“Honest, Raw & Unapologetic, 24 Hours is one of the most aggressive tracks of the entire album & lyrically the most personal.”
So its been a while…
And man do we have a lot to catch up on. I feel like the last 4 weeks have gone by in the blink of an eye. Country after country, flight after flight, limited internet & broken water heaters. Europe was wild!
On another note, things have started to get really busy really quickly in the life of the band & all things Across the Atlantic. We’re gearing up for tour announcements, prepping distribution for the new album & yes, releasing new music videos!
As some of you guys may or may not know we released a music video for the first single of the new album “24 Hours”. This is undoubtedly a heavier jam but I feel it is as powerful as it is loud. 24 lyrically, is one of the most personal records on the album to me so I was excited to hear that this would be our true introduction to the world under Sharptone. In a nutshell, I’d like to think of the song as a time capsule of the last 2 years of my life & a nice prefix to a lot of the common themes that are going to be visited throughout the rest of the record.
“Writing 24 hours was an absolute necessity.”
For my self-confidence, for my wellbeing & for my spirit. This was a song that had to make the album. Originally entitled “24” this song is the direct response to life catching up to me & facing the impending challenge of balancing the pursuit of my dreams & fulfilling my responsibilities as a man.
Simply put, I feel like 24 is the age where people kinda expect you to get your shit together. When your younger you really get the benefit of the doubt (Shuffling through school or bouncing around jobs) but personally speaking, when I turned 24 I felt like I just got hit by a fucking freight train. It seemed like from one day to another everyone around me, all my friends & peers had found instant success. People were pursuing careers & buying houses, starting families and drinking expensive wine; WTF happened! It wasn’t that I felt envious or covetous of my friends, really I felt incapable.
“2016 was the first time in my life I felt like I had fallen behind.”
I questioned my ambitions. I questioned my investment in the band. I questioned my judgement. Over those last 5 years I had no greater love than writing of songs & performance of music, was I being greedy by dedicating myself to pursuing my passion rather than living practical? These thoughts flooded the inner-workings of my head. I started to feel a sense of guilt & embarrassment. So I dabbled with jobs & tried to focus a bit more at school, I tried any damn thing I could to find the passion in these “traditional roads of life” that I had for music. There was no comparison. There was no alternative. Sitting in a cubicle from 6 to 3 made me lethargic. Day in and day out, I was making money but I was losing my heart. For 7 months I tried to convince myself that these were just growing pains & that I would eventually find that it was not so bad but such day never came. For 5 days out of the week I was much the same of a walking corpse, going through the motions, clocking in & clocking out, answering phone calls & spewing water-cooler rhetoric. I was out.
Believe it or not though, it got worse. I became even more disgusted with myself. I looked around and saw so many people loving their jobs, embracing the routine & I just felt inadequate, mentally broken I guess would be a better way to describe it. Why could I not just fall in line & find my own happiness while doing this traditional life like everyone else?
I pondered, I sulked, I contemplated & I surrendered. I accepted the fact that this was growing up. Worn & weary I sought to find some seasoned words of encouragement from my family and from my friends. I don’t know what exactly I wanted to hear but I guess I was searching for some sort of affirmation that I could eventually fall into this traditional life (without music) and find happiness. Reluctant and desperate I called.
Conversation after conversation, phone call after phone call. The stories were different but the sentiment was the same:
“Yeah it sucks but it’s just something we gotta do.”
“Well it could be a lot worse.”
“Welcome to the real world.”
“Time to grow up.”
“What kind of man are you?”
The common tone throughout these conversations was not one of favor.. or even content. It was best described as settlement.
I did not feel as though I was talking to the champion who had “won the fight” & paved his own lane of happiness but rather it was like I was talking to the fighter that had got his shit rocked for 12 full rounds and eventually just went numb. There was no passion in their tongues, no excitement in their bones. There was regret disguised as content. Victims of this trance like state that was clouded under words of sorrow and even resentment.
We then spoke of prior loves or passions in life. Ambitions they had to abandon, “Sacrifices” as they were commonly addressed as. I asked how hard it was to walk away? To essentially “Give Up” on their dreams in substitution for their livelihood.
“That’s just what happens when you grow up.”
“I was forced.”
“My father said, son your wasting your time.”
“It’s a part of life.”
“These conversations changed the trajectory of my life forever.”
Instantly, (I’m talking before the phone calls were even over) I was back. A light had been switched, I felt alive. I felt angry. At that moment, I knew that I was not going to quit.
For better or worse, if a deal came or not. I was going to ride this dream until I made the decision that it was time to walk away. Not my peers, not society or cultural norms, ME.
You see, I was enlightened. The most painful singularity between all the stories I had just heard was that the decision to walk away from their passions was never their own doing.
They were nudged;
By their peers who said they were never good enough.
By the media who said they were to old.
By their parents who said they were wasting their time.
By society who said they did not fit.
By this predetermined notion of what constitutes “Success” in our country.
I thought deeply, about how it could be considered so inappropriate to pursue your dreams or how intolerable it was to be “different”. The hypocrisy of it all in “the land of opportunity.”
If you walk into a elementary school today & ask a child what they want to be when they grow up you will undoubtedly have hundreds and thousands of different responses; maybe a professional athlete or an astronaut, a lawyer or a doctor, a musician even…
No matter the reply though, In the voices of these children you will hear promise, you’ll hear conviction and you’ll hear excitement.
You see, when we’re young were told we can be anything, we can do anything. The sky is the limit and anything is possible as long as you believe in yourself and remain dedicated. But as time goes on, as we age, our hopes and our dreams are slowly corrupted. All of a sudden “You can do anything” becomes “You can do anything BUT..“. We are now hit with disclaimers & suppositions.
We’re taught to dream… (But don’t dream too big).
Follow your heart.. (But only within reason.)
This half-hearted support system is crippling. And the irony is that our nation was founded by dreamers who shared the very same ambitions that we seek to discourage.
Somewhere a long the way we’ve lost our way. We snicker at those who seek to do things differently, we doubt dreamers & our ambitions are now seized by glass ceilings.
24 Hours is a anthem for anyone who has ever been brave enough to do things their own way, no matter the odds & no matter the critics & It’s a middle finger to this hypocritical preconceived notion of what it means to be “successful” in America.
“We’re moving on to higher-ground, we’ve gone too far to turn back now.”