Okay, so usually I like Bad Sandwich to be a bit of a respite from punk rock…a place to come read about dick jokes and pussy farts and just kind of escape the mindless claptrap surrounding Taking Back Sunday, Dan Yemin and Justin Sane and Davy Havok and Tom Delonge and all that. Right? Sure. It’s never been about the music here, folks. It’s always been about the felching. That’s our motto, at least.
SO, today is where I break form completely. I’m in a band. Some of you probably know all about this. We’re called the Lawrence Arms, and while we’re not as popular as, say, Eric Clapton, we’re a lot more popular than, say, your band (unless you’re in the Alkaline Trio or Against Me! [and even then you’re still mondo gay]), AND we’re coming out with a record called Buttsweat and Tears on Fat Wreck Chords next week. In the spirit of promoting said release, SPIN.com is putting a free download of one of the songs on the internet. The song is called Demons and I think it’s pretty cool.
We made this the focus track because it’s the bonus song that’s not on the vinyl version and only available on itunes and we figured that we shouldn’t penalize the people who were cool enough to buy the 7” by giving them one less song. Everyone should be able to have the five songs if they want em, right? Right. So yeah. We decided to pass out the bonus track for free because we’re cooler than all other bands. That’s right, other bands, we’re talking about you. Nice haricuts. Sweet matching outfits. Nice sustainable careers. Bleh…
Anyway, this song is only available on the online version of Buttsweat and Tears and will not appear on the physical release, AND despite what some people have inferred due to some comments I made before playing this song at a bootlegged acoustic show with Tom Gabel earlier this year, this song is NOT about my experience at his wedding. Not at all. I actually wrote this song while thinking about my friend Sean Nader and the time he showed up at his buddy’s (afternoon) wedding reception drunk, shirtless and ready to fight. Now, he wasn’t alone. I’m pretty sure his buddy Jimmy was also there, shirtless and yelling “who wants some of this?” at anyone who was unlucky enough to be close by, so…well, there’s that, but yeah. I mentioned Tom’s wedding at that show because he was there and it was the most recent wedding I’d been to at the time, despite the fact that my behavior, while probably not exemplary, was hardly memorable. Just a wedding reference, folks. Now, this song, “Demons” is about more than an isolated incident of drunken shenanigans and humiliation. Do you want to know what I think it’s about? Nah. Stupid. My intentionality is totally unimportant and will only color your viewing of the song and negatively affect it all and undermine your own interpretation. I’ve said it before: Artist intentionality is 100% irrelevant. Never mind.
Oh. Still here? Okay. Well, to me, the song is about the desperation that people succumb to in order to cling to their youth and the general despair and malaise that informs their desperation when faced with the irrevocable truth of fading glory. Whether it’s an aging skank sucking wangs to keep her name out there or some old washed up dinosaur rocker becoming impotently enraged at his sudden irrelevance and picking fights with people he doesn’t know for no reason in hopes of staying in the public eye, or whether it’s me, trying to behave like I did when I was twenty one, even though I’m thirty three with a kid and all sorts of bruises and aches and I can no longer hang like I used to, or nader, shirtless and picking fights at a wedding. That’s the demon, right?. The specter of youth and the inevitability of coming face to face with its disappearance and your perceived subsequent irrelevance no matter how hard you try to ignore it. It’s a tough thing to look in the mirror and see. That’s what that song is about to me. The demons of youth and the trappings of adolescent personalities and how those things don’t necessarily make for adult personalities and also, and perhaps most importantly, this song is about how even when that shit fades, there’s still time and room and a place to look over at someone across the room and just absolutely fall in love, for the first time or all over again. How there are still nights of amazing whiskey shots and laughter and kisses and fights and sure, shit’s not the same, but it shouldn’t be. Change is important and you gotta change. Without it, you’re no better than that pathetic cokehead buddy of yours that still lives in his parents house. You gotta look ahead, no matter how hard it is to never look back.
I saw this slideshow on the internet a while ago, of a guy who took a picture of his face every day for five years. It really highlighted the brutality and unflinchingness of the passage of time. The completely reckless disregard that time has on the bodies and spirits that it inevitably ravages. That movie was a huge inspiration for this song.
Of course, it’s all up to personal interpretation, so I’ll leave it to you guys to make your own opinions, but here’s the lyrics. Listen and enjoy!
I got too drunk at your wedding and my voice got loud and I said some creepy things and I staggered around and even though your best man had to kick me out it was a pretty good time either way.
It seems a fight broke out and an old man was yelling, cuz no one was buying all the bullshit he was selling and he threw all his keepsakes on the ground and walked away, cursing hard to bring back yesterday
And the dying aint gonna stop just because you walk away
And you can cry for everything that you’ve lost but you ain’t never gonna bring back these days.
I hate the Mondays and the Fridays cuz they always define the endless march of pushing ruthlessly to the light. Well, if I’m gonna be dying then I’m gonna get high and scream until I’m not feeling the pain.
Let’s burn a bridge for the fuck of it and kill this night with some beers down at the pits, with whiskey lips and we’ll try to love for the moment and forget for the night that life doesn’t usually feel great.
Where we gonna go now that everything’s shut down? I can’t go home, so where do you wanna go now? Let’s bring it back around to where everybody’s singin that
the dying aint gonna stop just because you walk away
And you can cry for everything that you’ve lost but you ain’t never gonna bring back these days. You ain’t never gonna bring back these days.