The Fatigue: The Story

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When Casey and I started writing music again after (virtually) 10 years of not playing in the band we grew up in, it was weird.

Weird, but still pretty easy.  The songs still came naturally, but there was a certain “restarting” period there - like breaking in a new pair of shoes. That’s kind of how I see our return/self-titled album. I’m so proud of those songs and they were really important, especially at the time. Being as I mixed and  produced that record as well, when I listen  back I can instantly hear all the things I would change. But that comes with anything  art related - you always getter better, and always feel like you can top your previous efforts (hopefully!).

What I didn’t fully expect after writing that album, is that some floodgates would be opened.  Now the songs come at me from every angle - I have hundreds of ideas scattered down in my phone and on paper, and dozens of songs “waiting” to be written.

I originally had a different plan for this next album, but it was at that moment that I started to write a few darker songs. Dark isn’t the right word. Real? Embarrassing? I love pop music and will always be infatuated with a killer hook, well written melody and well structured song. But there were some things buried that I still needed to expel.

The next album is a concept album - the first half leans towards my darker thoughts, thoughts that I may not have been proud of, past or present. Thoughts that I may have not wanted to admit to myself. The second half will come out towards the light. It just seemed to flow this way...

“The Fatigue” is the opening track to the new album (which we’re not going to reveal the title of til the end of the year).  This song comes from the murky area which comes after heartbreak, but before completely giving up: “...but I’m way past broken hearted/ I’m way past problem solving”.  I never thought of releasing The Fatigue as a single. I have about 10-12 close friends/advisors whom I send demo tracks to, just to get opinions. Included in one batch were The Fatigue, Misfits, and the song that I THOUGHT was going to be the next single. But every single one of those people seemed to love The Fatigue...

I love this song as well - it’s very close to me, however, I didn’t think it was a single. And maybe it’s not. But it’s a great entryway into the new album to showcase where Casey and I are going musically and lyrically.  So hopefully you’ll like it too.

Oh yeah - we still need a guitar player.
Spread the word.

Albums That Started It All: Sixteen Stone

So as we draw closer to the release of our new album, I (Derek) will also be narrowing down towards the end of my “albums that started it all”. This may be the final one…but who knows, maybe I’ll sneak another in 😼

The small recollection of albums wouldn’t be complete without Bush’s “Sixteen Stone”. I would say that (obsession-wise) this one follows right after Silverchair “Frogstomp”. And, for me, this record wasn’t so much guitar inspiration (although it was), but was more so inspiration on being a band in general.

In the mid-90’s there was a point I can clearly remember where every girl wanted Gavin Rossdale, and every guy wanted to be him. TBH, he could sing a phonebook and I would listen to it. Not only does he have a great voice, but he has a mystique about him which you don’t see often anymore…🤩

But alas, this tale isn’t about Bush’s frontman, it’s about the ALBUM! And here’s what I loved about it. 1) Space. Sublety. Lost arts! This album breathes so well. As I re-listen while writing this, I still hear so many nuances that I never heard before. And I listened to this CD hundreds of times as a teenager. 2) Lyrics. What are Gavin’s lyrics about?? He acts like he knows, but I don’t think he knows. They are stream of consciousness lyrics (albeit influenced/stolen from some great poets), and although I don’t necessarily write the same way, I envy them because they WORK so well. You can still feel everything he sings about, and although your brain may not know what it means, your soul knows. HAHAHHAHAHAA! True tho.

And let’s not forget about the sheer amount of hits that came from this album!! Comedown. Little Things. Everything Zen (my introduction to slide guitar). Machinehead (one of the defining songs of the 90’s). Glycerine (GLYCERINE). This album received so much flack for being a Nirvana ripoff…I disagree 100%. I think that stigma overshadowed a great album. Still inspirational…still worthy of listen from start to finish 💯

I did go back and listen to some of the latter Bush recordings after this. I rescind my phonebook statement.


Albums That Started It All: Houses Of the Holy

Oh, hello! It's Derek, back again with "Albums That Started It All" numero 4️⃣️. This time we're taking it wayyy back...

See when I was a young'n, my father listened to a lot of Buddy Holly, Ricky Nelson, Beach Boys, etc (which also still influence me obviously). But my mom, she was a rocker. My first concert was Deep Purple; she was also responsible for The Who, Jethro Tull, Black Sabbath, Fleetwood Mac, and of course, the Zep.

My introduction to the greatest rock band of all time was their 5th album, Houses of the Holy. It was pure magic - this record haunted me. "No Quarter" scared the crap out of me. "Dancing Days" mystified me, "D'yer Mak'er" gave me a nostalgic feeling I could never quite put my finger on, and "Over the Hills and Far Away" is still my go-to every time I pick up an acoustic guitar.

Jimmy Page straight up taught me my chops. I remember I had an instructional VHS of how to play all his riffs, and I would just put it on everyday after school (no I had no life when I was 15). Every member of that band is/was a star - each owning their instrument completely, but then coming together with a whole much greater than the sum of its parts.

I got the privilege of seeing Robert Plant and Jimmy Page when they toured in the early 90's. It remains one of the best moments of my life. Truly life changing. Thanks mom 😁

Man, writing about these albums really makes me want to listen again. Gotta go get the Led out!!


Albums That Started It All: Frogstomp

It's time for #ATSIA number 3 - if you're new, it's my (Derek) personal recollection of "albums that started it all".

Alright, we might as well get the big boy out of the way - Frogstomp 🐸

My (and everyone else's) introduction to Silverchair. Unlike the first two albums I listed, I didn't find the 'chair via schoolmates - I discovered them all on my own. This made it even more special. It was that damn "Tomorrow" video with the pig. I must have seen it one of the first times it was aired on MTV...I researched this girl-looking boy Daniel Johns, and became hooked.

Let me not underplay "hooked". I was obsessed. As obsessed as it gets. This album took over a good 7 years of my life. Everything was Silverchair after this. And the fact that they were so young made it all the more inspirational that I could do this band thing.

Daniel doesn't sound like a 14 yr old on this record, at all. I was shocked to find out how young they were. The songs were so good, albeit the resemblance to the grunge bands of the era. But these guys were different. They were more relatable to me. I don't want to get into the levels of obsession here, so take my word for it, ok? The dictionary definition of "obsessed".

This is probably the only album that I can play entirely on guitar from memory. Every song. They're still great songs. As a matter of fact, I haven't listened to it in a LONG time. Maybe I'll give it a spin...


Albums That Started It All: Dookie

Ok, time for round two of #ATSIA...

This one may come as a surprise - tHrOnE sounds nothing like Green Day. But their first (major) album "Dookie" was still a massive influence on me as a 14 yr old.

This album was my first introduction into anything punk related. Also in grade school at the time, this CD was loaned to me by Kyle Lavorgna (I think I ended up keeping it - sorry Kyle). CD's were still relatively fresh, so I felt SO awesome with this disc. I carried it around with me everywhere for a good couple of weeks! 💿

I loved the songwriting on every track. They were so melodic, yet still had an edge. They were relatively easy to learn on guitar. I also fell in love with the idea of a 3-piece band because of Green Day. I always thought anything more than that was just too much. Looking back at it now, it's easy to lump this record in the "basic pop punk" category - but at the time, it pushed so many boundaries. I loved that. And the songs still hold true 👨‍🎤

Say what you want about Green Day, but they are damn good at what they do!

Albums That Started It All: Weezer Blue Album

Hey ya’ll – it’s Derek.
So I had this idea that I thought would be pretty fun. I’m going to start a little project called #ATSIA (albums that started it all), and I’ll try and post once a week for the next couple months or so. Basically, it’s going to be a little recollection of the earliest albums which inspired me to start playing guitar, and music in general. A little bit of a read, but I thought it would be fun because you can share your own if you like as well!

The first album that comes to mind is the Weezer blue album. I remember exactly where I was – 7th grade Spanish class, 5 mins before class started. There was a kid sitting on top of his desk playing a guitar – it was some cheap Fender Strat knock off. I didn’t think too much of it, until I heard him fumbling out “The Sweater Song”. I just froze and stared – “he’s making REAL music come out of that thing!!” It was so simple, but it sort of blew my mind. I needed to be able to do that. I also remember exactly who this kid was, but I won’t call him out. Well, my Uncle owned a small music shop at the time, so that same night I asked my mom if Uncle Larry could get me a guitar. I had one the next day. It was some cheap Fender Strat knock off 😂And that was the beginning!

Weezer, btw, STILL kicks ass. If you haven’t heard their newest album “Pacific Daydream” yet – it’s worth many listens!!