Its been a while since I posted anything but I think now is a good time. Last post I left off talking about the accident I was in with my old band and as much as I want to get over it and move on it is something that will always be with me and changed my life completely. I had always dealt with anxiety and depression issues, but in the months after the accident it went to a whole new level. I literally couldn’t even ride in a car without having a full blown panic attack. I couldn’t sleep at night, I kept replaying the accident over and over in my mind, and couldn’t get the image of my best friends basically laying lifeless outside the bus out of my head. Within a couple months I started having a few drinks at night because it was the only way I could sleep. Like I mentioned before, leading up to the accident I could count the number of times I had been drunk in my life on one hand so this was something new to me. The more depressed I got the more I wanted to drink. After a few months my anxiety and depression had gotten so bad that I started seeing a therapist. I was prescribed anti depressants as well as a prescription to Xanax. I had never used prescription drugs before, I barely even would take tylenol when i’d get a headache so I was a bit weary but I needed something to help. I’ll skip ahead a bit here so not to bore you….within about 6 months I had become completely dependent on Xanax. This is around the time that SECRETS had formed so I kept it to myself as I didn’t want to scare off anyone in my band, label, management etc…but as time went on I knew I needed to stop. This wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be and I started drinking again. This became a vicious cycle and by the time came to record our debut album, The Ascent, I came to the conclusion that I was a full blown addict. My depression had reached an all time high and I had thoughts of suicide on a daily basis. While in the studio I would stay up writing lyrics, drinking, and decided to see what it would be like to mix Xanax with alcohol. I knew it could kill be but at that point I didn’t really care. I don’t remember much of the studio experience after that, but will never forget this. I woke up on the ground of a Wal Mart parking lot, outside of the van… I don’t remember driving there and it was a big wake up call. I used that inspiration for “The Ascent’ and scraped my old lyrics and wrote the new ones with Richard the next day. Unfortunately my stint and cleaning up didn’t last long…by the time I got home from recording I was back to my old ways. Once again, I don’t remember much of it but as it all kind of blended together, but it wasn’t a good time. In mid august, before a weekend run SECRETS was going to do with The Word Alive, I came to and sure enough I was in jail. I took so much Xanax and drank so much that I wandered into a Wal Mart, and for no real reason tried to steal a bunch of random electronics. I don’t even know why, but I guess it seemed like a good idea at the time. Needless to say I got caught and spent the next 3 days in jail. The first person I called was my manager, who showed up to pick me up and drove me straight to rehab. I spent the next 6 weeks there trying to convince myself that I would change my ways but I kind of had a feeling it wouldn’t last. Well…I was right. We hit the road with Oh Sleeper in October and after about two weeks I was back on the horse. The last 18 months has been more of a struggle than I could have ever imagined. I’ll go from spending a week or two sober, to relapsing, to overdosing, over and over. In all honestly I don’t even know how im still alive. I don’t know how I got here, its not the person I want to be. If you haven’t ever been through something like this, you will never know what its like. I’m currently in an out patient rehab and won’t stop fighting this until I have it under control. I just want to be happy again.
First of all I want to start this post by saying I am not quitting SECRETS, I never would. I have poured my blood sweat and tears into this band and it means more to me than anything else in this world. If you guys follow me, you probably know by now that I suffer from depression and have fought addiction for the last few years. Being on tour is not glamourous, its a very lonely place and after keeping sober (for the most part) for the first month of this tour I slipped up last night and got drunk before our set and flat out, I was terrible. You guys don’t deserve that and i’m sorry. During our set last night a few people in the crowd were “hate moshing” as well as flipping us off, coming to the front and calling me a “faggot” and saying theyre going to kick my ass etc….and I lost it. I did something I should never do and instead of letting it go I called them out, ran my mouth back, and took it out on the entire crowd which im not proud of. After the set on my way to merch the group of kids who were causing problems during our set confronted me, words were exchanged, they told me they were going to literally stab me if they saw me outside, and I was punched in the face twice. They were thrown out of the show and police had to escort me back to the van for my protection. Needless to say, this was a terrible night and I want to apologize to the fans out there that I let down.
Real quick preface, if you havent been to my blog yet, go back and read my last post real quick before this one and things will make a lot more sense.
So, going to jump ahead from the end of my last blog to the summer of 2008. I had moved back to California knowing that this is where I needed to be if I wanted to really pursue my dream of being in a band and writing and creating music. That summer, through an ad on Craigslist of all things, I met some great people and we formed band called Among The Storm (I know, not grammatically correct, oh well). This is where I met Marc, Sherman, and eventually Joe who were all founding members of SECRETS, but we’ll get to that story later. We quickly played a few good shows, recorded some demos, and even got a manager who helped guide our direction and told us to change our name. So began a project called A City Serene. Things got going fairly quickly for us. I was a fanboy playing shows with bands like Emarosa, I See Stars, Eyes Set To Kill, and one of my favorite bands Drop Dead Gorgeous, all within the first 4 months. As a 20 year old who didn’t drink, smoke, do drugs, or even curse for that matter, this was a bit of a culture shock. I was about as clean as they come, and it was something I took great pride in. Later that Summer we went in the studio and recorded our debut EP, The Art of Deceiving Perception, and released it shortly after. At this point we were getting attention from labels, the online buzz was growing steadily, we had our very first full US tour booked, and our future looked bright. This was it. This was the payoff. All those nights locked alone in my room, scared for my life, unsure of what the future had in store for me. Well this was it, god has a plan and I was going to make it!
The first day of our tour was with A Skylit Drive, who had just put out Wires and the Concept of Breathing and were on top of the game. The show was incredible and just knowing that everything was coming together I was probably the happiest I had ever been in my entire life. A few days later things came crashing down harder than I ever could have imagined. We were on our way to San Jose and while traveling North on I-5, a ford F-450 pickup truck heading South crossed the median, hit a pile of dirt and literally flew into our van head on. All 6 of us were life flighted from the scene to different hospitals. When I came to I was in the ICU in Los Angeles and was told that two of my best friends were in Bakersfield, in comas, and that the prognosis was bad. Two more were in at different hospitals in north los angeles in surgery, and that I was being scheduled for surgery within the next few days. Physically speaking I was lucky compared to the rest of the band. I suffered a severe concussion, swelling in my brain, and 3 broken bones in my face and eye sockets that required surgery to repair. When it was all said and done I spent two weeks in the hospital and was only the 2nd one from the band released from the hospital. I spent the next few weeks visiting my best friends, praying every single day that they would make it. At this point two of them were still unresponsive in comas with no real prognosis. I was literally terrified to get in a car. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat. And I quickly went into a really deep depression. I thought it was over.
I’ll pick back up on where things went from here in my next blog. Having a tough time writing this and going to call it a night.
Oh man, where do I even start? I guess you could say i’ve been beating the odds since I was first born. Maybe this is why I enjoy playing poker so much, who knows. When I was less than one year old I was hospitalized for several weeks, the doctors told my parents that I probably wouldn’t live and that if I did I would grow up with major brain damage and limited body function. I obviously don’t remember this, but by the time I was two I was fine, no longer sick all the time and just a normal kid. Or at least I was for a while. Some of my first memories as a child were of my parents arguing and being scared to death of what might come from it. Shortly after my 4th birthday my parents divorced and I couldnt help but blame myself. After the divorce my mother and I moved into a small house with my grandparents and aunt and things only got worse. During this time I endured physical and emotional abuse that nobody, especially a child, should ever go through. On multiple occasions I was driven over 40 minutes from my house and left, abandoned, and told that I would never see my family again and that I was on my own. I was 7. I remember one of my families members on multiple occasions put a butcher knife in my hand, would hold it to her throat and beg me to kill her, screaming at me “is this what you want?.”
Fast forward to middle school, I became very anti social, depressed, and was bullied constantly for not being “normal.” By this time I started spending more time at my fathers, which I’d been fighting for in court for the longest time. He was a “tough love” kind of guy and taught me that if somebody pushes you, push back and if you want to succeed in life, the only person that can truly stop you is you; in fact, a lot of my thinking process and work ethics are those that I learned directly from him. So by the time I was big enough to “push back” you better believe that I did. Not only at school but at home. As high school approached the cops would show up at the house (where i was living with my grandma, aunt, and mother) what seemed like at least once a week; they’d handcuff me, threaten to take me to juvi, psych hospitals, etc…when all is said and done I ended up going to 4 different high schools (including a 5th high school that was self taught home schooling) and had a really tough time making friends.
When I was 15 or 16 my dad ended up getting remarried and moved to Colorado and I went with him thinking it would be my escape. Unfortunately that wasn’t going to be the case. I spent the majority of my time alone in my room, usually just playing video games and trying to ignore the fact that my situation at home and school didn’t get much better, except at least in Colorado, I was never caught in the middle of arguments that landed me in handcuffs. My biggest outlet and escape from everything was to bmx. My dad and step mom would take me on the weekends to Fort Collins and I started racing bmx in the amateur leagues, and spending any daylight time outside riding as it was the only thing that kept my mind off of everything; not being able to make friends, not fitting in at school, getting bullied, etc… It was literally the only thing that made me happy and not sad/depressed and filled with fear 24/7. I had one friend throughout my entire high school that I actually hung out with after school. His family was the exact same way as mine was back in California, so when the cops came to his house he’d ride his bike and stay at my house for a couple of days. And whenever I was really depressed and down, I did the same…We rode bmx everyday until the sun went down, then we would always go to one of each others houses to play halo all night. Those were the only things we found enjoyment in, because we found those things as an escape to the life that we both hated and could do nothing about.
I never really listened to music ever and the only band i really liked was The Strokes because it relaxed me. But to this day, I can vividly remember the night that changed my life forever. My friend came to spend the night so we could play Halo all night, and when he got to my house he said ‘hey do you like Underoath?’ I had never heard of them but he insisted that I just listen and that I might like it. The record he brought over was “They’re Only Chasing Safety,” and after listening to it the first time it never left my cd player until i graduated and moved to California for college. I must have listened to it over 500 times in that short period of time…
Before hearing that Underoath CD I had never payed too much attention to lyrics , but for some reason, every single lyric throughout that whole CD stood out to me and inspired me in a way I never thought possible. It made me want to have the ability that they have; which is to express your feelings through music and lyrics and hopefully be able to impact people the way that they impacted me.
From then on, I listened to every band in that genre. Every waking hour I had was spent listening to bands like Underoath and reading/analyzing the lyrics in order to try to paint a visual picture/story that they were trying to portray. I soon started to give it a shot myself. I bought a couple notebooks and wrote until my hands couldn’t write anymore. I wrote stories, lyrics, poems, and even sometimes just how I felt. I had made a new life goal for myself. I wanted to become a vocalist in a band, and my dream was to be able to make music and write lyrics that when people listen to it, they get a feeling that makes everything negative in their life disappear for the time being, just like the first time my friend showed me Underoath. Its been a long journey since then and I am so blessed to be where I am today, to have people reading this, and to have hopefully impacted people with my own lyrics is a feeling that I can’t even describe in words.
Over the next few weeks im going to write about joining my first band and the path traveled from then until now. Thanks for reading, don’t be afraid to message me on Facebook or twitter or come say hi at a show. If you have been through anything ive talked about in this post, id love to talk to you about it. Lots of love.
I don’t really know where to start. The last few years have been a tad bittersweet, and there has been a lot about me that i’ve kept to myself. Life on the road isnt easy, and it gives you a lot of time to think about your life, to reflect, and most importantly, to look to the future. I think looking ahead, and the feeling of hope, is what keeps me going. Hope is a strong word. In the last few years I lived out the first part of my dream as a kid listening to Underoath and Hopes Die Last and signed a record deal, released an album, and have toured non stop and seen more of the world than I ever had imagined. During this time, hope has remained as the only real constant in my life. If you follow me closely, you know I have battled a lot of things, including addiction, depression, and anxiety…yet here I am. Ready to start 2013 touring with one of my all time favorite bands, Silverstein, then going to Florida to record our sophomore album…and then getting ready to have what I can only imagine will be the Summer of my life.
So you ask, why am I writing this? Well. After a lot of time to reflect I decided that i’m probably not alone in my struggles and that if I can do what i’m doing, anybody can. It certainly hasnt been easy and im sure will continue to get harder, but I want people to know where I came from, what i’ve been through, and where I will go. If there is even one person out there that can gain just a little bit of hope by knowing my story then I know that spilling my secrets and my life story out here will be worth it. Over the next month or so i’m going to be blogging a lot and sharing my experiences. Stay tuned for more.
Hope everybody had a great Holiday and is looking forward to a great new year!
Im in the studio, uh oh what am i doing!?!? (Taken with instagram)
Thinking about starting a gang. But instead of a pitbull, i’m gonna have a fat pug with asthma. Now thats gangsta. (Taken with instagram)
Acoustic set and meet and greet at Soundcheck Hollywood @secretsofficial (Taken with instagram)
Got my 30th star at the first starbucks ever!!!! <3 (Taken with instagram)
kids these days (Taken with instagram)