Bring Me the Sun, Cause I Slide off The Moon
If you asked me to pick a favorite Third Eye Blind song on any random day more than likely you would get a different answer depending on the day, and whatever season of life I was going through. Now after some soul searching, and by means of a knee-jerk gut reaction I have decided that my truest personal favorite song is "Darkness" (Blue Album), and I hope to help myself (as well as other fans living the 3EB Lifestyle) understand what this track means, and how it fits into the band's diverse emotional catalog. Even though in some ways "Darkness" sticks out as a bit misplaced with lyrics, mood, and melody when lined up against a myriad of fan favorites, or radio-hits, the place it holds in their repertoire makes it a deeply important song none the less.
As is the case with most fans and experts of 3EB, each album has an important personal rank in the "soundtrack of our lives" (as we/3EB Lifestyle say). The album Blue remains pretty consistently underappreciated, and in most cases severely misunderstood. One may even say that for the less patient, casual fan, Blue takes a pretty low spot on the list. For me personally I suppose I was the kind of fan that was just excited and anxious for Third Eye Blind to release their next album as I was growing up with their music. Each album seemed to outdo the prior, and this still holds true to some extent when I consider my personal journey with their music all these years. Now as the music has aged with me and I have been able to use their music to help me through different milestones, and trials in my life, Blue (as an album) has especially gotten better with time. Darkness is one of a handful of tracks from the Blue album that continues to resonate with me, and reveal new layers with each new listen.
I am of the personal opinion that Blue is often sidelined or given a bad-wrap in the realm of popular music critics, and causal listeners, but for the truly dedicated experts it remains one of the most complex, mixed up, keeps giving more, albums in their discography. With emotionally charged tracks like Darkness and a good handful of other amazing gems I recommend any fan give it a deep cover to cover listen. Hell, even maybe a week’s worth of car rides and work commutes to really take in the subtleties and internalize the feelings it puts off.
Well enough of the accolade, and album review rambling and onto the point of this article and why I have chosen Darkness, and the specific set of lyrics I chose for assignment. For me personally I like to break this song down into three main parts that outline different periods in my life and experiences growing up. Past, Present, and Future…
My Past – Courts, divorce, loss of self, bad relationships, spiritual quest for answers, grief, thinking God was punishing me.
This song resonated with me as a teen, but I was not quite mature enough to fully understand it or how much it would mean to me until I went through some of the darkest moments of my life. After high school and some major growing pains, I was living on my own with my two best friends, young, dumb, and seriously soul searching. I started down a path of trying to figure out who I wanted to be, and who I wanted to be with, and what I wanted for myself in life. At the time, I was playing in a metalcore band (Victims of a Modern Age), playing the local club scene in Richmond (and a handful of shows in VA Beach, Norfolk, and NOVA). Back then the only two things that were certain were my love of playing music, and my college/personal track toward becoming an animator. At the time, and somewhat to this day, all I wanted to do was either become successful with the band, or become an animator for Disney (silly as it sounds the band was the most promising at the time).
Right after graduation I started dating one of my former best friends, and thought I was destined to spend my life with her. One of my flaws, and best characteristics, is that I have always seen the best in people, and I hate to burn bridges. This often led to messy results in friendships, and even messier results in relationships. Helpless romantic was an understatement, blinded by newly found experiences, the rush I would dive in too fast too soon. Often this was met with confusion and disappointment because at some point despite the Pisces trait of being chill and forgiving I would grow resentful, and feel like I couldn’t understand why I ended up being shortchanged when I always gave myself completely (or so I thought). Perspective is a bitch.
Riding the high of playing the RVA metal/punk scene, getting prospected by a local label, and playing bigger gigs, I started to spread myself too thin and make many mistakes letting down friends, family, and significant others. All this while balancing school, and a job, paying bills, and having the time of my life. Sometimes life teaches you sobering lessons that hit you like a Mac truck. I ended up ruining my first serious relationship, and then rushed into another one. The band ended up bringing in another guitar player to practice with them in secret behind my back, and then kicked me out one night after practice because I was supposed to decide between school or the band, and they thought I wasn’t serious. The funny thing is that I was the one who paid the majority or our recording costs, and our practice space rental. I was also the one that introduced them to the guitarist who they replaced me with named Tommy (no bad blood nowadays with him or any of the other guys). Tommy was a tech/slave for GWAR, who I met him through my coworker Mike (a studio drummer/drum tech for GWAR… ironically too). Mike connected me, and the band with Cory Smoot R.I.P. (Flatus Maximus – Gwar), who helped master our EP at Karma Productions (one of GWAR’s local studios in RVA). Big developments were unfolding, and we were even in the works for a tour with Blood and Ink Records, so naturally I was crushed, and betrayed. 2007 sucked! I lost my girlfriend, and former best friend, and on top of that was no longer in the band that I had worked so hard to build up. In classic 21-year-old fashion, I kind of went off the deep end.
I partied too hard and that hurt the new relationship I had just started, my grades in school, and my friends. Now I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted anymore. Eventually I settled down, graduated, and started getting more serious about my future. There was still a missing piece, and I began realizing most of my issues were rooted in childhood traumas (too much to dig into in one article, and I won’t bore you sorry), and my constant desire to be a people pleaser and a daydreamer lost in the clouds.
Yes! I am still writing about the past here. Wow! Sorry.
Fast forward a few years. I got married, and forced a toxic relationship to work that should’ve ended years ago (I’ll tell you the story one day if you want to hear the details… whew). Finally, I thought the future was on track, and I was doing all the right things. My proverbial checklist of life was going as planned: Marriage, College Degree, House, Good Job, and then in the mix my daughter Lily was born.
I was on cloud nine, but in the process of trying to fit a mold I wasn’t meant for I kept “forgetting myself” (another relevant song, sorry I had to). Despite having the picture perfect “American dream” nothing was right except my daughter being in my life. My creative pursuits, and my degree didn’t pan out, or result in getting a fulfilling job, and I was stuck in a miserable relationship, depressed, and losing my creative spark and myself along the way. Now I will admit fully that I had a stake in my own downfall, and the failure of my marriage, but none the less it was nothing compared to what was about to happen.
My ex asked me to move out, said she never loved me, and many other harsh things. After that I was sleeping on an air mattress at my mom’s house, and during it all my brother, and three of his friends died in a terrible car accident. Oh, and to add insult to injury, not too long after that I also lost my job.
The lyrics I chose (below) were my mantra. Why God? Why? Broke, going through a nasty divorce, living in a shit apartment with my Dad, and worst of all not seeing my daughter Lily as much as I wanted to, there were many times I contemplated suicide. My daughter was my light, and I didn’t want to hurt her or my family after losing my brother Jason, but those are the only reasons I never followed through. Instead I channeled it into some super dark, depressing poetry (I would love to share if you would like).
"I want someone to know me, Maybe tell me who I am, Cause I've faced down my demons, And cried out to a god, A god I've never seen... Lights!”
Current issues/Personal/Relationship worries/doubts –
During all this chaos, and trying times, I reconnected with Ashley (my now fiancée), a girl I had known growing up whose path always seemed to cross mine. She was my rescuer, and my guardian angel in these dark days (and still is). She helped me through the grief over losing my brother, and my depression/anger from having the foundation of my life crumble under me. It was because of her that I felt like I could get back on a journey toward rediscovering my creative self. Her encouragement, and love is one of the main reasons I am back to where I am today (mostly put back together). It’s kind of funny, because Ashley had a crush on me many years before when I was living with my friends, and playing music, and even when I was with my ex, but I was too oblivious to understand her affinity for me. Even after a nasty break up with my ex I ended up back with her even though my friends, and Ashley’s friends tried to make me realize she was interested in me. Ashley moved on and we went our separate ways until many years later. She had cared for me all those years, in a way that I didn’t know how to care for myself, so the lyrics …
"I want you to love me Like you did before you knew me And I never thought there'd be any help For somebody like me A vacancy"
… are ultimately fitting of my self-doubt, and lack of self esteem at the time. When me and Ashley finally reconnected (both of us going through divorces at the time), we began sharing a deep passion for 3EB, and a renewed energy for life’s adventures. The intimate connection we had together over the music, as well as years of chemistry that had built up resulted in me reexamining many songs I listened to all those years ago when I was looking for clarity, and empathy.
Feeling of uncertainty/Future/Bold Brave Charge Forward - the Future
"There's no hope for people like you and me Bring me the sun, cause I slide off the moon”
Life is far from perfect, and things are still being pieced back together, but I know with Ashley in my life, our love for Third Eye Blind, and my renewed creative self/self esteem things will be ok because I’m ready for the Sun. The moon was too dark to hang around on all those years anyway.