A New Normal
I hope this message finds you well wherever you are. It is certainly possible or maybe even probable that you are not well while reading this, and if that is the case I wish you health and happiness moving forward. It is an extremely volatile and violent time in the history of the United States and the world. A pandemic virus with no end in sight seemingly blindsided us this year, and as we were starting to get used to life with a virus, the country's ugly, vile, racist past reared its head yet again. Now we are divided. Just earlier today I saw a video of men in riot gear pepper spraying crowds at a peaceful violin vigil for a young man named Elijah who was beaten to death by police while on a jog home. It broke my heart. It more than broke my heart actually, it infuriates me. I don't pretend to have the answers to a problem like racism, as it is so deeply rooted in our history and multiple generations of families who have known nothing else. I do know that above all things, looking another man or woman in the eye, trying to understand where they are coming from, and loving them through their flaws is the only way forward. Keeping the discussion going around tough subjects is the only way to fix them. When the conversation dies, we die with it. When we become rooted in our ways, we are dead in the water. Refusal of change is like cutting off the supply of oxygen to the human life. Our entire history and long list of accomplishments comes from a constant evolution and willingness to accept the past and act in the present to change the future.
It feels wrong, or at least tone-deaf, to be promoting all of our new work at a time like this. I don't want anyone to ever think we do not care about the issues of our times. I cannot speak for the rest of the band, but my feelings are that social media is never where the true battle is, and so I am personally okay with promoting our new project online at this time. The true crux of the matter of our times are in personal conversations, tough decisions, and real actions. Petitions and story posts are a good thing, but even changing one person's mind about race and black life in this country in day to day interaction is more valuable in my eyes. Having tough conversations with friends, family, or even yourself is much more necessary than a story post. If anyone feels differently about this or has insight, please DM us on any of our socials or email us, and I would love to dialogue with you. Like I said, I do not have any answers, but I have given my actions a lot of thought.
The new album is not meant to be a criticism of digital life. I actually love the internet, and think it is a beautiful and deeply human thing, even though we often abuse its potential. The good the internet has done for connection and ease of access to resources for many people is simply astounding. The album is simply me recounting my thoughts and experiences as a kid that grew up in one of the first groups of people to live a completely "digital" existence. Meaning that from a very young age I was interacting with the internet or some form of digital tech every day for most of the day. I do not think that is inherently good or bad, I just think it is wildly interesting and set people my age apart from many other groups in human history. These songs are the story of my trials, triumphs, highs, and lows in my "Digital Life" up to this point.
If you have made it this far, just know how much the band and I appreciate you caring about what we are doing. This is not just music to us, it's a means to do good in the world. We aim to unite people under the beautiful umbrella of music. I love you all very much. Please stay safe and healthy, and we'll hopefully see you from a stage sometime soon.
For making it this far and being a real one, heres a sneak peak of a rough draft of our new album art, done by my wonderful friend Ryan Sulesky. Follow him on Instagram @rjasart