Tuesday, January 2, 2018


When I left Hawaii in April of 2015, I had so many mixed feelings. I didn't want to leave. 

Oahu, or all of Hawaii for that matter, is a paradise. People spend their entire lives wishing to live in such an incredible place and here I was, reluctantly leaving. I was in a relationship then. The person I was in a relationship with wanted to live somewhere else. It was what he wanted. So many times I thought about finding some roommates and moving in to a place somewhere in Chinatown, Honolulu. I suppose I could have made that happen, but I was straddled with debt and insecurity and I did really care about my partner at the time. I figured, if it was meant to be, I'd get back to Oahu. Three years on, I haven't been back, yet. I dream about it still, but then, there's always reality...

We moved to a different island, off the coast of California. A desire-able place to live for many, but not for me. It was a tiny town of 4000 and as tiny towns go, everyone knows your business and gossip can be the primary source of entertainment. My major gripes were that there were too few, if any, tennis players, and no real music scene to speak of. Sure there were a couple of bar bands, but if I was going to be in California I wanted to be making music there. 

It was nice for a few weeks, but not really. My relationship came to grinding halt. Maybe it was the weight of change and maybe it was that as much as I tried to be present in the moment and enjoy the new surroundings, I didn't feel like I was making decisions for myself. I was making them for someone else. That 'someone else' was dealing with his own stuff and was in a very different space as a result of the stress and the move and the new job. It seemed like more change was on the horizon. 

The details from that stretch of time are crystal clear for me, but I don't care to share them. Instead, there's a song I wrote and recorded while I was living, ever so briefly, on this tiny, undisclosed rock off the coast of California. The song, Wanderlust, just about captures this period of transition for me. And it brings me to what I wanted to write about today...

It's simple. Music for me has always been a sort of personal therapy. I've tended to write about internal and external conflicts and emotions, both good, and not so good. Music is a way for me to channel my frustrations and feelings and create something positive with all of that energy. Yes, it sounds generic, but what I realize now is that it has ultimately been a way for me to record events in my life. This is probably the case for a lot of other musicians. So, maybe starting backwards, with this song -the last thing I released as A Severe Joy (the me from a parallel universe)- is the thing to do.