For the longest time I thought I needed to keep my mouth shut about my story. I thought I had to hide the bad parts of me. Through lots of counseling sessions and mentoring I’m learning that people can’t love me if I don’t show them my true self. Now becoming aware of this, and stepping into the fear of letting people really know my hurts and mistakes, this idea has started to seep into our songs.
I want to tell you how Midnight Kids came to birth. I wrote the chorus melody and lyrics on an iPad piano one morning and was very excited about it. I had a co-write scheduled with a fella named Kipp the next morning and showed him the chorus idea. We started to work through the idea and I thought Tyler needed to be there. So I called Tyler and had him head over as soon as possible. He got there and quickly wrote this bluesy riff that became a verse. We wrote decent lyrics but nothing with weight. It was just another song about being a rebel, but nothing with heart. That same day we also wrote The Lightning. I remember leaving that day super excited having two new songs that I was proud of.
Then these songs sat on my voice memos for 2 years. Actually, they were written before Animal Evolve was even released.
Fast forward to January of 2015. We were still on the label and the conversation of doing LP2 started to be had. We were asked to start demoing songs to show the label what we had written. We got to Midnight Kids and felt like that chorus was very strong but there was a deeper story that needed to be told.
You see, I was this midnight kid. I was a trouble maker who didn’t follow rules. I would sneak out late and ride my bike all over town. I would break into abandoned houses and explore through run down victorian houses. I thought I was invincible, I thought I couldn’t lose. All of this at the young age of 7 years old. So we had this chorus that was arrogant and childlike. Two things I was. I was free and dumb. But we needed verses that came from the heart. So Tyler sat down at this old beautiful piano and wrote that verse chord progression and I had all these words I wanted to use. And over a two day period we wrote those two verses. Those words really tell the aftermath of a thirty year old man who has to deal with his mistakes. “I tried to rule the world, yet no one’s with me.”
That’s real. I remember after those two days of writing those lyrics I felt like we had made our best work. We wrote something poignant yet melodic and accessible and I felt so accomplished. My story was put to music in the most honest way. We scrapped everything from the original co-write minus the pre chorus and chorus.
I remember in the middle of the first day of the re-write, Tyler and I got really honest with each other, telling childhood stories. And I think that day was the beginning of a new chapter in our friendship. That was when our friendship moved from a strictly business/creative role to a real friendship where we actually try to understand the person for who they are and where they come from. And it’s really changed the direction of this band in the best way ever. This goes back to what I’ve been learning, people can’t love me if I don’t show my true self. I know vulnerability is a scary thing, but it’s way harder to maintain hiding secrets and living in the dark. I promise you, letting people see my hurts and mistakes has been the most freeing thing in my life. I don’t have to hide anymore. Thanks for reading and listening.