Inspired by experience and imagination | Gateway-Beacon

“Waking Up Hurt”, the November 2 debut album from my rock band, Monsters of Middle Age, was inspired by our life experiences. Wisdom may or may not be a factor in these songs, but observation certainly is.

We, the band mates, decided to use our time during the 2020 lockdown creatively to record songs together from a distance. Ironically, the things that kept us as friends for decades, namely time and closeness, weren’t a problem. We took advantage of the technological advancements and audio engineering know-how of our guitarist David Lane and bassist Rick Roppolo at the start of the project.

Dave and Rick made a wise choice when they recruited singer and longtime friend and bandmate Darren Darnell for the songs. The first idea that was fleshed out, “Trying to Watch the Game” was a collaboration between Darren and Dave for the most part. I had received a guitar recording from Dave from the main riff, and I was having a little trouble figuring out what the song’s time signature was at the start. When I sent him my recorded drum track, I don’t think he was sure we were on to anything important.

After Dave added a click track to the guitar riffs he had arranged, he sent the song back to me and I gave it another hit, this time clicking on my drum sticks to signal my debut. It made a difference and the resulting track fueled my enthusiasm. I was hoping we could go on and do other songs as well.

Once the song took shape, with Rick’s bassline leading the song’s introduction, Darren added his baritone vocals, with humorous lyrics that underscore a sports fan’s desire to see the main event without interruption. It also indicated the direction the rest of the lyrical concepts would take: the path of little complaints into an otherwise happy life.

As the name of the group suggests, Monsters of Middle Age, exposure to life’s creeping strangers, can only happen once a person has passed youth through the swinging doors of experience. The songs aren’t about a lack of gratitude, but they are about notable pitfalls and a desire to avoid them.

This led to “The Gauntlet,” a slower country rock ballad about the November-February holiday season and the spousal gift issues that come with trying to raise the bar year after year.

“If you don’t remember / She won’t forget / But I think maybe I set the bar too high,” Darren hums, sincerely but funny about the dilemma.

The title song “Waking Up Hurt” is particularly poignant for me, as I regularly have to visit my chiropractor, Dr. Richards. The song’s heavy metal guitar festival anthem represents the speed of life, and the dark, squeaky middle section riff symbolizes morning pain before returning to the fast lane, this time adding a melodic and captivating bass solo. from Rick.

“Don’t Touch The Thermostat” is the song we currently released in a Dave lyrics video on Youtube. It has the sound of The Cure’s “Disintegration” era with a Gothic style voice from Darren. It’s a soundscape of mellotron, basses and guitars with effects, and one of the most difficult drum tracks I’ve had to tackle. At one point when we were recording it, I must have been away from it for about a week. However, this gestation period worked. It might be one of the best songs we’ve done.

The other songs on the album are fun and autobiographical. “Quiet Party” is a hilarious and funky issue about finding quality time with a loved one without waking the kids up. “Beach Time” is about the dream versus reality aspects of vacationing, and the lyrics to “We’re Not Getting the Band Back Together” tell the true story of Dave and Darren’s formative rock activities. I’m proud of the songs and grateful that we had the friendship, the resources and the collaborative spirit to make them happen. I hope this spirit is evident from your first listening to the album.

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