The Song (Band) that Saved my Life
In a way that you might not expect
Music has always been a part of my life, even before I was performing and playing professionally.
I grew up in a home that always had music on, but none of us played music to a great extent. My father plays and continues to learn the guitar, but the thing about music that I learned from him was not about playing music, it was about listening to it.
He is the biggest audiophile I know, and his collection spans over 2000 CDs and probably 1500 pieces of vinyl, mostly everything original press. It didn't matter the kind of music I wanted to listen to, he had something that I would like. He started me on classic rock bands like KISS, and when I was getting into pop music he showed me his original Thriller vinyl. Then when I was going through a reggae phase, he pulled out the entire Bob Marley collection and introduced me to an amazing reggae musician, Jimmy Cliff.
That being said, finding new music and listening to music has always been a priority for me. When I was discovering and uncovering my own personal taste as a teenager, the first band I ever got really into was All Time Low. They were the first band that I discovered on my own (that I can recall), and to me that makes an artist/band really special. As someone discovering what art is, finding something that speaks to you and what you're going through might be one of the most important things for a person's childhood, it was for mine. This discovery kicked me into a journey I never truly knew about.
When I was learning to play the guitar, the songs that All Time Low had released were the songs I wanted to play. I kept working every single day on learning how to play shapes, read tabs and listened to the music of that genre every single day until I knew the 'standard repertoire' of the pop/punk world. Everyone knew All Time Low, Yellowcard, Silverstein, Blink-182, New Found Glory and all the rest that were super hip in the late 2000s and early 2010s.
There was one song that I heard by them that I knew I had to play. This song was going to kick my guitar career off, every at the young age of...13? Yeah, 13. That song was Stella by All Time Low from their 3rd record Nothing Personal. I couldn't tell you why this song spoke to me. I couldn't tell you why I wanted to play it. But what I can tell you is that music is like that sometimes. Songs are almost like little entities that are alive in their own right. They find you, make an impression on you and make you feel something you've never felt before.
Then you realize that there are actual people creating the music that's affected you in such a way. Now...that truly is something beautiful. When another person creates something that affects another person in such a beautiful and amazing way, we can't take that lightly. I sure didn't when I was learning that seemingly random tune by All Time Low.
I learned every guitar part, I knew the lyrics and how the drums went, I basically learned the tune inside and out. Y'know what's the craziest thing? I really do feel that I didn't really have a say in that. I feel like that song had come to me for a reason. It was there to show me that music can change your life. Learning that song by myself lead me to play it with my musical friends in middle school. Then that inspired me to learn MORE songs and to play them with more people. That one song lead me to appreciate music more, to listen to more music, and to enjoy the experience of performing with other people.
That song kickstarted my entire performing career, basically. It did change my life, and every now and then I think back to when I was playing along to records in my parent's house. I think about how far I've come, and I think about how far I will continue to go.