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Monday, December 23, 2013

The Story Behind "Wash It All Away"

This may be my favorite song that I wrote with Social Fallout. Robb Rich, our rhythm guitarist came in with the opening riff one day. He had been working on it for years with drummer Jeremy Horkman, and was looking to finally complete the song. While Robb played the intro lead guitarist Tim Frank almost automatically came up with the haunting guitar part that comes in after a few bars. Jeremy and bassist Mike Köenig figured out where they would join in on the mix and I had a concept in mind.

At the time I was still quite religious (more on that in future posts) and the concept that came to mind was something of a Second Coming/Apocalyptic scenario. The idea is that in the end it’s too late to get rid of all the dark things in our society. There are those songs that talk about how you should live like you were dying and how it’s too late to change once you’re dead. “Wash It All Away” is in a similar vein to those songs, but on a societal level rather than on a personal level.

I love my lyrics to this song, but I think it’s one of my best melodies as well, along with “How Happy Am I?” The melodies were always informed by the music, which means that I also think these were some of the best riffs that Robb and Tim came up with during my time in the band. (Yes, as far as I know, you can still check out Social Fallout in Green Bay with Tim and Robb as the remaining original members. I moved on to different things, mainly writing.)

You can check out the original recording of “Wash It All Away” below.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Wash It All Away

Breathe in deep 
For this breath will very well be your last
Forget tonight 
For today is all you’ve got
Say goodbye to those that you love
Say your last prayer and hope that God will still hear you

And now the fire comes 
To wash it all away
Tonight hate will die in one last bright blaze of light
Look to the sky 
One last time
And watch it all 
Get washed away

The sky goes black 
For just one moment, that’s all you’ve got
As the lights turn back on 
Weep for those that never
Found the Light on their own
Now watch as the fire comes
To consume you all

And now the fire comes
To wash it all away
Tonight hate will die in one last bright blaze of light
Look to the sky
One last time
And watch it all
Get washed away

Wash it all away
Wash it all away

And now the fire comes
To wash it all away
Tonight hate will die in one last bright blaze of light
Look to the sky
One last time
And watch it all
Get washed away

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Story Behind "The Black Ring"

The Black Ring was a project that I started a few years ago at a time when I was just getting into James Bond and my favorite show at the time was Chuck. A friend of mine was getting into fan fiction at the time, and suggested that I take a stab at writing a fan fiction of Chuck. I, on the other hand, am not a fan of fan fiction; after all, fan fiction is how we got the terrible Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.

The idea did inspire me though. Taking an ordinary person and placing them in an extraordinary situation leads to great drama as well as organic comedy. With that in mind I crafted the story of Bryson Forrestor (Bryson Forster in the revisions of the prologue that I’ve done). I don’t want to give too much away, but I will tell you that this was heavily influenced by my interest in Chuck at the time.

I started working on this during National Novel Writing Month a few years ago, but got lost when I started chapter four. I don’t know if I’ll go back to it. I like to think that one day when I’ve had more experience with reading stories and novels of espionage I’ll return to it, but for now I’ve moved on to other stories. For now, I hope you’ve enjoyed the prologue and first three chapters of The Black Ring.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Black Ring: Chapter 3, Part 16

“Yeah, we did.” Bryson could feel the anger ebbing away, but he didn’t want to let it go. He wanted to tell Ian that he thought back to those days too and that he wished they could go back to the best days of their lives. The gravity of the situation didn’t allow him to do so though. If Ian was indeed a CIA agent then the situation was graver than he had thought.
They reached the parking lot and Bryson could finally see Ian’s face clearer and he was surprised by what he saw. The bruises and scars came through much clearer with the artificial light of the parking lights shining on his face. Bryson began to feel a little bad about how he had treated Ian a few minutes ago.
Ian pulled out a little disc that looked like a mini version of the floppy discs that were used for old computers; this particular disc was about the size of a cartridge you’d stick in a Nintendo DS. That’s actually what Bryson thought it was when he first took it from Ian. In answer to his quizzical look Ian said, “I don’t have a badge or anything I can flash, we don’t work like that.”
“Then what the hell is this?” Bryson asked.
“This is why I asked you out here. I work for a black ops department of the CIA and I’ve been mistaken for being a double agent. That disc I just gave you is the only thing that can clear me, and it has some valuable information about other double agents working within the CIA.”
“Why are you giving it to me?”
“Not everyone that’s working for this anti-American organization within the CIA is on that disk, so I don’t know who I can trust within the CIA. I’ve got both the CIA and these double agents after me and I need some place safe to keep it until I can find an outlet within the CIA to vet it for me. I figured, well, I hoped that you were still someone I could trust.”
“Should you have told me any of that? I mean, if someone were to find out that we talked could I get away with plausible deniability?”
Ian laughed, not a pleasurable laugh but a cold laugh that Bryson could tell stemmed from his own naiveté. “Plausible deniability? You’ve been watching too many movies! That’s why I asked you to pick some place we’d be alone. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t putting you in anymore danger than I had to, but that doesn’t mean that you’re not in danger. If they CIA finds you, you’ll probably just end up hidden away somewhere so you can’t divulge any secrets you’ve learned. If a double agent finds you though, whether you know anything or not you’ll probably end up dead.”
Bryson could feel his blood beginning to boil again. “Why bring it to me? I don’t want to be marked for death! You fucked up my life once, did you really need to do it again? Why didn’t you just take it to Julie? Last I saw you two were pretty close.”
“That wasn’t what it looked like. Besides I couldn’t go to Julie even if I wanted to, she’s dead.”
Bryson felt like a ton of bricks had been dropped on his head causing his mind to draw a blank. Any anger he had for Ian vanished from his mind, and all thought of that day ten years ago drifted off into the night. He may have held a grudge all this time but he never wished any harm on either of them. As if trying to find his breath, Bryson finally drew enough composure to ask, “Wh… what happened?”
Ian looked down for a moment before looking Bryson in the eye and replying, “I killed her.”
Bryson felt himself falter a little bit. Was he even standing up straight anymore? He felt as if he had been kicked in the gut. His high school flame, the girl he still considered the love of his life, the girl who made him a man, had been killed by his best friend. He didn’t know how to respond or what to say next. He never had to come up with the words.

“Get down!” Ian shouted as he pushed Bryson down to the ground. Bryson could hear the bullet whiz past his ear as he fell.

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Black Ring: Chapter 3, Part 15

Bryson jumped at the touch. “What the fuck man?! You couldn’t just come up in front of me?” As Bryson turned around he saw a slight smile on Ian’s face as though Ian wanted to laugh but couldn’t bring himself to. He looked different than the Ian Bryson knew growing up. He was more muscular, but his face was gaunt, lines of age and chipped away at the youthful exterior Bryson had once knew; the youthful glee that had once gripped his face was replaced by a weariness far beyond his years.
“I’m sorry, I couldn’t risk you running in the opposite direction if I just walked out in front of you,” Ian answered. “Since it’s not well lit here I figured that was the best way to keep you from leaving.” The thought that went into Ian’s movements disturbed Bryson even further. Why was he putting so much thought into this? Was he in trouble? Was he thinking of himself or Bryson when he came up with a meeting place and all of these security measures?
“What the hell is going on here?” Bryson asked. And then it all exploded out of him: “It’s been ten years Ian, ten fucking years! Do you know how many times I’ve thought about contacting you? Millions, I mean we were best friend since we were four; that was fourteen years! Do you know why I never contacted you? The last time I looked you in the face you were taking up my place in Julie’s bed you asshole; and now you come to me in the middle of the night after not speaking for years because you want something from me? You need my help? Why didn’t you think of that when you fucked Julie?! And then you start pulling this cloak and dagger routine like you expect me to buy the fact that you’re actually in danger so you can… I don’t know get me to loan you money or whatever. Well, fuck it man, I don’t owe you shit! You owe me!”
Ian was silent for a few moments just staring at Bryson. Bryson couldn’t tell if he was dumbstruck or choosing his next words wisely, either way he didn’t like the silence. Finally Ian spoke, “I know, I owe you a lot of things, mostly explanations. We don’t have time for me to explain them all, but first off I want you know that I never meant for things to go this far, to last this long, and I’ve thought about reaching out to you but certain circumstances have prevented me from doing so. I’m sorry for that. I wish I could tell you more, but right now I can’t give you too much information. Right now I need your help.”
Bryson struggled for a moment to grasp the meaning behind all of this. “What could have been so important to keep you away for so long?”
“I can’t get into that right now, besides the less you know the better,” Ian responded.
“No, goddammit! If you want me to help you then you’re going to tell me why I should help you now!”
“I can’t Bryson, it’s too dangerous.”
“Then that is it, I can’t help you with something I know nothing about. If you really want my help then you will tell me why I should help you not just how I can help you.” Ian turned his head away in the darkness and kept quiet. “Fine, there’s your answer,” Bryson finally said, “I’m leaving, you can figure this out on your own.” Bryson stepped past Ian and began to walk up the path the way he came.
“I’m CIA, Bryson,” Ian called after him. Bryson stopped in his tracks and turned around.
He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. CIA? No, Ian was just messing with him to try to get him to listen. He couldn’t really be CIA, could he? “There’s a pool down the trail a little bit…”
“Yeah, I saw it when I was checking out the area.”
“Before you tell me anymore we’re going to go up there and you’re going to prove it to me.”
“Ok, but time’s running out.” Together they walked toward the parking lot outside the pool. Bryson tried not to look at Ian on the way there. He felt he had the upper hand and he didn’t want to lose that by showing any further sign of weakness. “Remember that time we snuck onto Draa Field and played football before getting caught?” Ian asked.
“Yeah,” Bryson responded curtly.

“I keep going back to that day in my mind. That and the day they found that ten foot gator hangin’ out in the creak by your house. We had some good times back then.”

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Black Ring: Chapter 3, Part 14

Like a warring enemy though, an antithetical thought popped into his head just as his mind was made up: Ian filling up Bryson’s space in Julie’s bed. After all these years that image was seared in Bryson’s memory and he couldn’t erase it. He was almost to Colburn Park and anger and hate sprouted where forgiveness had stood merely a moment ago. He would not forgive Ian and he would not help Ian no matter what it was. If it weren’t for Ian he would probably be in a better place right now, he would probably be leading a better life with a better job and with Julie by his side. Whether any of that would have come true or not might have been a matter of conjecture, but all Bryson knew was that Ian had robbed him of any opportunity of finding out if something could have come from their plans and this was the first time he could really punish him for it.
Bryson parked outside the park and turned the engine of his car off. He wish he had brought a beer with him to chug back before having to meet Ian for the first time in years but the shock kept him from thinking things through properly. He heaved a sigh and rubbed at his face, his sense of nervousness displaying through his inability to stop fidgeting.
Finally he slowly opened the car door and stepped out. Quietly he shut the car door while looking for any sign of onlookers. He was quite sure the park was dead and empty, but Ian’s secrecy and paranoia was catching. Bryson made his way up to the pavilion but didn’t see Ian anywhere. Not knowing where Ian was contacting him from Bryson figured he could give him a few minutes to show up. Bryson found a picnic table under the pavilion, stepped up onto the bench and took a seat on the table top to wait.
To pass the time, Bryson pulled out his smartphone and started playing Angry Birds. Just as he was getting into the game a call came in from an unlisted number. Normally Bryson would just hit ignore, but since Ian hadn’t shown up and had already proved to be adept at finding him online that he should probably answer it in case the call was Ian.
“Hello?” Bryson answered the call.
“Are you alone? Is there anyone else around?” a voice answered on the other end.
“Yeah, is there anyone else around? I just need to know that you weren’t followed or anything.”
“I looked around when I got here and I didn’t see anyone.”
“Okay, you probably wouldn’t know what to look for anyway.”
Bryson thought to himself, What would I need to be looking for? But he didn’t say it out loud. “Where are you?”
“There’s a trail behind the pavilion…”
“Yeah, I know,” Bryson said getting a little irritated with the cloak and dagger routine.
“Follow it a little ways into the more wooded areas, try not to freak out; I’ll find you when you approach my position.”
Before Bryson could answer Ian hung up the phone. Things were really getting weird, and Bryson was half tempted to walk away, but morbid curiosity won out over his other instincts. This was no longer about his past with Bryson, he was more curious about what Ian had going on that was leading to such secrecy. He looked around one more time and walked to the trail behind the pavilion.
He walked quietly and slowly, not because he thought anyone was following or watching, but because the stillness of the night seemed to demand it. It had been a while since he had walked this path. Mike lived close to Colburn and when Bryson had first moved to Green Bay he would walk this trail to help keep himself in shape after his discharge from the military. It especially helped in the wake of his boot camp injury. As he got further and further away from boot though he exercised less and less and all but forgot about his walks in Colburn Park.

Now it all seemed foreign to him. He recalled those walks listening to his iPod and watching local middle school kids play bocce ball, but this seemed to be the bizzaro version of that world. Too quiet, too night, and there was too much Ian standing behind him tapping on his shoulder.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Black Ring: Chapter 3, Part 13

            What the fuck?! Those were the three words that kept going through Bryson’s head as he drove down Mason Street. One moment he was mired in self-pity and the next moment he was confronting his past, facing the moment his life had changed forever. He had pictured this moment for a long time but never expected it to come. Hell, he thought, ten years had gone by without a word, why now? Everything that he had thought about the moment shit hit the fan dissolved and intensified in his mind at the same time.
            What would he say? If it was asked of him would he forgive? Or would he through it back in the face of the accused? So many things ran through his head that he didn’t know what to think. Then another surge of anger sprang through him. Never once had either of “them” contacted him in ten years, and now the only reason he was here was because he needed something. It was obviously huge if he came all the way to Green Bay for Bryson’s help. But why should Bryson help him at all?
            Was Ian in trouble? He messaged Bryson under an assumed name, so either he was in trouble or he knew that Bryson would never answer a message under Ian’s name. On top of that Ian requested a meeting in the middle of the night in a park where they could avoid being seen. Bryson knew Ian must not know Green Bay that well, if he did he would have known that they could have met in the middle Wal-Mart and not been seen. But what did he need all the secrecy for?
            He had asked Ian while they were online, but Ian was in a hurry and wanted to make the meet as soon as possible. He swore that he would explain as much as he could as soon as they met but seemed to be leery of the idea of revealing anything online. Bryson offered a meeting place in Colburn Park on the west side of town. He knew it would be deserted, even if they would have been able to meet a few hours earlier, and there was a pavilion they could meet under and go for a walk into more wooded area than they needed to.
The other benefit to meeting in Colburn Park was the fact that it was on the west side of town. Sure he could hop on the highway and make it there fast if he wanted to, but he needed some extra time to process what all of this meant. That’s why he currently found himself at the intersection of Webster and Mason preparing to cross the Mason Street Bridge into the west side while contemplating the idea of forgiving Ian without provocation.
To be honest as much as Bryson hated to admit it, and didn’t to anyone except himself, he missed Ian and often considered the idea that they would make up if they ever saw each other again. He spent most of his life being friends with Ian, and for most of that time they were inseparable which made the last ten years somewhat difficult. He still hadn’t found any friends that he had the same kind of bond with. Often times he thought about seeking out Ian himself, but dropped the idea from his mind when stubbornness kicked in; why should he be the one to make the first step?

Now he didn’t need to make the first step, but it happened so abruptly he didn’t know what to think. At one moment an image of playing Jedi with sticks, Bryson as Darth Vader and Ian as Luke Skywalker, popped in his head. They used to like to go out into a patch of woods off Dixie Highway and have battles or try to see if they could make things levitate using the force. He also thought of fashioning big turtle shells out of old boxes and playing around with a pair of nunchaku to become Michelangelo from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles while Ian would dawn a cardboard shell and carry a stick so that he could portray Donatello. In that moment Bryson knew that he needed his best friend back.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Story Behind "Breakaway"

This is one of those songs that doesn’t really have much behind it. The major point of the song deals with the duality of the human mind. We often act one way when we feel another way. It’s similar to how we always respond by saying we’re “Good” when someone asks, “How are you?” In this case it has a lot more to do with relationships.

Simply put the song is all about how someone will allow us to be with them despite knowing what actually goes on inside ourselves. At the time I wrote this I was with someone who I didn’t want to be with in the same way that she wanted to be with me. That was a major inspiration for the song. I can’t run away from my demons, and yet you still want me in your bed because you don’t know what’s going on inside my head.

As far as the music, I really liked the build of the music. It felt like it escalated when we wrote it, and I still enjoy that aspect of it. I don’t think we moved mountains whenever I listen to it, but I feel that we crafted an enjoyable hard rock song. It’s not one of my favorites, but I still find it quite enjoyable (and yes, I do listen to our songs on occasion).

You can hear the original recording of the song below.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Break away

Demons come in they won’t go away
I do what I can to keep the wolves at bay

I don’t lie
I don’t cry inside
Won’t you break away
(Why don’t you) break away
Why don’t you

You don’t know what goes on in my head
But still you feel me beside you in bed

I don’t lie
I don’t cry inside
Won’t you break away
(Why don’t you) break away
Why don’t you

Take away everything that you’ve ever shown me
Take away everything I thought I knew
Take away everything that you’ve ever shown me
Take away everything I thought I knew
I don’t lie I don’t cry inside
Won’t you break away

I don’t lie
I don’t cry inside
Won’t you break away
(Why don’t you) break away
(Why don’t you) break away

Break away

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Black Ring: Chapter 2, Part 12

The thought of it made him seethe as he sipped his beer and turned on the radio on his desk. All thought of trolling porn sites slipped from his mind and he completely forgot the perfect search he had come up with. He was already sitting before his computer so he opened it up and it automatically flickered to life as he questioned how he could have let one evening of simple pleasure burrow so deeply into his head. Simultaneously he was also feeling resentment for Monica for not allowing it to get to her. Whether resentment or self-loathing ran deeper he couldn’t be sure.
            Bryson logged into his computer and pulled up the Google Chrome internet browser as Bush’s “Machinehead” album played on the radio. As always his first move was to pull up his Facebook account. If ever someone felt that self-loathing was closing in on them, Bryson thought, they just need to open Facebook to realize that there’s always someone worse off in that department. He might have felt pathetic at this particular moment but Facebook was filled with sadsacks in need of therapists. He was hoping to see a status or two from some of his old classmates that would make him feel a little better.
            As a general rule he didn’t want to have anything to do with his high school peers, but he loved to add them to his Facebook friend’s list merely for a distraction and for stalking purposes. On Facebook everyone was on the same level, so he could say he was good friends with Marissa the head cheerleader in high school, even if they had never talked in high school; not that she was anything to look at these days. It was the nerdy girls and tomboys who blossomed from ugly ducklings to sexy swans and those were the girls he had actually been friends with back in the day. Of course, he didn’t evolve as they did so while they may remain friends on Facebook in real life they merely acquaintances.
            Those weren’t the people he was looking for today though. James who had been the captain of the football team back in high school went on to develop a beer gut, grow a mullet, and now changed oil at an Exxon station in their hometown. The other day he and his estranged wife had a massive public row online after she found out that he had slept with a prostitute at his friend Pete’s bachelor party. Through this so-graphic-you-can’t-stop-reading exchange his wife found out that he had been sleeping around since the night that they had gotten married, which she found out after one of the bridesmaids from the wedding chimed in explaining where he had disappeared to for an hour during their reception. They had been married for five years, now she had taken their two children, ages 2 and 3, to her parents’ place.
             These were the stories he was looking for tonight, but try as he might there was nothing more than images of sappy sayings like “Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we’re here we should dance,” pictures of children being childish, and mildly witty philosophies.
Bored, Bryson realized his beer was empty and walked to the kitchenette to grab another one. As he opened the fridge door he could have sworn that he heard moaning coming from Monica’s room and considered putting an ear to her door to find out if he was right but decided against it. He figured that he’d rather think that he imagined it than confirm that he hadn’t.
He settled back down while taking a long gulp from his beer to the tune of “21 Guns” by Green Day when he looked at his computer screen. Because he didn’t use it too often he had forgotten that Google Talk launched whenever his computer booted up, but the fact that a dialogue box had popped up in his absence quickly reminded him of that fact. It had been so long since he had used it that he had to run through his list of contact to make sure that he had never spoken to anyone by the name of Chris Thomas before.
The words, “Hey Bryson, are you there?” stared at him from his laptop screen and Bryson was dumbfounded for a moment. He was fairly certain that he didn’t know anyone by that name, but he couldn’t be 100% sure.
“Do I know you?” Bryson responded.
“Yeah, but it’s been a long time since we’ve talked,” Chris replied.
“How do we know each other?”
“We grew up together.”
“I’m sorry, I don’t recall that name,” Bryson typed even more curious than before.

“You wouldn’t recall this name it’s not what I went by when we were friends. Bryson, this is Ian.”

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Black Ring: Chapter 2, Part 11

They had parted ways when they finished dinner at Perkins that day, and Bryson had gone home to watch some TV. When the visit occurred he had been sitting on the couch watching Charles Carmichael, aka Charles Bartowski, worm his way out of another tight spot as the titular repository for all things CIA in the TV show Chuck. He hadn’t seen Mike and Melanie in a while and assumed they had found a little hotel for a romantic bit of hanky panky where it didn’t matter where they were when they dropped trou. As that thought occurred to him he laughed at the ridiculous amount of times he had seen Melanie naked and there was a knock at the door. He got up to open the door and was surprised at the site that greeted him: Monica in a gray trench coat similar to the one that he wore on a cold day over his service uniform in the military. The site struck him odd for two reasons, the first being the fact that she was wearing a heavy coat in the middle of summer. Secondly, he had no idea what she was doing there, as they had set up their next apartment hunting meeting for the following day after work.
As he stood there, about to ask why she was there, she sauntered past him and turned around by the couch leaning on the arm waiting for him to close the door. Slowly he closed the door, and a puzzled look crossed his face as he turned around to question her, but before he could get out a word she spoke first.
“I know you’re wondering why I’m here,” she said in a quiet seductive way as she unbuttoned the trench coat, “I just felt we had something to get out of the way.” The trench coat slid down to the floor revealing nothing more than what God, or nature, had given her at birth to let blossom for this day. This glorious day he thought, but he couldn’t uproot himself from where he stood. What if this was a dream? What if Mike and Melanie walked in to find him asleep with his hand down his pants grinding against the couch? Even worse, what if in the middle he called out Monica’s name and they told her about it? Well, in that unlikely case he would have to tell them unless they wanted him to see Melanie naked one more time, or if they didn’t want him off their couch they would keep their mouths shut.
 “Are you going to stand there all night?” she asked quietly, and his mind finally clicked and said, Fuck it, and his body followed his brain’s advice. What followed was nothing short of miraculous as the room and everything in it disappeared. Nothing existed for Bryson and Monica for those short minutes and he would be happy to live in that world for the rest of his life. Was this how cocaine felt? Marijuana? Heroine? No, it was ecstasy, pure uncut ex. Knowing how he felt he dared to open his eyes, and the look on her face showed him that he was making all the right moves. Besides the active parts of their bodies, they had become numb to the world around them, as if past present and future had all melded into one and had become timeless. The moment lasted forever and was over within the blink of an eye, and when the moment had passed they were both satisfied having reached that moment together at the same time.
They stared into each other’s eyes for days it seemed (now Bryson had the corny thought that they really were peering into each other’s soul before the thought caused him to nearly spit beer all over his Dell) as the world faded back into view. That was when they heard in a whisper of horror and fear from the edge of the couch, “My couch!” They hadn’t realized that they weren’t alone, and hadn’t been for at least five minutes. Bryson smiled internally as he thought: At least I’m not sitting here with my hand down my pants grinding against the couch.
 “Oh hey, I believe you know Monica,” was what he wanted to say, but what came out was, “Umm, a little privacy.” At least he had witnesses he would think later, but the witnesses didn’t matter because he never told anyone. After that day, when Mike and Melanie had left the room and Monica threw on her coat and gave him a smile and peck on the cheek, he didn’t even talk to her about it.
Things almost went back to normal after that. At first, Bryson thought her plan had worked. He wasn’t worried about getting into her pants, and she didn’t spend her time flirting with him. Sure, he thought about it, but typically not when he was with her. Generally he only thought about it before going to bed or, on rare occasions, when he woke up. That was before he came home from a late night at work to see her making out in the living room with some dude she met at the bar. His heart started racing, his hands became clammy, and his throat went dry. The first though to pop into his head was, “How could she cheat on me?” That was when he realized that the most glorious moment of his life was the equivalent to breaking the seal on Pandora’s little toy box. On the outside of the box there were only words of lust and like written bright colors to attract the casual viewer. He broke the seal and peered inside, just a casual glimpse, or so he thought. The moment that box opened he couldn’t jam the word love back in, it settled in his mind and corrupted his soul. If he let it, it would find him on the street with nothing but the clothes on his back and its evil in his soul.

He couldn’t let it go, though. The words never crossed his lips, and he tried to maintain himself around Monica. As time went on though he found himself going out less unless he was with her, and he spent a lot of time waiting for her to come home. He found lots of things for them to do together as friends, but in his mind they were dating.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Black Ring: Chapter 2, Part 10

Unfortunately, he hadn’t really done much in the way of savings, and Circuit City didn’t necessarily pay the bills as it was, let alone the bills he would have to take on if he got his own place. He started asking coworkers and barroom friends if they knew anyone looking for a roommate, but most of the people he knew lived in the dorms at UW-GB or were shacked up with their significant others, and naturally three was a crowd. Weeks went by and Bryson wasn’t having any luck finding a roommate or a cheap out, and both Mike and Melanie were starting to lean on him harder and harder to get out.
That was when salvation came in the form of a mousy brown haired beauty named Monica. As it turned out Monica was getting tired of living in the dorms where the girls acted like they were still in junior year of high school and was looking to find a place of her own. She didn’t mind having a roommate as long as they were adult about the situation, and since they had practically become best friends she figured they should try to become roomies. He, of course, wasn’t going to turn her down on her offer. After all, didn’t most guys and girls who started out as friends and roommates typically end up as lovers? Probably not, but that didn’t stop him from dreaming of catching a quick peak here and a fast glimpse there of perfection in its raw form.
They started browsing through places online and in apartment guides they found at gas stations around town. Bryson was partial to the west side, as the east side always appeared to him to be filled with wolves ready to pounce on unsuspecting victims so they could tear the flesh off their bones. Monica was partial to the east side because it was closer to campus, and if you went far enough east you could find fairly affluent neighborhoods with quick access to the highway to help you avoid the wolves who resided closer to the Fox River. In the end they settled on a fairly large apartment on Humboldt Avenue which was close enough to Highway 43 for easy access to everything, yet far enough away where you could hear the traffic. Monica also remained a stone’s throw away from campus there. They signed the lease early in the month prior to their move to give them a few weeks to make sure they had the money for utilities and other necessities. Everything was running smoothly, that is, until the visit.
Monica spend a lot of time joking with Bryson about the sexual tension that was sure to rise up between them when they moved in together, and how they should each release some steam before they decided to move in together. Bryson always laughed it off as a joke, even when she was standing too close to him and he felt a bit flushed and a tad too big for his britches; he just hoped in that moment she wasn’t looking down. With each visit and with each meeting about a new place she seemed to become more aggressive with the jokes, and Bryson began to wonder if they really were jokes or if the tension she kept speaking of was turning into her own frustration. When they parted ways after each rendezvous, though, he took his thoughts to be a mirage of his own growing frustrations. Her words loomed large in his mind in the nights before he fell asleep after their visits.
 “You know, we’re both going to wonder what the other is like in bed when we move in together. It could ruin our dynamic if we let it get in the way, maybe we should just get it out of the way,” she once said with a smile and a hand on his leg as they sat in Perkins eating omelets and looking over rental guides. A mental picture popped in his head and he thought he would save that for the swelling in his loins and let out a nervous laugh at the thought of himself saying loins more so than for her suggestion.

Now, sitting in his room, sipping on his beer debating whether to watch TV or surf the net (or both) he thought back to the visit. He always held it in an esteemed place in his mind, one of the finest moments of his life. His graduation from boot camp was his most proud moment, but the visit was by far his most prized memory. In his mind he could imagine that it lasted for all eternity, even if the moment itself only last for fifteen, maybe thirty minutes tops. Sometimes, only the middle played through in his mind. Other times he viewed the whole video in his mind’s projector like watching a home movie. How it ended never escaped his mind’s eye though, and that was the moment he fell in love.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Black Ring: Chapter 2, Part 9

The door to the apartment opens from the outside. As he walks in, Bryson slowly closes it behind him. Next to the door is a tray to place his keys, he drops his keys on top of another set of keys already sitting in the tray. Everything is dark, his roommate must have gone to bed, or she's busy with another query she brought home for an overnight rendezvous. The thought of it brightens his day to no end causing him to forget what he was considering doing before he walked into the apartment. He stands for a moment in the middle of the cluttered living room trying to figure out what he meant to do next, and allowing his eyes to adjust to the dark. After a moment of standing around he finally decides to go to the kitchenette and grab a beer. Carefully stepping around the clutter that litters the living room floor he makes his way to the kitchen where he grabs a Bud Light from the fridge. As he heads to his room the thought that his roommate may be in her room with another man makes Bryson jealous and he stares at her door with a heavy glare as he walks through his own.
Sometime after Bryson was discharged from the military he decided to leave Florida. He didn't want the reminder of his former flame and best friend lingering in every relationship he tried to recreate, and since a few of his former fellow recruits had talked about Green Bay he decided it was time to make the move. Well, that and the fact that the other people he formerly knew that still wanted to associate with him were into drugs or much less savory past times or had simply moved on to greener pastures that he did not find quite as green as they did. While his first few months in Green Bay didn't seem particularly fruitful, he forged ahead not intending to relocate once again. Finally, he garnered friendships and acquaintances from his time at work and frequent trips to some of the local bars.
In the seven years he had lived in Green Bay, Bryson had held many jobs. From the bad (telemarketing, ala Boiler Room) to the worst (working the seafood department at the local grocery store is not a good way to score chicks unless they dug a guy who came home from work smelling like shell fish). Every once in a while he would find a job that seemed to be going somewhere, or at least seemed enjoyable, the company would either fold, he would learn the dark side of the business, or other circumstances would cause the job to go the way of the dinosaurs. After a few marginally successful to dismally disastrous employment opportunities, Bryson finally settled for a fun, if low paying, job jockeying a register at a local Circuit City.
While he hated the customers, he loved his coworkers. From the hipster hippie Aaron who trained him in his position, to the hot yet accessible Anna who he used to jokingly argue with about their (fake) juvenile delinquent kids, to the retarded yet lovable drama geeks it was possibly the most fun he ever had at a job. That’s also where he met Monica. She started about six months after him, and he helped train her. A local journalism major at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, she was something of a tomboy, not afraid to get her hands dirty and easily fitting in with “the guys,” but she still had very feminine qualities in how she held herself and dressed at work. Also, she was a celebrity look alike, the spitting image of Eliza Dushku; in other words, she was every guy’s dream, and she knew it.
She flirted with every guy that laid eyes on her, even the ones who weren’t buying what she was selling. She never gave any of them the impression that they were getting more than her friendship though, but that didn’t keep them from speculating, and Bryson in turn enjoyed the feeling that he was something more than average. Having a friend that was equally comfortable having a beer while watching a football game, going opening night to the latest comic book movie that was driving local fanboys wild, or sitting at home watching a romantic comedy had its advantages, especially when she was willing to do the latter on her own. Bryson found himself more often than he had anticipated on the very uncomfortable stage of a local bar for an unfortunate karaoke duet with Monica. Despite the discomfort, he didn’t really mind it too much; the candle he harbored for her was brightened by being able to call her friends, even if that meant sharing a sticky stage in front of a drunken crowd.
At the time that Bryson had first moved to Green Bay he was staying with the cousin of one of his old Marine Corps buddies on the condition that he would eventually save up enough money to get his own place. Well, that didn’t quite work out the way that Bryson had initially intended. Between trips to the bar, and the occasional lack of work when things didn’t pan out, Bryson wasn’t really contributing or even coming close to getting out. Now his roommate/landlord, Mike, was getting antsy. Actually it wasn’t so much Mike as it was his fiancée, Melanie. When Bryson first moved in she wasn’t used to walking around Mike’s apartment clothed, and in the several months that he stayed there she still didn’t seem to have a clue what pajamas or night gowns were for. Bryson didn’t mind so much, but she seemed to have a major problem with it. While at first he didn’t have too much of a problem with the living arrangements, Mike was starting to get irritated with having to confine business to the bedroom so he was starting to push harder for Bryson to find his own place.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Story Behind "Love Knife"

“Love Knife” is one of my favorite songs that I wrote with Social Fallout. The music is heavy and the concept itself is heavy. A little too heavy for some people, apparently. My former instructor in Creative Writing (one of my favorite instructors) Colleen Abel, tried to lead the class to a feminist discussion on this song. I submitted it as a poem, which was already problematic, but the focus turned to the feminist qualities of the song since the person accosted is a female. That’s not what the song is about though.

The original idea for the song came from reality TV. I don’t watch reality TV, and I didn’t watch it then, because I’d rather patronize television that features talented individuals (particularly shows that are written by real writers), but I was interested in the idea of voyeurism. The idea of the social obsession with voyeurism still intrigues me, and it might be a concept that invades my stories in the future. In reality, aren’t all stories really about seeing into another person’s life without actually having to deal with them? That’s a large part of what this song is about. This is one of only two Social Fallout songs that actually did not come from personal experience in some way.

In the end Colleen was proven wrong by the students in the class who did not feel that the song was in any way an insult to feminist ideals. I did end up rewriting it as an actual poem, but I’ll save that for another day. I’ll detail what I updated then, but I will say here that I kept the voyeurism concept of murder with the same characters. Below you can find the music for this song.

Btw, I should say that the title of this song came from Tenacious D, particularly HBO episode where Jack and Kyle first meet Lee and describe him as “ knife material...”

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Love Knife

He says, "I need you my dear
For now till the end of time
You are my strength, my love divine."
He pulls her close in a kiss that lights up the heavens
He pulls a knife from his coat and slits her throat
I see it all through the rose colored windows
The rose colored windows
The blood stained windows

Corpse in the tub
Drenched in her blood
The shower's on where she fell
To make her clean for Hell
Empty her veins
She feels no pain
What's your next line
Have I lost my

Mind is on fire should I turn away
I feel the punch of a train
As blood pumps through my veins
I reach for the door
But turn back to see once more
I pull myself from the torn
To view her on the floor
It's at this sight that my mind is still racing
My mind is still racing
I'm anticipating

He says, "I needed you dear
To make me whole,"
While inside
I'm left feeling cold
He drops to his knees
To kiss her lips
My heart hits the floor
Wanting one more hit
It's at this time that I ask myself
Why do I need death
I need to see death!

The body's now clean
This scene so serene
He walks out the door

And I'm left wanting more!

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Black Ring: Chapter 1, Part 8

He went back to his desk and sat down to see that he was already two minutes late logging back into the phone, but he was in no way motivated to hop back on the phone. As he sits there contemplating whether to jump on or flee the institution, someone walks up to his cube and peers over the wall at him. “Hey, how's it going?”
“Hey Brian, I'm here,” Bryson replied before adding, “unfortunately. What's up?”
 “What are you doing tonight?”
“Probably going home, having a few beers, eating a snack, watching a little TV, maybe viewing some porn, and to top it off possibly blowing my brains out.”
“You sarcastic bastard. So am I to take it that means you're not coming?
“To what? Oh, tonight's movie night, isn't it?”
“Yeah it is, you thinking of changing your mind and showing up? We're playing Predator tonight. Please don't tell me you seriously forgot.”
Brian worked at one of the local movie theaters in town. Originally, movie nights started as a chance to preview movies before they came out. The theater workers had the opportunity to watch movies before they came out with a guest, so Brian took Bryson to see a few movies the week before they came out free of charge with free popcorn and soda. Then Brian learned that some of his coworkers at the theater would hook their PS3's up to the digital projector at the theater and play video games. This opened up a whole new world of opportunity. Brian decided to hook his PS3 up to the projector, but instead of playing video games he decided to watch blu-rays of movies that he didn't have the opportunity to see in theaters when they first came out. The opportunities were nearly endless, and now every Tuesday night they would get together with friends and watch the movies they loved in high def as if they just opened. Die Hard, The Big Lebowski, Jaws, Blade Runner: they were all available at the local theater now late at night, after the theater closed.
“Yeah, I forgot,” Bryson said. “I've had a lot on my mind the past couple of days.”
“Well, are you going to be able to make it?”
As much as Bryson wanted to relive his moment of empowerment watching Predator almost ten years ago, he really didn't feel like being around people at the moment. Sure, he thought, I could use the kick in the ass to effect change in my life at this moment, but I can't say that I really want to think about it or do anything about it right now. “No, I'm just going to go home and surf the web for a little bit and go to bed. Maybe I'll have a beer or to. I don't feel like going anywhere tonight though.”
“Seriously? You suck, dude.”
“You trained me.”
“To do your job and be awesome, not to be a pussy!”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, have a good night.”
“You too,” Brian says as he walks away.

Bryson puts his headphones back on, and hits the button on the phone to start taking calls again only to hear the beep signifying a call was coming in. “Client service, this is Bryson speaking. May I have your policy number please?”

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Black Ring: Chapter 1: Part 7

In the break room, past the cork bulletin board of useless customer compliments and company news, past the refrigerators filled with lunches no one will ever eat but they'll complain about if someone takes them, past the microwaves and coffee maker; Bryson makes his way to the vending machines. Not sure of exactly what he wants, he looks through the soda machine, a snack machine of chips and cookies, and a machine known around the office as “The Wheel of Death.” The Wheel of Death is a vending machine that contains burgers, chicken and fish sandwiches, and other assorted snack items that were premade with an expiration date. Bryson was never sure where the name came from, but it's possible someone had purchased a perishable item from the vending machine past its expiration date. If you want to take your life into your own hands, just grab something from “The Wheel of Death.” Of course, other snacks weren't any better. How were they able to maintain their freshness without an expiration date?
            As Bryson stands in front of the vending machine holding the soda, an older man walks into the break room and reaches into the refrigerator as he looks over at Bryson, “How's it going? You working hard or hardly working today?”
            Bryson pushed back tendencies reserved for a more sarcastic approach to a stupid question like this while answering, “I'm alright, you?” Lying was ingrained in the job.
            “Trying not to work to hard, it's against my religion,” he responded, laughing at his inanely brilliant joke. “Have a good night.” The man grabs a lunch bag and leaves the break room, and Bryson just glared after him. He hated that phrase, working hard or hardly working. It was, unfortunately, a popular phrase used by the easily manipulated who couldn't think for themselves. Even the guy who invented that phrase had to hate it, every idiot around the world in seventy different languages repeated that phrase on a daily basis. The guy who created that god-awful phrase probably wishes he died before he could have come up with such a phrase that was repeated by easily lead automatons regularly.
            As Bryson thought of it, other thoughts poured into his mind. He wished he could pound in the faces of anyone he talked to on the work lines who asked, “How the weather was?” Hey, if the weather was nice did they really think he wanted to be reminded that he was stuck here? If the weather was bad, well at least it wasn't bad enough where he couldn't answer they're calls otherwise they'd whine and bitch about how the weather inconvenienced them. If they seriously questioned the condition of the weather surrounding planet Forrester than maybe they should check the weather channel or the internet. People always liked to ask where he was located, and when he said Green Bay, Wisconsin another shit storm of stupid comments assaulted him. No, he didn't care about how the Packers were doing this season. No, he didn't care who Favre was playing for this season or if he was going to be in the league next season or if he was retiring for the umpteenth time.
            Then all time stopped. From the corner of his eye he saw her walk in from the other side of the break room. Her khaki skirt revealed legs that went on for days, or at least he wished they did so he could look at them forever. Her blouse was cut just low enough to reveal a little bit of cleavage, but not low enough for people to call her a slut. It was like the slow motion passing of the hot girl you see in some movies, complete with her mid-back length brown hair waving behind her as she walked through the room.
            “Hi,” she said as she passed through the break room with a smile that brightened the room around her.
            “Hey,” Bryson feebly responded back as she passed the room, leaving it darker in her wake. Women like that didn't go for guys like Bryson. What was dating if it wasn't about finding a mate and procreating? Girls like that procreated with beautiful people or strong people. All they really wanted in offspring was either a model or a body builder. Some of the geeks got the girls, but that was being they were funny, intentionally or unintentionally. Bryson was none of these things. His clothes were nothing special, and even if he did add a little muscle to his physique that he casually maintained from when he was in the Marine Corp he wasn't a strong man. He had his moments when he was funny, but nothing special and he definitely wasn't anything spectacular to look at. Even in an intelligence race Bryson had to concede that he was quite possibly the most average person on the planet. If he had to describe himself in one word that word would be: generic.
            He sighed looking in the direction she left as he finally settled on a Pepsi. He reached into his back pocket to grab his wallet, but when he looked into his wallet nothing but a receipt and a few pennies greeted him. “Son of a bitch,” he muttered under his breath as he replaced the wallet. Forget smart, he couldn't even tell you the balance of his wallet or bank account let alone explain the mysteries of the universe.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Black Ring: Chapter 1, Part 6

After entering it to the system Bryson pressed enter and came up empty handed once again. He rubbed the back of his head and tugged on his hair in frustration. “I'm sorry,” the lies he told to keep his job, “but I still can't find you in the system. Do you have an account with us?”
 “Yes,” the interpreter replied for Paulo, “I'm calling about my credit card.” Believing that Paulo was talking about a card that was being billed for his account, Bryson pulls up another program to search for Paulo's account by credit card number. This is really starting to get ridiculous, he thinks as he asks for Paulo's credit card number, why no one is ever prepared when they called in to talk about their account will forever remain a mystery to Bryson. He hears some rustling around in the background through his headsets as he lets out a sharp exhalation of breath.
Finally, the interpreter relays the full credit card number to Bryson and he enters it into the system, once again coming up with absolutely nothing. Zilch. Nada. What the hell was going on here? Bryson runs his frustrated hand through his frustrated hair as he tells Paulo through the interpreter that once again there is absolutely nothing on file to prove the client should even exist, and by comparison maybe the client shouldn't exist if he was incapable of giving Bryson the proper information. Now he's curious as to the exact reason this client has called in today and why it was that he, Bryson, had to be the one to receive such a call. “Well,” the interpreter relays, “I just received my credit card statement and I had a few questions about some charges that appeared on there.”
Incredulously, Bryson asks, “Were you trying to reach the credit card company?”
 “Yes,” the interpreter interprets, “and I tried calling the number on the back of my card but they don't have a menu in Spanish I could follow, so I got a number off the statement and tried calling it.”
Bryson slams his hand down on the desk. I'm now late for my break because this fudge packer can't speak English, Bryson thought. Seriously, are you kidding me? “Sir, this is not the credit card company,” Bryson said. “I’m fairly certain if you call the number on the back of your credit card again, you could possibly keep hitting one or zero and you’ll eventually get someone that can get an interpreter to further assist you.” But don’t you ever call here again, chum bucket.
 “Thank you,” the interpreter said for Paulo, “I’ll try calling the credit card again. Have a good day.”
It’ll be much better when you’re off the line. “You too, is there anything else I can help you with?” Bryson felt no point in asking this, but it was still unfortunately protocol.
 “No,” the interpreter said, “that will be all for today.”
 “Okay,” Bryson replied, steeling himself for the next lie he had to tell, which at this moment felt like a whopper. “Well, I hope you have a great day,” and don't get hit by a car while crossing the street, or get the shit kicked out of you in the local gringo bar, or die of a massive myocardial infarction while taking a crap.
Paulo hangs up and the interpreter inquires, “Is there anything else I can do for you?”
“No, that'll be all for today, thanks,” Bryson responds. As the line goes dead he takes his headphones off and tosses them next to the monitor on his desk and just sits for a minute. In his head he's musing over the fact that the sound of every call that comes through those stupid little headphones seems to be the sound of the requiem for the death of his career and his dying life. Twenty-eight, and with every call he takes he sees his life flash before his eyes. This rut, this murderous rut, how would he ever escape it?
There's more that he wants out of life but he can't seem to find out what it is, doesn't the world owe him more than this? He knows the answer is no, but as long as he looks around and sees others take take take, he no longer feels he needs to give give give as a member of society. Unlike some though, he has a conscience, he feels, and he must continue to work as a functioning member of society. The real question is how can he get out of this funk. He can go back to school. But then where is the money and the time going to come from? He can look for another job. But what skills does he have to market to a new employer? He could drop out of the race and become a wino sleeping on street corners and park benches holding signs begging for money for food. Unfortunately he doesn’t like wine, and has never been one to rely on the kindness of strangers because strangers are rarely ever kind

He reaches over to his phone and pushed a button marked Aux and then tapped the 1 button. Finally, Bryson gathered the energy to stand up, and walked down the aisle past the rows of empty cubes that earlier held other representatives, trapped in their rooms within the customer service prison. Following the walls past more cubicles, formerly stacked full of representatives like hens in a hen coupe, there to take the never ending string of calls from the cretins who can't figure out things themselves, he made his way to the break room.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Black Ring: Chapter 1, Part 5

“Customer service, this is Bryson speaking, may I have your account number, please,” Bryson spoke with a tone that, to him, sounded as if he was bored out of his skull. Of course, he couldn't help it after what felt like thousands of calls with the exact same greeting over and over and over again. Now he just prayed for an over and done call, after all, his break was merely three minutes away.
            “Eh, speak-a Spanish?” came the voice ringing through the headset covering Bryson's ears.
            Dear God no, Bryson thought. This call was going to take forever. “No, but I'd be more than happy to bring a translator on the line,” he lied in the happiest and least sarcastic tone he could muster. He was really thinking something more along the lines of: No, but if you go back to Mexico I'm sure you will find more than enough people who would be more than happy to further assist you in your native language, because I'm definitely not willing or happy to.
            “Thank you,” the client replied. Reluctantly, Bryson pushed the conference line and dialed the extension for an interpreter. There's no way his break was going to start on time now. With an interpreter call he'd be lucky to be off the call in time to end his shift.
            As he waited for an interpreter to come on the line, he wondered what he was doing. Here he was in this ridiculous office, sitting at his ridiculous cubicle, with his ridiculous headset, talking to this ridiculous client, waiting for this ridiculous interpreter. When the interpreter finally came on the line, he told them his name and the code number for his job site and as he did he was really just hoping the Hispanic gentleman on the line would drop dead before he could patch the interpreter into the call so he could simply take the break that was owed to him by his company thanks to state law.
            Channeling his agitation into a rainbow colored mini slinky, Bryson told the interpreter he has an ass of a client on the line who can't learn English and probably is an illegal immigrant, but he must service the prick like they're best friends. Naturally, most of the previous sentence doesn't escape his lips, but can easily be read through his tightly gritted teeth. He told the interpreter to ask for the client's policy number. The interpreter said she'd be more than happy to further assist.
            Bryson patched the client back into the line. “Hello, sir, thank you for holding, I have an interpreter on the line.” The interpreter translated Bryson's previous request as he looked around his drab cubicle for anything that could possibly lift his spirits.
            It has occurred to Bryson that this building, this place where he spends 40 to 60 hours of his week life, is like an asylum for the mentally ill, and this cubicle is his padded cell. If it wasn't an asylum then why does he come here every day of the week expecting a different result only to get the same crap handed to him day after day? Still, each day he worked his eight hours with the hope of getting off at the same time every day with good behavior, or as close to it as possible. It really was a meaningless experience wrapped in mediocrity. He looked around his cube, and even with the personal flourishes he felt the need to bestow on his work area, this place still appeared to lack any kind of warmth.
            After meaningless words spoken in what sounded to Bryson as childish gibberish are exchanged between the halfwit client and the interpreter, the interpreter relayed what could possibly be, but may not be, the exact words spoken by the client in a dialect Bryson can actually understand. “I'm sorry I do not have the account number, can you look me up a different way.”
            With a release of air that could be nothing less than a sign of exasperation, and with the feeling that much more was exchanged between the client and the interpreter than what was just relayed, Bryson says, “I can look it up by your phone number.” More mumbo jumbo is passed between the two Spanish speaking freaks before the interpreter finally returns to speaking something comprehensible in the form of a nine digit phone number. Bryson enters it into the computer and nothing is returned in his fruitless search to find this asshole in the system. “I apologize, I could not find you in the system using your phone number, if you could possibly spell your last name for me, I may be able to find you with your name.”

            After a moment of the client saying something irrelevant to the interpreter, the interpreter said in English, “R-O-D-R-I-G-U-E-Z.” As Bryson typed the letters, he thought, Wow they don't even spell like regular people. Bryson asked for the first name, and after a moment of that funky spelling the interpreter returned with, “P-A-U-L-O.” Paulo, Bryson thought, what kind of a ridiculous name is that? How about you drop the O and become an American, while you’re at it maybe you can learn English. Or maybe you'd rather change it to an A and get a sex change.

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Story Behind "Kill Society"

You’ll notice that I took a break from The Black Ring to post another song. I still have quite a bit of The Black Ring to post, and felt as though I should break up the pattern a little.

I feel as though I should preface the story behind “Kill Society” by saying that Social Fallout went through bassists like Spinal Tap went through drummers. At the time that we wrote a recorded this song, we were no longer working with Jim Nasty. Our bassist in this era of the band was Köenig, or Mike Koenig, we all liked the idea of using his last name as a stage name (my stage name was Dr. Whitey McWhite, since I was a black lead singer in a metal band, and to this day there are people who only know me as Whitey).

Anyway, I bring this up because when Köenig left the band this was the song that he cited directly as his reason for leaving the band. It wasn’t the lyrics or anything like that. His issue was that he didn’t feel that he could have his family listen to our music because of how heavy the vocals were. He felt that I should have written the vocals with less screaming, and found another way to present my message. The band stood behind how the song was written and we parted ways.

As you can tell, I was really into social issues at the time that I wrote these lyrics. Looking back now I find it funny that I was a Republican at the time that I wrote these songs. Naturally, a large part of my issues at the time dealt with the structure of society, and this song was almost a call to anarchy. I don’t way to say here at this moment that I am Democrat or Republican or Anarchist as I did write this song primarily for the sake of entertainment.

Future essays will probably give you an idea of where I stand on that spectrum. This song does serve to show some of my view point and was cathartic in helping me purge myself of the inner demons that I felt at the time while going through some personal issues. You can check out the song as it appeared on Chapter 1: Peaceful Aggression below.