paralyzed. Let the understanding of how great your past decisions have made you lead into discovering more opportunities and possibilities.
It’s time to have some fun again by making another big life choice. Go out there and live life. Soak up the sun and enjoy the Summer Sands. Live a little, why don’t you? Surrender yourself to feel good again. Open yourself up to all life’s possibilities and soon you will see things you’ve never seen before. With such excitement and adrenaline consuming your inner most thoughts, it’s as if the clouds open and with a bright shining light your answer comes down and simply presents itself to you. Maybe you’ve never thought of pursuing such an idea, or potentially you now see the path you’ve been trying to take in a different light. Whatever the case, understand your head and heart and know that you let yourself be happy and open to possibilities. You deserve the opportunity that is now being presented to you.
That’s it, you know exactly what you want. Exactly what you need. It’s now staring you in the face. Where has this been your whole life?! While being all consumed and smitten by this new opportunity, your curiosity is now beginning to peak. You’re 100% excited and 100% terrified, however you’ve been here before and know what it takes to get what you want. By opening yourself up and being vulnerable, you tell your new opportunity that it’s time - I’m coming for you. With your past experiences always in the back of your mind, you try taking a different route this time. You express your intentions will be different and you won’t do the same thing to get the same result as before. This time it’s different. This time you’re all in. This kind of vulnerability leaves you knowing there is no going back. It’s now all on the line when you beg the question “What Kinda Trouble are you into?”
Everyone now knows of your intentions and new found love/opportunity. This causes an enormous amount of pressure. What if my opportunity doesn’t give back all that I have opened up and have given to it? There is only so much more inside that you’re able to give. The last ounce of strength and determination may be the most powerful emotions of all. Give it your ALL. Demand recognition from your new opportunity and tell it you’re the best decision it can make by just giving you a chance. To be someone or something’s Hercules says you will prove beyond any doubts that you are the right choice. Anything it needs, you will give and provide. You’re ready to commit. Absolute desperation begins to creep up on you as your last bit of strength is submitted while you are left on your knees, defeated from begging, waiting for its reply.
Your greatest fear is coming true. The world does not accept your decision nor will it ever support your idea. Everything is beginning to turn against you. They’re telling you why your decision was poor and the reasons why it didn't turn out exactly the way you saw and felt it would. Opinions, judgments, and fingers all pointing in your face. The same negative remarks keep repeating in your mind over and over again. They try tearing you down, leaving you raw and exposed with nothing left after the picking. With what you think is your last stitch effort, you demand the voices of Bad Bones in your head to leave you alone!
Sometimes you believe you have given it your all and it’s still not good enough. The voices have won. They are now in control and beginning to creep from your subconscious into your conscious every way of thinking. Questions flourish your mind and you begin to doubt the very decision you made so profoundly not too long ago. With every scar still left on your heart from every previous decision made, your most recent detachment says hello again. Why did you leave me when you had it so good? Things were perfect. If you would have kept going a little longer, it really could have worked out! You give in and start to believe you have made a big mistake by moving on from a previous bad decision that left you empty and shattered. The feelings from your previous opportunity are now alive and kicking and you simply surrender to those feelings again and Kick Back with a drink in hand, and let the nostalgia overcome. It feels so good to feel so good again. When the last sip is gone and you’re completely locked back in to this moment in time, you open your blurred eyes to look around and realize - that part of your life is gone and will never return.
Things don’t seem normal anymore. You felt that feeling of unconditional love like how you once remembered it to feel. It’s gone. You’re empty. Nothing. Standing up is near impossible and walking is a mere Olympic accomplishment. The trees don’t look the same and the air begins to lose its ability to give you life. Where did all the uplifting emotions of a new found love go? Trying with everything you’ve got, you can not find them no matter how deep you dig. This is not right. Your knees begin to buckle. Looking up into the crystal clear night sky, the stars begin to grow tails that slowly connect to each other. Round and round they come closer to you until all at once it knocks you back on your knees. All you see are the emotions and thoughts you can not control swirling around your face like a cyclone of waves that implode into one another. You’re Fallin and suddenly the ground meets your back as you fade away in the depths of an abyss.
A rush of air throws itself down your throat and pushes your eyes back open. What you see is not what you remember. This is not the world you live in. Everything has an equal part of dark and extreme light. Within a limbo state, you are now your own character in the story. You are able to take a step back and see the world from a third person perspective. Being able to see yourself walk through the motions and gain the necessary perception of the world and the way you want to see yourself continue. You see it all. Past, present, future. It all comes together. Losing your mind has given you the ability in a state limbo to see everything clearly. The past needs to stay in your present in order to rework them both to create a new future. This is why you need to commit to your decision and see it through to the end. The current decision you made that is testing you like no other is nothing more than another opportunity to learn from your experience. To live and learn and move on with the knowledge you have gained is part of what it means to live. No matter what, you have to keep living. You need to keep making these decisions and understand they were for the best, good or bad. Your black and white limbo state gives you all the power and understanding of how to now keep moving forward. The road is long, and 5th Ave is your true understanding of what your path to achievement looks like.
You’re back. Air is in your lungs and the trees are rushing like waves at the beach. You made it through one of your toughest decisions yet. Why? Because that’s what it means to be alive! Living isn’t easy, however it sure can put you to the test. This is all in an effort to make you into the strongest possible version that you can be. You are now able to take this load of confidence with you moving forward. The responsibility you have to uphold yourself to the highest standard you can is now clearer than ever and you have a promise that you made to yourself and you need to keep it. Until your very last day on earth, until the Break of Dawn occurs, you need to find your strength deep down to own your decision and tell the world who you are. Raise your hand, take a bow - you made it.
Serenity fills the air as you no longer have to be paralyzed about making the wrong decision. No matter what decision you make, you now understand it will ultimately shape you into who you need to be. Directions is the retrospective song that embodies the whole album into one song as you look back on the whole experience and realize what you just went through. It now makes sense that the decisions you make are not the ultimate factor, it’s the moments within those decision you’ve made that make all the difference. Yes the world will try and destroy you. It is your responsibility to tell the world TOUGH, I am who I am and you will soon understand that. Out-will the world and the world will soon accept the Directions you have pursued.
Take peace and Rise up in knowing that there are many Directions in this life that we can aim. Choosing a path is better than turning around and heading straight back to the pain. Just remember all the good times that seem to never last.
Behind The Songs
For Someone Else
This is where the narrative begins.
It was 2015, & life was making things appear as though any direction I wanted to go was possible. I could make it happen. Saving for a big move, New York was calling my name, & someone I loved was there, waiting for me to move to be with her.
"She was like the setting sun."
The character of our narrative begins here,
reminded of a feeling of old love.
"Her warmth was the only one." At the time, there was no one else on his mind. Talks of the future, plans that could be made, and many laughs were had, but it came apart. The pieces were scattered.
"Oh I can't be the one, one you want."
Sometimes we tell ourselves we aren't the one. These
decisions should not be based on someone
else's choice or mistake.
"I can shape what I want in life, but sometimes you can't get it right." It's okay to not always have things in a way we'd want, even when someone you thought you were meant to be with is gone. But someone's absence or presence should not change
our idea of what we want in life.
"So I sing this song for someone else."
Even though he lost a friendship and someone he cared about, the character extends a hand to another, offering sympathy and understanding,
in hopes of connecting
This song became one of reconciliation, forgiveness, and compassion, for all those who have been hurt, and are looking For Someone Else.
It was Spring, 2016.
The character sought happiness,
but was not finding it.
Chad had sent me an upbeat acoustic track, maybe forty-five seconds in length. It had two sections: the verse riff & the chorus riff.
I remember listening to it for the first time. The happy vibe was almost sobering. Almost.
Focused on having a good Spirit with a bit of Spirits,
I had to imagine where I
(and the character) wanted to go;
"We all wanna go away, into uh Summer's day."
I was over my job, hardly making it by.
"Sweeping the dust away, I guess I wanna say —"
That it was okay for me (and him) to be happy. That it was okay for others to be happy, & it's okay to have time for ourselves to get away from our day to day life.
"Chase it down and we'll be free."
Whether it be a dream or a destination, if we're seeking to better ourselves, or grow closer to where we believe we're supposed to be, than it is our right & responsibility to take action, and remember,
"Summer Sands, we cheers to thee."
What Kinda Trouble
It was early 2020. Life had twisted a few new forks down a path untraveled, but nothing was a surprise anymore. Offhandedly, someone asked a friend of mine,
"What kinda trouble are you into?"
I repeated the phrase in my thoughts like I'd never heard it before. A few moments passed and the melody popped like a balloon inside my head.
It felt as though I repeated the tune nonstop for the next twenty-four hours, driving myself crazy, only having the first two lines.
I knew, if I spent enough time, it could be a song that describes a certain heartfelt presence, or lack thereof, while allowing the character to explain his feelings
to another he was seeing or imagining.
"Don't wanna take you to a place that ya been to."
Recently I was reminded there's so many places I want to go in life. I wanted to share that sentiment through the character in the song.
"And even though you don't need me and I wished you could see me, you're the kinda trouble I'd be into."
The final sentiment of the song was the character recognizing the significance of connecting with someone, hoping someone would say,
"You're the kinda trouble I'd be into, too."
It was February, 2019. Chad & I had been talking about what it would take for an album to come together. There were songs we loved from the past few years. They needed to be reworked. Some
pieces of the puzzle were missing to
complete the album.
Hercules was one of over a hundred song concepts I'd conceptualized since the fall of 2018. A close brother of mine helped with character ideas.
"What I gotta prove to you, to make you see that I'd been true, yeah."
Coming from a place of rethinking past life situations, the simple idea for the first verse was about vulnerability, asking questions you know you may never hear the answer to.
"What I gotta think or say, I tell myself I know it won't go my way, oh."
Self-doubt plagues the character's mind,
& personally for us being musicians.
"I could run all over, throw a boulder on my shoulder, call me Hercules, I'd be your Hercules."
The main conflict of this song is telling someone you love all the directions you could choose from, yet seeing if they trust you enough to know you'll choose them every time.
"— Begging ya darling please, call me Hercules."
The character's final thought for the song was this:
if you have to get down on your knees & beg, there comes an understanding that either someone
will love & trust you,
or maybe you're not their Hercules.
This was one of the original three songs Chad & I wrote together at the end of 2015.
We had been playing with different riffs when one stuck out to me, so I asked Chad to repeat it.
Fun fact: I improvised almost the whole song. We recorded the take, then went back to fine tune lyrics & the instrumental. Reflecting on the lyrics, I know my feelings on life were ruffled.
So the character was feeling a certain way.
"All hail, the dirty and pale, the big bad bones and the ones that I've failed, oh no."
I was underappreciated, and the loss of a family member & the end of a relationship had
me feeling dirty & used.
"So get your big, bad bones outta here, I, ain't playing around no more."
I was basically giving the bird to my feelings & everything going on in life. It was supposed to be a turning point for me and the character,
where we began to know what we wanted.
This song was the first song Chad & I wrote together.
For me, it's always been a continuation of the story For Someone Else began.
"— Oh the motion, of her hair,
makes me think back then —"
The premise of this song is reflecting on an old love.
The reappearance of memories are stuck in the character's (and my own) mind.
"When it all came together,
just like the puzzle pieces."
The character had to realize the pieces are laid behind him as they are meant to, even though there were moments he felt it happened a day ago.
"And I know we can't go back
there now, but that's okay."
The conclusion was the character feeling peace with how the past would remain unchanged, finding happiness in the moments he remembered.
It was the end of 2016. We'd been discussing coming up with a slow, emotional melody. Chad wanted me to make people feel. For that to happen, I had to connect with the old character again. It was becoming part of me, a struggle to overcome an invisible weight.
Chad challenged me to write the song how I would approach poetry: a slower, intentional pace, with visual metaphors that might leave the listener thinking.
"Cement with the glass, the tunnel I passed,
to find the light telling me how it would end."
The peace the character had been trying to find in Kick Back was sidelined by an accident, where the only light he could see was diminishing by his own indecisions, an irresponsibility to move on.
"Makes me feel certain, I must chase a ghost
In a mirror, cept' nothing is clearer."
The problem was he couldn't face himself. The only way to overcome the past and truly let go
was to die to himself.
"To see the glass look up to window —
a seat I'm looking — a garden of remembrance."
The accident forced life into perspective.
He had died.
It was time for him to wake up.
It was 2019.
The search never seemed to end. But a glimmer of hope may have reappeared.
"Waking up, to the sound of your love."
The character finds himself in a dream, torn between the reality of life and death. Was he too far gone?
"No more cliches about the way that we behave."
He was over the stereotypes of life and relationships.
"I'm losing my mind to find what is right,
I once was so blind when I was living for the night."
After searching for so long, he was done. The hope found in the light beyond night reminded him
there was still much to live for.
He had found the road.
Break of Dawn
"Nothing's set in stone until I'm six feet under."
The character decided he wasn't going to allow himself to remain buried by the Bad Bones.
"There's no T in I but if I were me,
I'd have more time."
In a perfect world, the character couldn't help but imagine what life would be like if he could manage his own time, leaving the confines of normalcy behind.
"To reach higher elevation,
without all my procrastination,
I can make my own creation,
for people across the nation —"
We now see the character has a new level of perspective, asking all those who have followed
the narrative to do the same, hoping they would embrace the same light coming through
the Break of Dawn.
The idea and concept of us coming together for our title track of the album was our greatest group effort.
Our friend and guitarist Jesse had a night where his thoughts paused on the choices of life,
writing the chorus of the song.
2017 was the year it came together, and the character of our story was able to complete his arc.
Chad & Jesse worked on the first verse,
creating the scenario where our character
takes a pause,
reflecting on all he went through.
I came in to finish that verse, and complete the final thoughts of this character in the second verse.
We all came together, concluding the lyrical journey,
hoping this would resonate and help others
find and make the choice in their
own life, on a road called
This song began with the melody written on guitar and designed to be performed with lyrics and vocals on top. It was late 2016 when Peter and Chad tried to write lyrics in hopes of completing the song. That never came to be.
Always dubbed “The Song That Makes Peter Cry” for its emotional melodic movement, it always kept a close distance within the band as we knew it was part of us.
The decision was made to include this song as a final end piece to summarize the feeling that embodies decision making and coming to peace with your choice. That feeling of intense emotional peace finishes the album without any words to let the listener fill in the blanks to their own life story.