Posts Tagged ‘The Way Home’

Mikel Jollett of The Airborne Toxic Event: manning up. Photo by Ryan Tuttle.

Mikel Jollett: Manning Up. Photo by Ryan Tuttle.

By Glen

Through five records from The Airborne Toxic Event, there are themes that have clearly captivated Mikel Jollett: threads of thought that stalk his work like spirits, weaving their way through the shadows of multiple albums.

Death is the most obvious one of course, its influence limited not just to the songs but extending to the band’s very name and identity. But there are others.

Love. Loss. Home. Angels. Ghosts. Rain.

Amongst these weighty subjects, there is one that sticks out like something of a sore thumb.

Mikel Jollett is kind of obsessed with being a man.

The admonition to “be a man” conjures primitive images of testosterone-dripping, chest-thumping, macho Neanderthals who know what they want and aren’t afraid to take it, even if it means stepping on others along the way.

But unlike certain Presidential candidates, Jollett doesn’t seem overly concerned with flashing his masculine credentials and measuring his… fingers. Rather, his work betrays that he’s still grasping for direction, wrestling with what exactly constitutes manhood in the context of fear, change, uncertainty and relationships.

“What does it mean to be a man?” asks Jollett from the stage one night in Boston. “That’s a really stupid idea, right? I don’t know, like, eating beef jerky? You know, you can think of all these cheesy, simplified things that you can attach to that idea, which is ridiculous. So, for me, I landed on honesty. There was a time when I felt really trapped by so much that I was trying to hide from the rest of the world, and ultimately I realized that I just had to burn the whole fucking thing down.”

The embracing of authenticity and vulnerability is a very 21st century approach to masculinity; one that deals more in questions than answers, as we’ll see as we trace Jollett’s lyrical journey through manhood.

Changing

In “Changing,” Jollett treads a fine line between deference on the one side and cocksurety on the other. “I am a gentleman,” he insists repeatedly, offering a litany of proof. He requests what he needs, rather than demanding it: “Didn’t I ask for a place I could stay?” He pays his own way: “Didn’t I pay for every laugh, every dime, every bit every time?” He prioritizes relationship and steps up when he is needed: “Didn’t I answer every time that you call? Pick you up when you fall?”

That said, there’s a firm limit to his flexibility, and he butts up against it when he finds that being a gentleman is getting him nowhere. A deep mistrust is eating at the relationship – at least on her side – and he’s not going to take it lying down. “You say that I lie,” he says with disbelief. “You say I never tried.” Are you serious?

As her deep-seated suspicion seeds mind games and naked attempts at control, the gentleman takes a backseat to a more primal form of masculinity: one that’s had enough of listening, resists compromise and takes a stand. “I won’t hear one more word about changing. Guess what, I am the same man.”

The stubborn man, unwilling to bend and refusing to be owned, is a stark contrast to the gentleman who minded his manners and followed the rules. So what type of man does he want to be?

The Storm

In “The Storm,” an almost 40-year-old Jollett is starting to figure it out. He’s come to a sobering awareness: only just now, after “25 years of running in sand,” has he finally “learned how to stand like a man.”

As it turns out, standing like a man isn’t at all what he expected; perhaps that’s why the lesson was so long in the learning.

“I was going through a lot of heavy stuff at this point in my life when I wrote this song,” Jollett explains. “The idea of the song is somebody witnessing your struggles. You go through these private struggles in your life, and in some cases you feel like you’ve been just barely getting through for a very long time. And the idea is that somebody comes in and just sees it, and is like, ‘Oh my God!’ And that moment of sympathy and empathy, and that sense that somebody can witness who you are and want to help you in your life when you’re just kind of laid bare was really powerful for me at the time. There’s a sense of home that’s kind of the heart of love; that sense of homeness that you can just be yourself with someone, they can see your struggles, and they can see what’s good and bad about you and love you for it. And the minute you recognize that is actually when you know that you have love in your life.”

It’s an extraordinarily counter-cultural take on manliness. We think it’s all about standing on our own two feet and handling shit on our own. But Jollett found manhood in a moment of extreme weakness, even dependence, when he realized there was someone else in the room and it was okay to lean on them. Being a man is not a solo sport.

The Fifth Day

By “The Fifth Day,” the man is broken. The room is empty again.

If Jollett found relationship to be the key to manhood, what does it mean to be a man now that the girl who continually reminded him, “Boy, you’re not so tough,” is gone?

Well, perhaps she’s not completely gone after all. Memories linger: their song in the air, her scent on the sheets. And he knows, even in her absence, “It’s these things that make you a man.”

He may be facing the future alone, but he’s not the same man he was – and he’s not going back. Even if he wanted to, he can’t remember where he started.

But I won’t go back to what I was
I know now that you are lost
It’s your choices that make you a man
Your frozen mind begins to thaw
You think my God my God my God
Where was it I began?

There’s only one way out, and that’s forward, with the lessons of the past in his pocket. That is his choice.

The Way Home

The Such Hot Blood bonus track “The Way Home” introduces us to a man at the end of his rope. Perhaps it’s the same man from “The Fifth Day,” some indeterminate time later; it’s tough to say. The events that have crushed him are not spelled out, but whatever they were, they have left him alone and uncertain.

But also full of resolve.

Rather than yielding to despair and wallowing “beneath this darkened shroud,” the narrator gets his head about him. Change is no longer the enemy. He tears down his prison of shame, brick by ignominious brick. He catches a glimpse of hope – “I can hear the birds, see the light outside” – and it emboldens him to “stand up like a man and swallow my pride.” The hands of time may have beaten him down, but they haven’t defeated him.

The doubts have not been vanquished; not all the question marks have been replaced by periods. He is neither brave nor sure – but Fear will not be permitted the final word.

He doesn’t have the slightest clue where he’s going, just that it’s far away from here – and that’s enough for now. The man closes the door behind him and sets off for the horizon, walking this road on the bricks he’s laid.

Time to be a Man

If the story ended there, you might think he’d finally figured it out. But there’s another chapter, and it brings Jollett full circle.

“Time to be a Man” is a funny song. It seems on the surface to be a bit of an odd duck in the Jollett catalog, with a triumphalist tone that contrasts sharply with his customary cynicism. “Be a man! The whole world is at your door!” What was that we said about chest thumping?

Except it’s not that at all. The man who had boldly set out for a new life somehow finds himself right back where he began: tossing his way through sleepless nights. And still alone. The lessons of “The Storm” have long since been forgotten: he thought he could do it on his own, “like you don’t need no one else,” but he was wrong. “The way home is so steep” – much steeper than he expected.

Yet again, he tries to muster up the strength to be a man. However, his admonition to himself is shot through with self-doubt. “Tell me how does that go? What the hell are you waiting for?”

“The whole world is at your door,” he reminds himself. But walking through that door is not as easy as it seems.

“Time to be a Man” isn’t the optimistic paean to grabbing life by the balls that it might at first glance appear to be. It’s the same secrets and lies and doubts and failures that Jollett has always battled, just wrapped up in a glossier package.

In other words, he hasn’t figured it out after all. Not by a long shot.

But he’s not pretending he has… and that’s a start.

GlenGlen is the founder and editor of This Is Nowhere. He’s grateful for an understanding wife and kids who indulge his silly compulsion to chase a band all over the Pacific Northwest (and occasionally beyond) every time the opportunity arises.

Enough is Enough: My Song of God and Whiskey

By Glen

It was Oct. 28, the night before the major work event that had brought me to Calgary, and two nights before I was scheduled to take in The Airborne Toxic Event’s hotly anticipated homecoming show at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles.

I was at my favorite restaurant, enjoying my annual dinner with my mother and grandmother – something we do every October when business brings me back to my home town.

Appetizers had just arrived when I took The Call from home.

And the phrase that fell from her lips left a rip from the top of your shoulders to the point of your hip…[i]

A decade earlier when our third daughter was born, the spectre of Leukemia had rudely elbowed its way into our consciousness. She came into the world with a condition that is unique to babies with Down syndrome, called Transitory Leukemia. Though it looks like Leukemia, it is not actually cancerous, and it self-resolves within the first couple weeks of life with no harm done.

Nevertheless, children born with TL face a higher risk of getting the real deal within the first five years of life. Children with Down syndrome carry a higher Leukemia risk as it is (about 1/125), but until she hit that magical fifth birthday, Becca’s chance was 1/4.

Every six months we held our breath as we awaited test results, exhaling in relief each time they came back clean. As we passed the milestone and her risk level dropped to longshot levels, the fear began to recede. Within a few years, it was nothing more than a hazy hypothetical we rarely ever thought about.

And so when the phrase, “She has Leukemia” fell from my wife’s lips on that evening last fall, it ripped through me like a rapier.

I fingered my appetizer as I stuttered a stunned explanation to mom and grandma, straining to make sense of what I’d just heard, and to figure out what exactly I was supposed to do now.

The next seven hours are a blur. Apparently I made arrangements for the work event to proceed without me, changed my flight, packed my bags, flew to Vancouver and drove an hour from airport to home – though I hardly remember any of that.

I do remember posting something on Facebook, though. Too early to tell the world what was happening, all I could think to do was to quote one of my favorite Airborne songs, the sting of which pierced me like never before.

And it comes like a punch
In the gut, in the back, in the face
[ii]

I stepped through the door, mind swimming. The house was asleep, save for my wife. Becca was sleeping in our bed. As I peered at her in the dim light, she looked exactly as she had when I left a few days earlier, but somehow completely different. Nothing had changed, and yet everything had changed.

As I took her body into my arms and carried her to her own room, I could almost sense the tangible presence of the vicious intruder in her bloodstream. I gazed at her face, innocent and blissfully unaware of the battle raging inside her. A hard lump took root in my chest, rising quickly to the back of my throat.

Please don’t ever leave. Please don’t ever go.[iii]

That knot in my stomach would become achingly familiar in the ensuing months, even to this day. It returns when she asks me for the umpteenth time where her hair went; when she crawls up the stairs because her legs are too shaky to walk; every time we force her to submit to a scary medical procedure that she doesn’t understand the need for; and especially on those occasions when she’s just too spent to protest.

They warned us that, while Down syndrome may actually improve the Leukemia prognosis, it could also make her more susceptible to other complications.

Ha. If only they knew.

The protocol for a typical child calls for a week in the hospital to begin treatment. For kids with Down syndrome, they stretch it to a month. In our case, one month became two; the fall from hell bookended by Halloween and Christmas, hospital style.

If there’s a potential side effect, Becca has suffered through it. Five bouts of c-diff, featuring the most wicked cases of diarrhea you can imagine, causing crippling diaper rash. Irritation at the site of her spinal tap that had the infectious disease team casting wary glances. Temporary diabetes brought on by steroids – something that we can look forward to a week per month for the next year and a half. Kidney function dropping, then recovering. Horrific mouth sores that rendered her lips giant scabs and prevented her from speaking, much less eating. On and on and on it goes, to the tune of 120+ nights spent in hospital out of the past 240.

Every person you meet can tell you’re a ship taking water in a storm and you’re starting to sink.[iv]

For the first couple months, our other three kids coped admirably as mom and dad rotated hospital duty every other day. But they are entitled to their own crises, and life has seen fit to pile on, rendering these last eight months a cruel joke that never gets to the punch line.

In one darkly comical episode, our young son inhaled a cookie. As I sat with Becca at Children’s Hospital, my wife rushed The Boy to a hospital closer to home. While she argued with the intake nurse about the severity of the situation, he passed out in her arms. That ended the argument really quickly. They were whisked into the ER, where 14 hands belonging to seven doctors and nurses immediately descended upon him. From somewhere within the chaos, a voice called out for the pediatric crash cart, while my wife stood by in numb terror.

I learned about all this by text after the crisis had subsided. They revived him, and when it became apparent that he would be in hospital for a few days, we arranged to have him transferred by ambulance to Children’s, so the four of us could at least be under the same roof.

That’s how we ended up with matching rooms on the same floor of BC Children’s Hospital for two nights, where my wife and I swapped places every few hours, meeting for “dates” as we passed in the hallways.

The thing about love: it’s never enough. Circumstance changes and life’s always calling your bluff. Enough is enough.[v]

Each time we think we’ve maxed out what could go wrong, life laughs.

Minivan kicks the bucket on one of our trips to the hospital.

Enough is enough.

Teenager begins to struggle with panic attacks and depression.

Enough is enough.

12-year-old needs braces.

Enough is enough.

The Boy starts waking up four times every night, forcing me out of bed for good at 4:30 am. Every. Single. Day.

Enough is enough.

The Boy faints at school for no obvious reason, ending up back at Children’s Hospital to figure out why.

Enough is enough.

For the piece de resistance, how about an international legal incident? A sleezy Turkish website stole a photo of Becca and offered it for free download alongside other stolen images of children with Down syndrome. An equally sleezy multinational biomedical company based in Switzerland promptly got their hands on it and plastered our beautiful daughter’s face on a building-sized banner promoting – wait for it – their new prenatal testing product that helps families avoid having a child like ours, thus placing us dead center in what has become a worldwide media story and legal situation. As we slogged our way through the most intense phase of chemo, we were fielding calls from reporters on the one hand and lawyers on the other, the point of complete and utter emotional exhaustion having been passed long ago.

When life calls your bluff, she doesn’t fuck around.

And the feeling that you get is if God exists he’s really unkind.[vi]

Ah yes… God. As he’s known to do, he’s been hovering in and around this whole situation.

He’s there in the hundreds of Facebook messages from people promising to pray for us – some of them even crying out on our behalf, “Enough is enough.”

He’s there in the “Praise the Lord for small mercies” comments that come each time there is the smallest hint of an improvement in our lot.

He’s there in the gifts abundantly poured out on our children, in rides given and babysitting offered up and meals lovingly cooked and money freely donated, much of it expressly given as an outworking of our friends’ steadfast faith in God.

There’s just one problem.

I’m not really sure I believe in God anymore.

And what’s more… I’m not really sure I even want to anymore.

Which is not to say that I’m not grateful to the core for the prayers, well wishes, positive energies, healing thoughts, and acts of extreme generosity that have been sent our way by believers (and unbelievers, it should be noted) of all stripes – because I am. We would not have survived without our legion of faithful supporters, and whatever their motivation, I am endlessly thankful. It’s just that, to me, the value of these acts is found in their significant real world encouragement rather than anything that may or may not be accomplished in the heavens.

It would be easy to write off my shift from believer to agnostic as a knee-jerk, bitter and perhaps temporary reaction to our overwhelmingly difficult circumstances. Except that’s not at all how it happened.

As is typical of my all or nothing approach to the things I care about, when I decided to follow God at the age of 16, I was all in. My new beliefs reshaped my entire life, leading all the way to a decade-plus spent in full time Christian ministry.

As someone who tends to live in his head, my faith was built on a foundation of books. Really thick ones, with no pictures – scholarly theological tomes that for most would be a cure for insomnia, but for me were an endless source of fascination and stimulation. Over 15 years, I read more than 300 books and completed a dozen university level religion courses, some at a secular school and others at seminary. I argued with liberal professors and left convinced that I was right. I was as certain as anyone could be about what I believed.

But then, it’s easy to be certain when you only ever engage with thinkers inside your own camp. Every book I read only served to confirm and buttress beliefs that I already held – never to question them, much less refute them. If the other side was ever presented, it was only as a straw man, set up in just such a way as to allow it to be spectacularly knocked down.

If you smash your life up against the wall, you want to break it like a bottle and just let go,
But I don’t know if there’s a God at all, I just know I can’t live like this no more,
I just know I can’t live like this no more.
[vii]

My first gentle nudges in a different direction came not from suspects outside the camp, but from those who were still inside and yet bold enough to explore its edges: those who poked at sacred cows just hard enough for me to see that there may actually be other ways of seeing things.

For eight years I asked questions and sought answers, and the more I did so, the less satisfying I found the ones to which I had once clung; finally arriving at the point where I just had to admit it: I no longer believed what I used to believe.

But I still wanted to. All our friends and most of our family were believers. Our kids were brought up in the church. My wife’s faith has gone through tremendous changes, but remains strong at its core. It would have just been so much more convenient if I could have somehow willed myself back on board.

This is the intellectual and emotional backdrop to my experiences over the past eight months.

Oh and God just go and leave me all alone I’m not your son, I’m not your son, everybody dies alone. In your world, was it not quite hard enough for you? I guess like anyone, you’ve got your own scores to settle too.

And I’m so pissed tonight, I feel just like the last remaining Canaanite, and I’m not sure if I want you to save me. And I’d be less uptight if I knew the sight of blood is just a weakness, right, and not the reason that you made me. Sometimes I think it is.[viii]

Driven as I am by the brain rather than the heart (no doubt to my great detriment at times), I’ve never had much time for emotional objections to faith. Questions like, “If God exists, why did he let this happen?” carried very little weight with me, even when the ‘victim’ of the perceived injustice was me. And while our recent trials and tribulations are not responsible for my step away from faith, they have certainly changed my perspective on the relevance of feelings to the God conversation.

When well-meaning friends promise to pray, or exhort us to have faith in God’s good plan, I can’t help but wonder…

If God exists, what reason do I have to believe that he’s on our side in this? If he is who you think he is, could he not have prevented some or all of this from happening in the first place? Could he not have answered the thousands of prayers that have already gone up on our behalf by at least refraining from adding to our burden, rather than allowing one disaster to pile upon another? If God is in control, then he chose to allow this mess; why then should I look to him to deliver us from it? And if he gets credit for the rare and fleeting piece of good news that we receive, should he not also bear the blame for the mountains of bad news that tower all around us?

Some may point to my lack of faith and posit that perhaps all this is happening so that God might get my attention. In fact, some have come right out and suggested as much.

Truthfully, I can’t dismiss the possibility that this is how God works – except to say that inflicting an innocent little girl with a horrific disease that she can’t even comprehend is a pretty ass-backwards way of convincing her parents that you love them. Whatever may be the consequences of unbelief, a God that either consciously causes or passively permits this type of tragedy in order to draw people back to himself is not particularly attractive. Worthy of fear? Perhaps. Worthy of worship? Questionable.

Further, my previous experiences as a devout believer tell me otherwise. As I look back on thousands of hours spent in sincere prayer over nearly two decades, five requests stand out as the items for which I prayed most frequently and fervently: our five pregnancies. Never in my life have I prayed for anything with more hope, more faith and more urgency.

Five pregnancies. Two stillbirths. Two healthy children. And one precious daughter, loved to the moon and back exactly as she is, born with a disability that will shape her life forever and that has led directly to the disease that is currently wracking her body, while some faceless company questions whether she even has a life worth living.

The numbers don’t add up in favor of a loving God who answers prayers offered in faith. And yeah, I’ve considered every possible justification – theological, philosophical, emotional and otherwise – for why he may have allowed this or that. I’ve written A+ papers arguing that the problem of pain is not, in fact, a deal-breaking problem for faith. I’ve tried hard to talk myself into believing it.

But I can’t. The most I can affirm at this point in my life is that if God exists, he’s really unkind – and thus, I’m not sure if I want him to save me.

I’d love to tie a pretty bow on this and finish off by sounding a hopeful note.

But Songs of God and Whiskey don’t always have a happy ending.

[i] The Airborne Toxic Event, “My Childish Bride.”

[ii] The Airborne Toxic Event, “All At Once.”

[iii] The Airborne Toxic Event, “Something You Lost.”

[iv] The Airborne Toxic Event, “Why Why Why.”

[v] The Airborne Toxic Event, “The Thing About Dreams.”

[vi] The Airborne Toxic Event, “My Childish Bride.”

[vii] The Airborne Toxic Event, “The Way Home.”

[viii] The Airborne Toxic Event, “Poor Isaac” (original demo lyrics).

Glen, Fan of The Airborne Toxic EventGlen is the founder and editor of This Is Nowhere. He’s grateful for an understanding wife and kids who indulge his silly compulsion to chase a band all over the Pacific Northwest (and occasionally beyond) every time the opportunity arises.

By Glen

It’s only been a week since The Airborne Toxic Event’s fall tour reached its end, and already Mikel Jollett is wondering what to do with himself.

Indeed, it’s amazing how quickly things went quiet after the last note was played. With the band’s holiday shows still about a month away, we’ve entered a period of waiting and wondering when the Dope Machines release date will be announced. If Mikel’s hint that it will be late January or early February proves correct, one would think we’ll hear something sooner than later. In the meantime, there are still some items of interest to consider.

Daren Taylor gets doused as part of The Airborne Toxic Event's

Daren Taylor gets doused as part of The Airborne Toxic Event’s “Wrong” video shoot. Source: TATE’s Facebook page.

Lights, Camera, Action

The video shoot for The Airborne Toxic Event’s single “Wrong” took place on Nov. 7 in Denver, and included a daytime shoot with pre-selected fans, as well as concert footage at that night’s tour-closing gig at the Ogden Theatre. Details of the first portion of the shoot have been hard to come by, save for the photo of drummer Daren Taylor seen here, and a since-deleted tweet from one of the participants, asking the band if they would sign his blindfold from the video shoot.

The filming that evening was more than just a straightforward live action shoot. After opening the show with “Welcome to Your Wedding Day,” the band paused to allow a closed door to be brought on stage and the video crew to get into position. After a brief delay, Mikel explained that he was going to open the door, revealing a camera behind the door, shooting the crowd through the entryway. As the door opened, the crowd was to lose their shit. They happily complied, and with that crucial shot in the can, the show resumed with the performance of “Wrong.”

Hopefully we won’t have to wait long to see the results!

What’s Wrong, Mikel?

For the past three months, there have been two questions on the lips of almost everyone who’s interacted with Mikel – both media and fans alike: what happened with Noah, and what’s with the change in musical direction?

It seems he’s said about all he has to say on both topics. Out of respect for Noah, the band has agreed to keep private the reasons for his departure. And with Mikel having already explained himself on a number of occasions with regards to the musical shift, it appears that he’s running out of patience for answering the same question ad nauseum. And really, who can blame him?

Towards the end of the tour, the front man took to introducing “Wrong” with a defiant declaration: “A lot of people have been asking if we’re a rock band, or a folk band, or an electronic band. The answer is, ‘Fuck off!'” It rubbed some people the wrong way, but don’t expect an apology to be forthcoming. If anything, Mikel seems bewildered that anyone would be surprised that an artist would want to explore different avenues of expression.

Just yesterday, he took to Twitter for one of his patented streams-of-consciousness:

In which the protagonist becomes a set piece, and the set is revealed to be a mere dream sequence, and the narrative becomes incoherent. Had a conversation today about the change in direction: you ever get to a point in your life where you say: fuck it, burn it down. It’s time to move, time to change, time become something new–something you’ve already been for a long time in your heart. And you think: well, people might not understand. So you’re just resigned and content to be just as fucking weird on the outside as you’ve always known you are on the inside.

These are the words of a man with no regrets. It seems the change is not calculated so much as it is representative of an external realignment to an internal reality that has been brewing for a long time. Artistic integrity demands that he follow where the muse leads, expectations be damned. This time, it led to electronica. Next time, it may lead to polka. Regardless, for those who can stomach the ride, it will be a fascinating, exhilarating journey.

In a recent interview with the Aspen Times, Mikel provided yet more detail on where TATE is headed:

I basically just locked myself in a house in Silverlake for a year and wrote and wrote and recorded and recorded. I used a lot of different sounds and a different approach – a lot of keyboards and destroyed sounds and beats… It’s highly rhythmic, and parts of it are just weird… I’ve been thinking about it in terms of scoring – almost like scoring a film – where things come in and out and nothing makes sense in any chronological way, but that makes sense in terms of the sound… I’d say it’s more aesthetics. I was interested in expanding our musical vocabulary to include things beyond two guitars, a bass, a violin and some drums…

Whether or not this sounds like your cup of tea, TATE fans had best get used to it. This is our band – at least until the next incarnation, which is probably lurking just beyond the horizon, if history is any indication.

Stream TATE’s McCartney Cover

While we await Dope Machines, we can all add another TATE tune to our collection this Tuesday when The Art of McCartney hits store shelves. Airborne’s lovely take on “No More Lonely Nights” can be heard now by jumping to the 1:47:57 mark in the video below.

Blast from the Past

Speaking of old songs (well, not as old as McCartney), Julie unearthed a real gem recently when she stumbled across a Sonic Bids page that TATE set up once upon a time. The music page includes all four songs that were found on the two versions of The Airborne Toxic Event’s original demo EP (“Papillon,” “Does This Mean You’re Moving On?,” “The Girls in Their Summer Dresses” and “Wishing Well”), along with something neither of us knew existed: a demo recording of the unreleased track “April is the Cruelest Month.” Vastly superior to the live recording that can be found on YouTube, it’s like digging up a time capsule and cracking it open to find a piece of TATE history. Check it out.

On the Road… Again

No sooner does the tour come to an end than the band starts announcing new dates. Another Christmas show with Bush has been added, this one in Charlotte, NC on Dec. 15. Furthermore, the 2015 calendar has its first two dates blocked off, as TATE will play St. Petersburg and Pompano Beach, Florida, Feb. 21-22 as part of the Coastline Festival.

TATE at Coastline Festival

Just a Fan?

One of our favorite TATE writers, Colleen posted another thoughtful piece this week on her blog, These Stunning Ruins. In “Just a Fan,” she ponders what it means to be just another face in the crowd at an Airborne Toxic Event show – even if that face tends to stand out thanks to the bloody bird emblazoned on it.

That’s a Wrap

As we close the books on a fall tour that was epic in every way, we round up the last of the show reviews and photo galleries.

  • The Denver shows are captured in living color here, here and here.
  • And finally, stretching way back to the summer, Victoria Music Scene presents a number of videos from The Airborne Toxic Event’s set at Rifflandia Festival.

A Personal Update

Before we close for another week, a brief update from the hospital ward where I type this in a darkened room. I continue to be flabbergasted by the support and well wishes pouring in from our little TATE community. Thank you all for your thoughtfulness, concern and generosity to our family. We are now a week and a half into our daughter’s chemo regimen, and are slowly becoming accustomed to our new reality that includes constant shuttling between home and hospital, while trying to keep too many other balls from dropping. Becca is doing as well as can be expected; she’s proving to be a real trooper and her courage is challenging us every day. Our first real indication of how things are going will come in three or four days, when she undergoes a bone marrow scan. Here’s hoping we have good news to report soon!

Toxic Gold

We leave you with one of Julie’s videos from The Fillmore residency: the first (and, so far, only) live performance of “The Way Home” – a song that signals Mikel’s need for the change of direction that is now happening.

Glen, Fan of The Airborne Toxic EventGlen is the founder and editor of This Is Nowhere. He’s grateful for an understanding wife and kids who indulge his silly compulsion to chase a band all over the Pacific Northwest (and occasionally beyond) every time the opportunity arises.

The Airborne Toxic Event, Fillmore Night 1. Photo by Jessica.

The Airborne Toxic Event, Fillmore Night 1. Photo by Jessica.

By Glen

It’s been a mere two weeks since our last Toxicity, but it feels like a lifetime ago. Between the Fillmore excitement and the steady stream of TATE news and the ceaseless flow of pictures and reports from the first six tour stops, I’m completely out of the loop on anything that doesn’t have to do with my family, my job or The Airborne Toxic Event. As a huge hockey fan, I completely forgot that training camps have opened and preseason games have begun – unthinkable at any other time in my life. But then, this is no ordinary time – not in the TATE universe, anyway. So, let’s get to the news.

Mikel on New Album, Noah

On the afternoon of the first Fillmore gig, the fan line was abuzz over a story on Yahoo in which Mikel Jollett spoke about the new album, their new record deal, the departure of Noah Harmon and more. Among the highlights:

On signing with Epic Records and joining forces with L.A. Reid:

“He’s got a great ear,” Jollett says of the one-time Babyface collaborator who also gained notoriety with the general public by appearing as a judge on The X Factor. “I love that dude. I love working with him. He’s got great energy and he’s super down for artists. He just wants us to do what we want to do and wants to support it. It’s been a very positive experience so far. And we get to be labelmates with Modest Mouse. They’re like one of my all-time favorites.”

On the new album, which Yahoo claims is tentatively set for an early 2015 release:

It was during that set (Lollapalooza) that the band chose to debut “Dope Machines” and “California,” two new songs from its still-in-progress album. “‘Dope Machines’ is about how dopey machines can make you,” Jollett explains. “You know, everyone is staring at their iPhones and whatnot. And sort of simultaneously, how cool it is to have all these dope-ass machines to make music with, and drive, and save you from a heart attack. It’s kind of a double-edged sword. The machines are turning us into something different that’s a little smarter in some ways and more capable; and a little dumber and checked out and not quite as engaged in others.”

As for “California,” it offers a flip side to the Hollywood version of the Golden State, featuring movie stars, palm trees, surfer boys and blonde beach beauties. “I grew up in L.A. and went to public schools in L.A. where there were like four white kids,” he says. “I thought [the Hollywood version] was a weird representation of Los Angeles, because it had nothing to do with the city I knew.”

Musically, Jollett drew inspiration from some of the greatest voices in the history of rock. “I heard this a cappella version of David Bowie and Freddie Mercury singing ‘Under Pressure.’ Do yourself a favor if you have a minute, YouTube that s**t. They’re just f**king amazing singers. God damn, Freddie Mercury could sing, and David Bowie’s in the background going ‘do-do-dad-do.’ It’s just so, rhythmic and weird and awesome. I had this moment of clarity where I thought, ‘You know what, I’ve got to change my approach.’ This whole last year has been all about finding things are just fun to play, things that sound different and weird, things that are unabashedly catchy, that have a handclap to them and an innate rhythm. I ended up making this whole record kind of based on those ideas, which is by far the weirdest record we’ve made.”

On Noah’s firing and the addition of Adrian Rodriguez to the band:

With the new direction came a line-up change. Founding bassist Noah Harmon initially took a parental leave of absence in early 2014, but in August, he confirmed via Instagram he had been ousted from the band. “We kind of made a decision as a group to not disclose why,” Jollett says. “All I can say he was let go. Of course there were reasons, but I think it’s kind of disrespectful to air those publicly. We wish him well. I will say him having a kid had nothing to do with it. We’re very happy that happened for him and think that’s very positive.”

Replacing Harmon, however, wasn’t easy. On an interim basis, the band first tapped Ashley Dzerigian. “She got snatched up by CeeLo Green after one gig,” Jollett says. Eventually, the band hired Rodriguez, whose played with Hanni El Khatib. “He’s a great guy, great bass player and a wonderful guy to be around,” Jollett says. “We’re all super psyched to have him in the band. He’s a really good onstage and can play the s**t out of his bass.”

TATE fans have been waiting for an official statement from the band with regards to Noah’s release; hopefully this interview will put that issue to rest, as it appears that there will be no more information forthcoming.

Tour News

We’re already over a week deep into the fall tour, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no new tour news. In recent days we’ve learned that:

TATE Photograph Smorgasbord

Got an hour (or three) to kill? The new tour is proving to be a photographer’s dream come true. Already, we’ve seen hundreds of dazzling images floating around the web, led by Ryan Tuttle’s Fillmore set. As the official photographer of the Fillmore residency, Ryan had both on-stage and backstage access, resulting in a truly magnificent collection.

And that’s just the beginning. Here are some more photogs who captured the action in San Francisco:

Meanwhile, there are these offerings from Tempe:

And finally, from the final summer festival stops of the year:

Fillmore in Review

We were surprised at the paucity of reviews of the Fillmore shows; it seems the media was content to leave the reviewing to us here at TIN. The only other review we’ve been able to dig up was Indie Obsessive’s take on the show #2, which they summed up thusly: “The Airborne Toxic Event put on a show that removed any doubt as the wisdom of Yahoo! in its decision to stream the event.”

The Airborne Toxic Baker Strikes Again

What’s a Toxicity without a new TATE cookie? The band has been keeping Susan busy of late, what with all their new guitar pick designs. Never one to back down from a challenge, she came through with flying colors on Anna’s new pick. And having sampled a wide variety of TATE cookies in San Francisco, I can attest that they taste as good as they look – maybe even better.

Toxic Gold

We shared this earlier, but didn’t want it to get buried. Here’s the long awaited live world premiere of “The Way Home” from Night 3 at The Fillmore, courtesy of Julie.

Glen, Fan of The Airborne Toxic EventGlen is the founder and editor of This Is Nowhere. He’s grateful for an understanding wife and kids who indulge his silly compulsion to chase a band all over the Pacific Northwest (and occasionally beyond) every time the opportunity arises.

Mikel Jollett of The Airborne Toxic Event: Glasgow Garage, 2012. Photo by TATE fan Jennifer McInnis.

Mikel Jollett of The Airborne Toxic Event: Glasgow Garage, 2012. Photo by TATE fan Jennifer McInnis.

By Glen

Ed. Note: Each Tuesday for five weeks, we’re gearing up for The Airborne Toxic Event’s upcoming residency at San Francisco’s Fillmore (Sept. 18-20) with a series of posts to whet our collective appetite. See last week’s post for 10 Highlights We Can’t Wait For at the Fillmore.

As a parent, I’ve noticed a disheartening phenomenon. It seems like the more I give my kids, the more they want.

You’d think they’d be grateful for what we work so hard to provide for them. And sometimes they are – for a few hours, or a day, or even a week. But inevitably there comes a day when they come home from school and tell me how their friend’s _______ is so much better than theirs, patiently explaining exactly why they need more.*

The Airborne Toxic Event can relate.

You see, no sooner did they announce their intention to play their three studio albums in full on consecutive nights in San Francisco than fans began to clamor for the b-sides, rarities and deep cuts that we desperately hope they’ll add to the agenda.

You’d think we’d be grateful for what the band is working so hard to give us: by my count, 11 rarely-to-almost-never played tracks from their previous albums, with the tantalizing promise of new tunes to boot. Add in the fact that new bassist Adrian Rodriguez has to familiarize himself with all the band’s material, new and old, and that some favorites will have to be rearranged in light of Noah Harmon’s departure from the group, and it’s clear that these five musicians have bitten off a lot as it is.

But, we fans are greedy that way. What’s better than 11 songs we never get to hear? How about 12, or 15, or 20?

In all seriousness, it would not surprise me or disappoint me in the least if the remainder of the set each night is filled out with familiar standards, and nary a b-side is heard. Any way you slice it, this is going to be a dream come true for any TATE fan.

But just for one day, I’m putting on my selfish brat hat and pondering my wish list. With apologies to “The Winning Side” and “Duet,” here are five songs I’d kill to see for the first time at The Fillmore.

5. A Letter to Georgia

“A Letter to Georgia” was The Airborne Toxic Event’s first true ballad – and the bar against which every subsequent one measures itself. Elegant and poetic, “Georgia” is an understated, underplayed fan favorite that occupies many Airborne enthusiasts’ live performance bucket lists.

4. Echo Park

If the band truly intends to plumb the depths of their history, they could take it a step further by pulling out this never-released fan favorite. Last played in 2012 at the legendary Wounded Warrior Benefit at the Troubador, “Echo Park,” would be a nod to the many long-time TATE fans making the pilgrimage to San Francisco – and an eye-opening revelation to newer fans who may not be familiar with it.

3. Wrong/My Childish Bride

“Wrong” and “My Childish Bride” are stand-ins for whatever new music the band intends to bestow upon us at The Fillmore. The previously performed “Dope Machines” and “California” would seem to be shoe-ins, but with a new album looming this fall, it seems safe to assume that more tracks will be unveiled in San Francisco. The band confirmed “Wrong” as a song title for Album 4 in a recent interview, while “My Childish Bride” was referred to by Mikel in an extended interview with Darren Rose Radio.

2. This Losing

Musically, “This Losing” is one of The Airborne Toxic Event’s most arresting compositions. And though it has been played more than most of their b-sides, I’ve yet to be in the right place at the right time to catch it. I’m not sure I will be this time, either, as it would require a major reworking without Noah, who teamed with Anna Bulbrook to create the signature symphony-in-the-middle-of-a-rock-song moment that makes this number such a standout.

1. The Way Home

I’ve written elsewhere about how much this song means to me personally: more than any other in the Airborne catalog, to put it plainly. I’m not expecting this never-before-played b-side to crack the setlist on Such Hot Blood night… but if it does, there will be at least one wildly ecstatic TATE fan in the house.

*Disclaimer: My kids are actually pretty awesome, and not at all as ungrateful as I’ve portrayed them here (usually). But you know… sometimes a writer’s gotta make a point.

Glen, Fan of The Airborne Toxic EventGlen is the founder and editor of This Is Nowhere. He’s grateful for an understanding wife and kids who indulge his silly compulsion to chase a band all over the Pacific Northwest (and occasionally beyond) every time the opportunity arises.

Source: Mikel Jollett’s Instagram, http://instagram.com/p/bzBlAZFCPZ/#

By Glen

“It’s been a long road from there to here. Don’t get me wrong, I feel I am a long ways off from my destination. I’m the last person to claim that I’ve arrived. All that I know for sure is that I’m not there anymore.” – Erika Rae, Devangelical

From the moment I first laid ears on “The Way Home,” a gorgeous bonus track on the European release of The Airborne Toxic Event’s Such Hot Blood, my overriding impression was that of a journey.

But it took me months to realize that it was, in fact, my journey.

I’ve said before that my connection to The Airborne Toxic Event does not stem from shared experiences. Much of the band’s subject matter is foreign to the life I’ve lived for the past 40 years (give or take 15 months).

But that’s not entirely accurate. At the core of the group’s work, and Mikel Jollett’s lyrics in particular, lies the notion of struggle. And though my specific struggles may have come wrapped in different packaging, the fact of struggle is fundamental to the human experience, and certainly something that I hold in common with Mikel, and with every human being – which, I suspect, helps explain why so many people from so many diverse backgrounds find the band to be so eminently relatable.

If “The Way Home” is indeed a journey, it’s a journey through struggle: a path marked by confusion, question marks and the lack of a clear destination. The traveler knows not where he’s headed; only that it must be somewhere far away from here.

It’s a path I know all too well.

*****************************

I’ve always been older than my years would suggest. The hyper-responsible eldest child, I was forced to grow up altogether too quickly by my parent’s ugly divorce and the decade of soap-opera-worthy turmoil that followed. By the age of 16, I had found the girl I knew I was going to marry; by 19 we had made it official. By 24 we had lost our first child to stillbirth (a second such loss would follow four years later); by 29 we had our first special needs child (a second such blessing would follow seven years later).

All told, by the time I hit my mid-thirties, with a family of six and an income that couldn’t quite keep pace, I felt like I’d packed a lifetime of living into less than four decades. So perhaps it should have come as no surprise when my mid-life crisis arrived about fifteen years ahead of schedule. Still, it caught me off guard; and when it struck, it struck hard.

Lying still, head awake, eyes closed tight and thoughts ablaze,
It’s coursing like a river going through my mind, just taking hits from the hands of time.

It’s always driven my wife nuts: my uncanny ability to lay my head down on my pillow at the end of the day and fall asleep almost immediately. Some nights I hit ‘PLAY’ on my TATE playlist as I settle in; almost always I’m out before the first song bleeds into the second.

So it was unusual, seven years ago, when I began to find myself unable to sleep. Body still, eyes closed tight… but thoughts ablaze. Questions, contradictions, confusion, all coursing like a river through my mind: swirling, tumbling, sweeping me away in the bubbling current.

For a guy who was accustomed to having all the answers, the ceaseless questions were unsettling to say the least.

Silence can be so odd, it’s like looking around for the eyes of God,
There’s a truth somewhere that I just can’t find, taking hits from the hands of time.

I thought I knew The Truth. I had embraced it when I was 16 and never looked back. I built my life around it. My worldview. My career. My friendships. My finances. My marriage. My parenting. My foundation.

I diligently fortified that Truth. Memorizing the stock defenses against any ideas that dared challenge it, and shielding myself from anything that could potentially threaten my predetermined perspective, I wondered how others could be so blind to something so patently obvious.

So how was it that I now found myself wrestling in silence, searching in vain for the eyes of God, grasping for an elusive Truth that suddenly seemed out of reach?

And I wonder if you were here right now, would you sit with me beneath this darkened shroud?
In this prison built of bricks of shame, I want to tear it down to the frame.

Such a lonely journey, this. Would those I most loved – my friends – my family – my wife – be willing to sit with me, enveloped as I was by this shroud of darkness? Would they truly listen, or would they only try to coax me out of my funk with the same pat answers I’d dispensed to others so many times before? More to the point: would they accept me where I was at, darkness and all, or would they view my doubt as an act of treason – a betrayal of the life we had built together?

Too terrified to find out the answer, I soldiered on in silence, locked in a prison of my own making.

If you smash your life up against the wall, you want to break it like a bottle and just let go,
But I don’t know if there’s a God at all, I just know I can’t live like this no more.
I just know I can’t live like this no more.

Two years of searching, reading and thinking brought me no closer to answers, save for one: I just know I can’t live like this no more.

It’s not that I didn’t believe, necessarily; just that I was no longer certain, and uncertain that it was even possible to be certain. For most people, that may not pose a huge problem. But for a person whose job it is to be certain on matters of faith, and to convince others of the same, well… it’s a problem indeed.

The time had come to stop pretending. The time had come to smash my life like a bottle against a wall, and see where the pieces fell.

I can hear the birds, see the light outside, stand up like a man and swallow my pride,
I can write these words down in a rhyme. They’ve been beaten from me by the hands of time.
I don’t know why it’s always this way, and I hang my head low in the light of day,
All I know is I’m tired of being afraid, I’ve got to walk this road on these bricks I’ve laid.

No more being afraid. I would own my journey, stand up like a man, swallow my pride.

One tentative step at a time.

Step One: The Wife

It took every bit of courage I could muster. My approach was exceedingly cautious: my cards, rather than being slapped down in one swift motion, were hesitantly revealed one by one.

As it turned out, I had little to fear, at least from her. One, because when she said “till death do us part,” it just so happened that she actually meant it. Two, because she is neither blind nor dumb, and what I thought were my secret struggles weren’t such a secret after all. And three, because unbeknownst to me, she had embarked upon a journey of her own that, while not identical and perhaps not as extreme, was at least running along a parallel path of transformation.

From now on, we would journey together, as we had promised we would a lifetime ago.

Step Two: The Job

I had passed the point of no return, as far as my career was concerned. Though I still had no idea where this journey was leading me, it was evident that its conclusion was in no way imminent, nor was it compatible with the mission I had signed on for. No matter how far I walked, the horizon never seemed to get any closer; if anything, with each step forward that I took, the finish line took two strides back. It wasn’t fair to my employer, to those who backed our work financially, or to myself, to continue on like nothing had changed.

I needed a way out, and after six months of searching, I found one. I knew almost immediately that it wasn’t a permanent solution, but it provided the escape I was increasingly despairing of finding. I held my breath, and I walked through the door.

All the trumpets and the marching bands, the thunder claps and the trembling hands,
All the people stood up in the stands, and I just felt so alone,
‘Cause the halos looked like rusted chains in the light
As we screamed in the dark, I just wanted to find a way home…

It’s amazing how isolated you can feel in the midst of a crowd. Twice a week I took my assigned spot, surrounded by friends, yet utterly alone. Familiar faces suddenly struck me as strangers. Did I have anything in common with these people anymore? Once-shiny halos began, to my eyes at least, to exhibit signs of rust – not least of all my own.

I had taken the first and most important steps out of my self-constructed prison, but I couldn’t yet bring myself to fully emerge. I wanted to scream the new truth about myself, but in an environment that often both discourages and whispers about those who question the party line, I bit my tongue. I dropped the occasional hint – a “devil’s advocate” here, a “what if?” there – but mostly, for six years, I kept my mouth shut.

The truth is I’m not brave or sure, I just know I can’t live like this no more.
I don’t know what I’ve been waiting for, I just know I can’t live like this no more.

I am far from brave, and even farther from sure. But I know I can’t live like this no more.

And so I got brave… at least, a little bit. With my journeying partner at my side (or, more accurately, a couple steps ahead of me; she being the more courageous of the two of us), we started having the hard conversations. First with our kids, then with our friends and family, and then with those who are more distant still. We made some difficult but necessary decisions, and our journey took another turn.

And I don’t know if this road will end at your door, I just know I can’t live like this no more.
I don’t even know what I’m heading for, I just know I can’t live like this no more.
I just know I can’t live like this no more.

The journey is not over. Perhaps it never will be. Seven years in, I still have more questions than answers. I don’t know for sure what I’m heading for, or where exactly this road will end. But I know I can’t live like this no more.

There are those who think that I’ve taken the easy way out; too weak to count the cost of staying on the narrow path. But if there is one thing that this journey has not been, it’s easy.

Nevertheless, I’ve realized: the journey isn’t such a bad place to be. And perhaps I’ll find The Way Home yet.

Glen, Fan of The Airborne Toxic Event Glen is the founder and editor of This Is Nowhere. He’s grateful for an understanding wife and kids who indulge his silly compulsion to chase a band all over the Pacific Northwest (and occasionally beyond) every time the opportunity arises.

Mikel Jollett of The Airborne Toxic Event

Mikel Jollett of The Airborne Toxic Event.
Photo by TATE fan Ryan Macchione.

Please Note: Official lyrics to “Dublin,” “The Way Home,” “Hell and Back” and all songs by The Airborne Toxic Event are now available in our TATE Lyrics collection.

The Airborne Toxic Event released three new songs last week: two were included as bonus tracks on the Deluxe European edition of Such Hot Blood; the third was an unexpected new single that has been released to radio but is not yet available for purchase. We reviewed all three here; today we present the full lyrics to each song.

Dublin (Such Hot Blood, Deluxe) – lyrics by Mikel Jollett
Transcribed by Susan and Stephanie

On the quiet banks of the Liffey and lakes, Dublin wrote her name.
On the broad backs of men we never met with their pens and their stones, they did the same,
In the hours passed in the pubs, all the glasses were full and they were wet to the sleeve,
And the eyes were so clear on the girl I met there, I swore I’d never leave.

And the young men who longed for these shores in a song,
All they wanted was a home,
And I wanted one too with a girl eyes as blue as the light of dawn,
Patiently, she waits there for me to come home.

Was a bleary-eyed night, drunk from the lights and the sounds of a city awake,
And she stood in the crowd, her face as a shroud, leaving nothing for my eye to take.
But a warmth was so clear, it betrayed her as nearly she glowed like those lights on the bridge,
And a pain in my side, as I was drawn to her pride like the rise of the wind to the ridge.

And the young men who longed for these shores in a song,
All they wanted was a home,
And I wanted one too with a girl eyes as blue as the light of dawn,
Patiently, she waits there for me to come home.

These waters have run red, these beaches have bled from the wounds at the dark heart of man,
Daughters grown sharp, tongues like knives to the heart or a charm for the curse of the land,
With prayers in their eyes, how well they’ve disguised that it’s love they’re giving away,
But you might believe when your hard heart says leave but this one implores you to stay.

And the young men who longed for these girls with our songs,
All we wanted was a home.
She wants one too with someone heart as true as this prison made of stone,
Patiently, she waits there for me to come home,
Patiently, I wait to be free and be home.

The Way Home (Such Hot Blood, Deluxe) – lyrics by Mikel Jollett
Transcribed by Andy and Glen

Lying still, head awake, eyes closed tight and thoughts ablaze,
It’s coursing like a river going through my mind, just taking hits from the hands of time.

Silence can be so odd, it’s like looking around for the eyes of God,
There’s a truth somewhere that I just can’t find, taking hits from the hands of time.

And I wonder if you were here right now, would you sit with me beneath this darkened shroud?
In this prison built of bricks of shame, I want to tear it down to the frame.

If you smash your life up against the wall, you want to break it like a bottle and just let go,
But I don’t know if there’s a God at all, I just know I can’t live like this no more.
I just know I can’t live like this no more.

And the hours go by endlessly, and the days were spent breathlessly, and the nights begging for some sleep
Oh the endless time alone.
And the faces of the boys in line, there was fear in their eyes, and they all,
We just want to find a way home…

I can hear the birds, see the light outside, stand up like a man and swallow my pride,
I can write these words down in a rhyme. They’ve been beaten from me by the hands of time.

I don’t know why it’s always this way, and I hang my head low in the light of day,
All I know is I’m tired of being afraid, I got to walk this road on these bricks I’ve laid.

All the trumpets and the marching bands, the thunder claps and trembling hands,
All the people stood up in the stands, and I just felt so alone,
‘Cause the halos looked like rusted chains in the light
As we screamed in the dark, I just wanted to find a way home…

The truth is I’m not brave or sure, I just know I can’t live like this no more.
I don’t know what I’ve been waiting for, I just know I can’t live like this no more.

The truth is I’m not brave or sure, I just know I can’t live like this no more.
I don’t know what I’ve been waiting for, I just know I can’t live like this no more.

And I don’t know if this road will end at your door, I just know I can’t live like this no more.
I don’t even know what I’m heading for, I just know I can’t live like this no more.
I just know I can’t live like this no more.

Hell and Back – lyrics by Mikel Jollett

I held on as long as I could possibly – my blind faith pushing me to my knees.
I felt the warmth of a touch and it made me believe, and I knew it well.

I stood at the doorway hoping you might let me in,
My head spinning round, my nerves jumping from my skin,
I felt the stinging, ragged cold of the devil’s hot embrace,
And I knew it well.

And you took me to hell and back, how many times can I walk away from you?
My mind’s like a one-way track, and everyone is taking me back to you.
And you tell me just one more time and you’re lying like you always do,
And I know it well.

I must have walked a thousand miles or more trying to keep you off my mind,
I’ve knocked on a thousand doors I’m sure, just to see what I might find,
I’ve slept in the arms of a fallen angel crying next to me,
And I knew her well

And you took me to hell and back. How many times can I walk away from you?
My mind’s like a one-way track, and everyone is taking me back to you.
And you tell me just one more time and you’re lying like you always do,
And you give me just one more line and there’s nothing that I can do,
If I do it just one more time, then I swear that I’ll be through,
Yeah I know it well.