Track By Tracks: He Was a God - The Smile & The Scar (2022)

1. Amadeus:

This is the first He Was a God song I ever heard! When the band posted their ad about looking for a singer, they attached a video of themselves playing this song (with no vocals) in their practice space. I was pretty much floored from the jump: the time signature changes, the strength of the riffing, and this beast behind the drums giving a stadium level performance. When I sat down to craft some lyrics, I drew inspiration from the band’s name: He Was a God. What came out is the true story of an old colleague of mine. He was a gifted singer and keyboard player who played in bands with some other friends of mine. Sadly, he took his own life about ten years ago and while I don’t know all the details surrounding his death, I do know that his loss is a damn shame and that he and his talents are missed. The title of the song comes from a comparison to Mozart himself: a genius with magic in his fingers but couldn’t overcome his demons.

2. Indelible:

I did a project with this guy a few years back and a few weeks afterward, I see the guy’s picture in the paper. The article revealed that he was sexually abused by a priest at his Catholic high school when he was a kid and he was finally going public with his story. I thought it was about the bravest thing I ever saw. The song is a rebuke of the scum who take advantage of children while hiding behind the collar and a condemnation of the organized framework that covers it up and perpetuates the cycle. I can’t think of anything more hypocritical or depraved.

3. Two New Stars:

When I was in college, I was friends with this terrific dude. He was super chill, funny, and he used to pop by my room to play Alice in Chains covers. In our second year there, his sister was murdered along with a friend of hers. It shook the whole community and I always wondered how in the hell someone could bounce back from a tragedy of that magnitude. He and his family moved away shortly after, but he returned pretty quickly and we even played in a ska-punk band together for a bit. I’m just so glad he found his way through that and I like to think his sister was watching out for him. It’s a song about finding your way past tragedy. It’s about finding balance between the pain of the past and the possibilities for the future.

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