ROMANS 3 23-24
More than anything else, The Upsides is a record about fighting back. I felt like the past year left me and all of my friends defeated. Our early-twenties had beaten us down. We listened to sad songs and we watched sad movies and we talked about sad shit. It was like everyone looked at the rest of their lives and decided that now was the time to start being miserable. A lot of the lyrics for this record were written on my bike while I avoided traffic and bad parts of the city. Before we actually started writing songs, I had compiled a notebook full of the lines that I pulled from the fog my breath produced on all of my freezing, snowy morning bike rides. I had given up, and this was going to be a record about just that, and then, one day, I was riding my bike down 19th Street on the way to work and from the top of Callowhill, I could see that the fountain at Logan Circle had been turned on. Something clicked in my head and I guess it was because this meant it was Spring, or maybe it was just because it reminded me of happier times, but I decided then that it wasn’t okay to be this defeated at twenty-three. A few months later the band moved into the house I was living in South Philly with my girlfriend and roommate. They slept on the floor of our living room and every day we would wake up and walk down into the 15-square foot basement to write songs. We spent a very long, very hot month between May and June surviving on freezie-pops and Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee alone. Everyone, literally and figuratively poured themselves into this record as we must have lost a collective ten pounds from sweat alone. My basement still smells terrible to this day. There were a few times when we walked upstairs after an argument and I didn’t think we’d ever come back down because every song was that important to every one of us. The result is a record that we’re all very proud of and that I think carries a very real message. The whole world wants you to be miserable. It wants you to put your head down, sigh to yourself and give up on being happy, and I know just as well as anyone that sometimes, giving up seems like the only option, but if you take one thing from this record, I hope it’s this: Don’t give those mother-fuckers an inch. Stand your ground every chance you get because everybody deserves a chance to be happy.
- The Upsides