How well can you judge a person by the songs that they sing? How about the lyrics that they write? Sometimes, we feel it's best just to let a post on BadChristian speak for itself. In this post, Toby shares some of his thoughts over the years he's been with Emery, and how sometimes people are a bit too quick to say things online they wouldn't even think about saying in person.
Okay so the title has a lot of you racing to write your disgust on Facebook without actually reading what this post is about, but for those of you still here, thank you.
By this point in my life I’d have to say that millions of people have gotten some insight into my life through the music and web content I have been a part of creating. I have written songs and lyrics on 6 records, 2 EP’s, and I am currently recording vocals for our new upcoming record, You Were Never Alone. The title of this new record is about those millions of people and the relationships I have had with them over the last 13 years.
But I do sometimes question our bond, and if you really know me at all. Am I a real person to you or am I just…
A lyric that got you through a tough time?
A song that brings on nostalgia when you get to hang out with old friends?
An ideal that you think is portrayed in song?
Am I a band?
Sometimes the things people post about me, or our bands, or even BadChristian now, make me think that people don’t see me as a person with real feelings. They don’t see me as a human with thoughts outside of rock music. I am surprised and hurt that people would talk so harshly about me through websites, but have never come up to me and said a word to my face. Do they know I have a face and body and a heart?
The truth is I am just like you. I feel just like you. I want and need just like you. I laugh just like you. I break just like you. We love it when people tell us stories about how much our music has meant to them. That carries us through the tough times. But, I’d be lying if I didn’t say other folks cause some of those tough times and hard feelings because of their quick words about our music.
We are more than a band, or a genre, or an identity. Emery is people. BadChristian is people. But I think sometimes folks forget that. When we say or do something that clashes with who people think we should be, we get harsh words and hate. The onslaught can come from any person, side, or belief. Over the last 13 years here are a few things that have been said to us:
Your music is shit.
You’re too old.
You’re too fat.
The least creative band I’ve ever heard.
Your music saved my life.
You guys don’t care about your fans.
All you care about is money and screwing your fans.
We named our child Emery.
You can’t tour with us because you are too Christian.
You guys promote secular music. You can’t play this fest.
You can’t tour with us because your band is too pop.
You can’t tour with us because your music is too heavy.
You are not Christians.
I became a believer after listening to your records.
I’m agnostic and I love your band.
I’m an athiest and I love your band.
I’m Hindu and I love your band.
I’m Jewish and I love your band.
You are leading people to Hell.
You guys are out there winning souls for Christ.
You guys bailed on a show and I will never be a fan again.
I loved you music until you talked about Jesus.
You are fucking idiots.
You guys just lost a fan.
You have changed and are not what I thought you were.
You have changed and are not what you said you were.
A band didn’t hear or read those comments. We did. Toby. Matt. Dave. Josh. Devin. Joel. Seth.
So now when someone tells me to not say exactly what I’m thinking, whether it be in person or social media, he or she loses a lot of credibility to me. How dare you? Who do you think you are? Do you know how much has been said to me because I put myself out there regardless of the return? How many days have you walked in my shoes? We earned this. We got through this. We made mistakes. We learned and got stronger. We made it this far, and cowardly words, that honestly represent insecurity, can’t do a thing to close this mouth of mine. I’m just being me.
Every song I ever wrote was intended to bring glory to Jesus. I said that from day one. Do you know me?
I got my heart broken a million times and that fueled a lot of my lyrics. Do you know me?
I struggle with sex and lust, and that weakness is either at the edge or at the heart of most of the songs I have written. Do you know me?
I’m scared of death; that someone in my family might die or become sick. Do you know me?
I’ve been away from my wife almost as much as I have been with her. Today is our ten year anniversary. Do you know me?
I talk about Jesus because I believe, not because I am trying to convince you. Do you know me?
I’d rather have a beer and conversation than sit in a pew. Do you know me?
I’ve spent and lost more money than I can remember, or would want to admit, doing this thing called Emery. Do you know me?
I wouldn’t change a thing even if I could. This life is a gift. Do you know me?
All this to say, I want to love you no matter what you say to me about the things I have put my heart and soul into creating. But sometimes it’s hard and I don’t love you. That’s just me being honest. I’m a human and I am constantly messing things up, and getting emotional, and getting my feelings hurt, and needing approval, and finding love and beauty through it all. I’m just like you, and sometimes words do hurt me. I’m quick to blast back, and growing up as the fat kid who got picked on, I’m pretty good a shoving it right back down your throat.
But that’s not who I want to be.
If you want to know what our songs have all been about, listen and let’s talk. If you want to know more about me, check out our social media sites and give us a chance to talk through what we are thinking about. We are talking about things we believe in; music, God, things that are wrong with this world. It’s real to us and we need you to help us figure it out because we’re no good on our own. I get most things wrong. That’s not me even being self-deprecating. It’s the truth.
Did you remember today is my 10 year anniversary? I didn’t. I realized it when my beautiful wife, who is actually going through a lumpectomy right now as I sit in the hospital room waiting for her to return from surgery, handed me a card first thing this morning.
I’m going to let you down, but it’s not intentional. I am going to write or say some things in the wrong way. I am learning every day and striving to be more like someone who would love the best way possible. So cut me some slack. Let’s both try and give each other a moment.
I’m a human. I process out loud in words and songs. Don’t try to shut me down. Help me out.