Track By Tracks: The Burden - PRESENCE OF PAST TENSE (2018)

1. Moving Pictures:

Moving Pictures is one of three songs on the EP that are the oldest. We started writing them in 2015, before the release of our first record, Modern Disease. We came back to them in December of 2016 when we started working with Jordan Chase as our producer. This song, along with the other two that were written around the same time, all really took on their full form having a fresh set of ears from Jordan. He quickly saw where the demo had its strength and where things needed to be changed or cut entirely. Lyrically this song touches on many deep subjects. The song deals with self-reflection, knowing your faults but not maturely dealing with them, and having difficulties accepting who you are. The self-reflection bit is quite literally referenced in the second verse, “A mirror reflects what you don’t want to see, but still we are longing for more.” This was actually chosen as the first song released from the EP the day before we released it. We felt that of all the songs on the EP, this one had the right kind of energy from the start of the song to kick into the very beginning of the record. We are all really proud of how it turned out.

2. Blooming:

The original idea of this song makes it probably the earliest written song on the EP, Jake remembers actually coming up with the “breakdown” riff while in the studio tracking guitars for Modern Disease. Lyrically this song touches on depression and “growing up”. A lot of it reflects on the point in life where your childlike wonder starts diminishing, when you realize a lot of memories and people you care about are in the past. Nostalgia is one hell of a drug and can consume you. The ‘drown the choir’ phrase in the chorus references shutting out the thoughts that keep you up at night. ‘Dressed in my best attire’ references the external masks we create to hide the pain of depression from people around us. ‘I’ll be the one who will tear you apart if I could’ is an internal dialogue from the perspective of depression, where if you give it the power it really can consume you.

3. A Search For Solace:

This song was probably the hardest to write. It was one of the first songs we fully wrote together as our current line-up after Ross joined the band. A lot of the struggle probably came from settling into the dynamic of the four of us starting to focus on writing new music together. Once Jordan got involved in pre-production for the EP, this song really started to find its footing. But still every time it was demoed out there just felt like something was missing; even through pre-production with Jordan. Despite Jordan feeling the song was sounding great, we actually ended up rewriting the second verse completely right before tracking the EP, and surprising him with the changes. A lot of the vocals were also rewritten last minute while we were in the middle of recording. While typically that’s a big faux pas when working with a producer, (and he initially wasn’t very happy about us doing it) Jordan was willing to trust us in the end with the changes. When we got the first mix sent back and listened to it all put together, it was insane hearing how far it had come compared to the first demo we tracked. The icing on the cake for this song was approaching our good friend Tyler Zanon from Bedroom Talk to do guest vocals on the second verse. The lyrics in this song also deal with facing depression and holding onto memories. It’s about recognizing the patterns of self-destructive cycles we can put ourselves through by our thoughts and actions, but looking for ways to grow.

4. Clouded:

This song is really important to Jake, as it was originally an acoustic demo that we tried to build into a full band ballad/sad song. But the more we tried, we all felt it kind of lost the real heart of the song in doing so. We eventually concluded we should just keep it simple and raw to let the emotion in the vocal melodies shine through. We tracked just a sole, clean guitar and Jordan added a lot of pretty layers of synth, reverb, delay, etc in production that really made this song soar. The lyrics deal with self-doubt and the internal battle we all face in waves of self-loathing. Jake is really proud of the second verse and how the lyrics turned out. It touches on how seemingly simple decisions can have a huge impact. It’s about acting foolishly in the evening and feeling self pity about it in the morning, only to make the same mistakes come night time.

5. A Call for Closure:

This song is the last of the three earliest written for the EP. The main inspiration came from listening to a lot of Every Time I Die and wanting to emulate some of the chaotic riffs and hardcore vibes they have. While some of the influence shines through in places, it was awesome to see this song still come out in the end as a song that very much feels like ‘The Burden’; despite the influences we still have a firm grasp on the identity of our own music. We actually played a really early demo version of this song live at our Modern Disease album release show a couple years ago. Lyrically this song is very personal, Jake actually wrote it from his father’s perspective. His father had a rough falling out with a business partner who screwed him over and it was extremely difficult to see him go through it. He wrote this song as a way to help his dad heal and cope with the stress of the situation. When it came time to track this song, we got to have a lot of fun with it. The last breakdown was actually recorded live in the room next to our amps with pickups right to the speakers. We did all sorts of weird things to get some crazy sounds to make the whole last section of the song sound really gross. Playing our guitars right in front of our cabs created a lot of noisy feedback, and Rob would mash his strings against his pick-ups to make gross squealing noises; he even did a bunch of things with his pedals like messing around with a drop tuner to do pitch shifting. It was probably the silliest thing we’ve done, but also the most fun part of tracking the EP. It created a really powerful, chaotic ending to close out the whole record.

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