It was the winter of 2011. It was cold, I was unbearably alone, and when I wasn't binge-watching Whose Line Is It Anyway? and keeping up to date on politics, I was at a computer desk writing. I can remember going weeks without having a real conversation with anyone outside of my immediate family. Things could have been worse - my life wasn't entirely miserable, but I was trudging through each and every day with the same question: when is all of this going to get better? I was lost, I had no idea who I really was anymore, and the only thing I had to keep me going was music. I'd get down, I'd wish everything would just end, but it was song that essentially saved my life and kept me going. This dark period gave birth to the one thing I hold most dear, and that's Messenger Down.
One day I got up and decided that I was going to make things better. I had a handful of songs I believed in more than ever before, and within the first few months of 2012 I released my first new song in over a year. Things have gotten nothing but better from there, and somewhere deep inside I know that no matter where I end up or who I'm playing music with, as long as I've got Messenger Down I'm going to be okay.
Fast forward to 2015. After over 3 years of being active, a handful of Warped Tour performances, and 2 EP's later, I can see the work I put into this stupid dream of mine starting to take new life in the voices and faces of the small few thousand dedicated friends and fans behind it. It's not just about me anymore. Somewhere between being lost and found a rally of people heard something within my story that spoke to them too, and they spoke back as loud as they could, squeezed in with others doing the same. For me, "found" came in the form of, "I'm the same person I've always been, now I'm just a lot better at it." For someone else it might not come quite as easy or quite as simply, but it will come. Everyone is on the same road trip to internal peace and happiness, we just all start in very different places and have very different ways of getting there. These past years a lot has changed, and a lot is still changing, but the one thing that I feel separates what I'm doing and what a lot of other bands or musicians are doing is that I'm in it for a lot more than just fun or because I think it's cool. It's my escape, and it's become an escape for others as well. No matter what, as long as I've got Messenger Down, I can make it through anything, and if there's someone out there that can say the same then I guess I'm doing my job. At the end of the day, Messenger Down is a lot less of a band and a lot more of an idea that I can only manage to express in the form of music. It's about the songs.
What is all of this even supposed to mean? I guess what it really comes down to is that no matter where you are, no matter what you're doing, if you have something to hold onto and believe in you're going to be okay.
We're all a little messed up, we're all going to get lost and wonder and question all sorts of things in life, but nothing is more important than doing what's best for you and finding the inner tranquility that's an absolute necessity to happiness. The condescending look or degrading comments you might get are all fueled by a lack of that tranquility, and a lack of understanding that it's okay if what is and is not important to you isn't the same for someone else. If there's one thing I want people to take away from Messenger Down, it's to never be scared of who you really are.
This is all just part of the reason I'm so excited to be performing at the Charlotte Pride Festival this weekend! Every show we've played has just simply been a show, but for the first time we are performing in support of something so many people believe in and struggle with and identify as a part of. This band exists as a vessel for me to explore and express who I am, and if there's anyone out there that needs a push in the right direction or just feels alone and needs someone to lean on, I invite them to come check us out, see what this music is all about, and even talk to me after we're done.
May you all find your Messenger Down, even if it's not Messenger Down.
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