When you put energy into something for a while, it becomes a part of who you are. It changes you…
Hey guys! Jeremy here (if the pic didn’t give it away lol) and today we’re going to go behind the scenes a little bit and I’m going to talk about why I care about our mission as a band.
First off, what is The Time Framed’s mission?
We want to be a voice for the outcasts, tunes for the rebels, and a guiding light for anyone who’s been in what we as a band call “the cycle.” If you’ve experienced your own form of hell in this lifetime you’ve been though at least a dozen stages, let’s get past them together. We’ve been to similar places, and we’re willing to talk about it.
Ok, so where do I begin? Believe it or not, with the color of my skin. My ethnicity is kind of like a clashing of opposites; my mom is mixed with black and white (and probably some native) and my dad can probably trace his family line back to the origins of pale skin with angry faces. My dad wasn’t around, and my stepdad was kind of like the off-brand model that did more damage than good and eventually he too stepped out. Despite all of that, my mom is very close with her siblings so I ended up having a tribe of aunts, uncles, and cousins to grow up with. See why I suspect there is native in our blood?
Anyhow, being such a hybridized human comes with an interesting life journey role: the odd man out. We moved around a lot and I got to see different stereotypical neighborhoods first hand. Outside of school I was mostly just another kid, since kids will find more interesting reasons to make you hate yourself than the color of your skin.
In the classroom however, certain teachers changed their behavior towards me once they realized that I wasn’t a white kid. It was never for the better… Now I identify as a bad guy, a know-it-all, as a rebel, and also a chaotic neutral guitar wizard.
Why am I a bad guy first? My grades. My rebellion towards standardized expressions of religion, atheism, and new age spirituality. Oh and my desire to play devil’s advocate.
I’ve been playing guitar since I was a teenager, and I was well into my own thoughts of being weird and born an outcast by then. The guitar became the best friend I ever had and I took mine nearly everywhere. Learning music theory didn’t come until much later; as I said before I was (and still am) a know it all. Unfortunately that means that you think you know it all but really have that much more to learn than the average person just to keep up with yourself.
As you may have guessed, school was like a battle-ground for me. I was a weird kid trying to be cool and it just made me that much weirder instead. I never joined any groups, the outcasts knew me as a side character who played hacky-sack all the time, and as I said before; I pretty much just avoided failing. I escaped the gauntlet with my life but I didn’t run a single path like a champ.
I grew up being told I was brilliant, unique, clever, etc. this gave me a lot of expectations that I haven’t been able to live up to. I’d be lying something fierce if I said I’ve never been tempted to cross over. Feeling like I’d never be enough of anything to really do something worth doing for people as a whole has haunted me my whole life.
I tried to reason with the stars in my eyes but every journey was a push towards writing and performing my own music. I’ve moved around the country. I tried and failed at college so fast and so hard I’ve spent more time trying to convince myself to go back than I spent in there in the first place! I ran into barriers trying to join the military because (wait for it…) my high school couldn’t find my transcripts!
I’ve had a dead end job that was fun but left me at the precipice of desire to do more, and a dead end job that literally sucked the life out of me. Technically I’ve had three of the latter. Apparently falling asleep on the job is only OK in Japan…
There have been countless nights where the self loathing and pointless asking of “why wasn’t __ different?” came on like a tidal wave and I just wanted to throw it all away. That’s my cycle: Heavy thoughts and heavy clouds.
In the words of Jimi Hendrix “…but I still have my guitar, look out!”
It’s wild how I now have something much bigger to think about than myself: heavy dreams. The people I play music with are just as unique as I aim to be. I can see the same spark in them to do more, to push expectations, to reach out and make strangers feel ok.
I have the lives we’ve been a part of as a band, the people we’ve hung out with, and the moments we’ve been in to keep my head up. From lifesaving fund raisers to survivors sharing their stories, from “OMG” stage moments to meeting the man who started the music scene we play in 30 years ago; our band has touched people and it is empowering to know that.
I want to support more of those who offer aide to victims of abuse, I want to perform in more fundraisers and see them succeed. I want to keep everyone else from having those mental clouds that take lives. I once heard someone (who is now a friend of mine) yell “it’s like you understand my ADHD!” just as we finished a song and I am still moved by that!
So when I have moments where I’m caught back up in the darkness of the cycle, (they are rare now thankfully) the people we’ve helped reflect back on me. Moments we’ve created as a band bring me back to normal. Even crazy experiences in the studio have helped me see that the chaos is meant to be. Maybe I’m not a failure, maybe I’ll prove that I’m as brilliant as I was told, maybe I’m not the bad guy after all…
In gratitude to the encouragement I’ve received over the years leading up to here and now: do what brings you to life, do what moves you, rise to the challenges of your personal art form. I can’t count how much support I’ve received from family, friends, and strangers in any measurable form other than I’m still here and I’m still working at it. If I can have that kind of effect on anyone else, I’ll do what I can.
Our music isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but hopefully our songs will bring a little light your way. I look forward to seeing you at the next show!