The Darkness in Me Sees the Darkness in You

Be still my little black heart, I saw the two most amazing announcements today. The first was I came across a trailer for American Satan, a film about a band that is trying to make it on the Sunset strip but end up in a Fustian deal in their weakest moment. It stars the lead singer of Black Veil Brides, Andy Biersack (also known as Andy Black). The film comes out on Friday, October 13th and I will go see it, even if I go alone.

The second announcement was that Black Veil Brides are going on tour in the spring and will be in Vancouver in February. I am going to see them, I bought the tickets this morning as soon as they went on pre-sale. This band has been on my list of bands I need to see for four years now. Ever since I listened to the album, “Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones”, I have been a fan of this rock band. There is just the right level of darkness and light in their music that I am captivated by it.

Now, I will admit that when I first saw the look of the band, Black Veil Brides, back in 2011(ish), I was a little turned off by the obvious pageantry I saw there. I had heard enough rock metal bands that sucked that I wasn’t about to let the image of the band sell me alone. I eventually broke down and decided that I needed to give them an honest listen. I was floored by the quality I found there. Something similar happened to me when I eventually gave My Chemical Romance a listening to. While I don’t love all of the work that Black Veil Brides have created, I respect them on a much deeper level.

I respect them in the same way I respect artists like Marilyn Manson and Alice Cooper. Speaking of Marilyn Manson, he’s got new work coming out too! What attracts me to artist who dance with the darker side is the honesty of the lyrics. There’s less pop repetitiveness to them and though touch on topics most people are uncomfortable talking about. Everything from fighting personal demons, suicide, death, political oppression, and anger. There’s a reason why youth tend to be attracted to rock and metal music, they are given so little latitude for dealing with their polarizing emotions in an effort to control them better, to keep them from making mistakes that will affect their whole lives. I remember being a teenager all too well.

In my late twenties, I had something of a resurgence of adolescent rebellion come out of me. I cut my hair into a mohawk, I dyed it crazy colors, I got my lip pierced, and I dressed like a punk. I also picked up some bad habits like smoking, drinking whisky, and back talking to my leadership team at work. It was a strange time for me, I was dealing with so much grief in my life that the only place I felt I could go was into my shell and make myself as approachable as I could.

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Here’s a picture of me in that glorious rebellion

Now, coming out the other side of that, I still feel that pull towards self destructive behaviours but it’s tempered now. Believe it or not, injuring myself and then finding yoga to help recover, might have actually saved my life. I am still prone to existential crisis on what feels like a monthly basis. It’s been worse the last few months since my break up but I have better ways of dealing with it because of yoga and self reflection.

No one cares what you go through, as much as people say they do. At the end of the day, they really only care about themselves. Learning to be selfish with yourself and giving into what you need in order to deal with your life, is hard for others to understand. I had a friend tell me that my writing in order to deal with my break up made her feel uncomfortable and my first reaction was, “I actually don’t care what you feel, it’s not about you.” Then I got to thinking about what I was writing and decided that maybe there needed to be a different venue for me to write about it. I took it offline and back into my journal because like I said before, no one cares how you feel, not really.

When artists like the band Black Veil Brides produce their music, they are giving up a piece of themselves to be put on display for everyone to see, hear, and feel. If you feel anything come up while listening to their music, than they have accomplished what every musician hopes for, to make a connection with you through their music. Music has been a medium by which people have connected since the first songs were sung around the fires of our ancestors.

It broke my heart a little when my ex told me he didn’t feel any connection to music of any kind. He would listen to music but he would not connect with it. He couldn’t feel anything from it. I often wondered if it was because he himself was emotionally closed off. There was only one time the two years we were together that I saw an emotional reaction from him other than guilt and that was when he told me about a fairly traumatizing experience he and his ex went through.

Music for me, is all about connection. I feel connected to others when I share my love of it. I feel connected when I am in the heat of a mosh pit, trashing around. I get moments of euphoria when I hear the harmony of chords and lyrics come together. This is why I can’t pick a genre of music that I like best because I love it all. I wrote before about listening to country music and how that wasn’t normal for me. This week I am listening to rock and metal. I feel pulled to different music depending on my mood. When I need to calm my angry soul, I need music like that of the Black Veil Brides to remind me that I am not alone in what I am feeling and that it’s okay for me to feel the way I do.

~Clara

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