I’ll be honest, when “Something Loud” arrived suddenly earlier this year I didn’t expect to try a cover of it so soon.
For the first time since starting this project, it was one song that I couldn’t quite place my own personal spin on since it lyrically focuses on things that I couldn’t possibly relate to.
Well, one lyric, anyway, and sometimes it’s just one line that’s enough to make me step back from one of these for a while.
But I really loved the song. It had the same great energy we’re used to from Jimmy Eat World’s other anthemic singles but it also seemed like they were trying something new, tying in old styles with their new groove and lyrically it told a compelling story and offered something to think about.
To hear what I’m talking about, listen to Jimmy Eat World’s original recording first:
And now here’s mine:
After being sucked in by the initial lead guitar melody, the top of the first verse catches me exactly where I felt I was when I got this project under way.
In 2020 I’d quite literally do this. Just about every single day I’d walk around my King City neighbourhood and I spent a lot of time listening to records while I did. We couldn’t do much of anything else at the time due to the lockdown restrictions in place and I had a lot more on my mind than I’d ever realized a single person could. For the first time perhaps ever I gave myself the opportunity to really sit in everything as it came.
When you start learning how to do meditation, one of the key things you need to learn is to allow thoughts to come but your goal is largely not to allow them to stay and distract you from the act of meditating itself. As soon as you find yourself being pulled by them, you’re supposed to return to your breathing and center yourself.
This is a great tool because it helps you better manage your mind and body and regain control of yourself when things are overwhelming but, it’s the exact opposite thing that I’m talking about when I say I was sitting in everything as it came.
What I mean instead is when I found my mind bringing me back to an experience I had whether that be a conversation or lack of one, I let it fester. I let it go in whatever direction it wanted to take me and my attention. And then I’d think about what it was trying to say and why it seemed to hell bent on making me listen.
And sometimes this would be aggravating. It’d make my body physically swell with anger and annoyance. Sometimes it’d make me cry. Sometimes I’d die laughing at the absurdity of it all.
Because before you’re able to own your feelings you have to let yourself feel them.
At a certain point, just as with meditation, you regain you composure and you’re able to feel still again; the calmness that comes with control.
And that I feel is just as important and empowering of a skill.
So if these are the things that Jim was thinking about in his own walk-around-the-block, the one that got away, all the “firsts” whether welcomed or not, and how sure of himself and his life choices he’d been, what was I thinking about?
I was thinking about how I didn’t have a “one that got away”. I’d never felt that attached to any one person or seen any real formidable future with someone. I was thinking about all the missed opportunities, the firsts that never were. I was thinking about how I always seem to be too early or too late to bring any of my ideas of goals to complete fruition. I am seemingly never where I should be.
So no, I have absolutely no idea what you mean.
And to be honest about it I’m fucking jealous. Imagine having a life so grand that you feel so sure of yourself like this? To even say such a phrase?
I have obviously been doing something terribly wrong and I’ve gotta figure out what that is.
I loved this chorus because it really does bring you back to a place of familiarity if you’ve been following this band closely for a while, because for me it brings me right back to “Chase This Light” and “Big Casino”.
I’m not sure I’ve told this story before but in my early 20’s while working at a professional recording studio called Metalworks I was invited to assist on sessions for then-up and comer (although he had already made a pretty big splash) Drake. I’d worked a lot of great sessions with some of my favourite artists before being called for that one but Drake’s level of fame at the time and given how current and emerging it still was really elevated this opportunity to a new level. This was the kind of gigs that really have the ability to transform your life as an engineer if you don’t fuck it up and it’s bewildering to be a part of it.
In “Big Casino” the lyrics reference playing your small part in something big; bigger than yourself. Back in those days when I’d catch myself having a moment of peace and quiet outside the studio and smoking a cigarette (a habit I’m sure now I only kept to have an excuse to go outside for a moment’s break like so many others), I’d think to myself that… this was big. This was something bigger than I’d ever thought I’d be a part of. And I held on to the idea that this must be the right path, I was doing something correctly because I was here for it; my dreams of having a viable career as a studio audio engineer were slowly, very slowly, finally making their way towards where I should end up.
But as I listened through to Something Loud and was reminded of this moment, I’m quick to realize that I don’t at all feel this way anymore. I don’t really feel part of much of anything and in fact I’d have to say I probably feel the most alone I’d ever thought I would be.
I am starkly at odds with the Jimmy Eat World fan that basked in the “Chase This Light” album with her entire future ahead of her.
And I probably am a bit of a different person now.
Those dreams whittled away and I had to invent new ones to keep myself moving forward.
Verse 3 is where I really feel myself pull away from this song as far as being the type of listener that can really connect to it.
I’ve never really had much of anything figured out but I was always the type of person that would hold on to the belief that things will just work out as they should, of course not without a bit of effort and commitment on your own part.
Though I will say, I was often at odds with what was expected of me and I’d often believe that surely no one can know what’s best for me but me.
As I got older I’d get less and less guidance, and I’d really felt like I wasn’t given much to begin with (an unfortunate byproduct of being the youngest of 4) so, sure, I suppose things got more complicated if only that I’m not sure how anyone can really know the right paths to take in your late teens and early 20’s.
I was fortunate though to have retained a lot of my friends from the time I was very young until more recently (a happy byproduct of living mostly in the same city for much of your life), but at a certain point you start to realize how much or how little you really know those people and your definition of friendship starts to shift.
And through all those earlier years the one thing that’d sort of stun me year after year is that… I’m still here. Not all my friends are. And after some of the situations I’ve been in, it not only surprises me but there’s a certain small part of you that wonders why you and not them.
Which brings me to the bridge which makes me wonder…
Why did I do any of those things I did?
Why did I come out of that experience relatively unscathed?
Why did I make seemingly the same mistakes again and again and again before I was compelled to change?
All those things I could have done differently.
Again I find myself at odds with this song.
I would change so many things.
How fortunate are those who can say with conviction that they wouldn’t.
The final 2022 episode of Static Unveiled will go live this Wednesday December 21st and then the show will be on brief hiatus through the holidays, resuming again in 2023. Thanks very much for listening and I hope you’ve been enjoying the show so far!