Behind The Tracks: Andrew Thomases - Suburban Void (Single) (2022)

Ever look back on your teenage years and wonder exactly what we were thinking? We were both overly focused on ourselves (almost narcissistic) and bored at the same time. We had so much opportunity, but wasted it by focusing on antics like partying, drinking, and hooking up. This was my experience growing up in the suburbs of New York City in the 1980s.

Then, in the 1990s, I looked back at those times with fond memories, but also realized that much of our youth was misspent. At that time, with my teens still fresh in my mind, I wrote the bones of “Suburban Void.” After coming up with the chord progression, I added semi-autobiographical lyrics that echoed my teenage years in the suburbs. Scenes like hanging out in the mall trying to meet girls and parties where a guy would show up with a whole bar in the trunk of his car. These vignettes are nostalgic. But, as the refrain of the song explains, it was all a bit pathetic.

Music was a huge part of my teenage years, so the song emulated some of the bands from the 1980s. When I finally got around to recording “Suburban Void” last year, I wanted it to have a classic rock sound, with a hint of punk or grunge. It is reminiscent of songs by bands like Cheap Trick, The Knack, The Replacements, and The Offspring. I started out as a bass player, so the bass is prominent in the song, and the bridge even has a bass solo. The guitar has power chords, with catchy riffs and phrases on top, but not too many effects. The goal was to have a straightforward rock track. The pre-chorus has a bit of a call and response, with voice of the present me yelling out “pathetic” when describing the wasted part of our youth.

In the end, the song has a bit of a message for the younger generation. Don’t squander the opportunities you have. Use your time and the things around you wisely. But for me and my generation, we were just living in a suburban void.

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