This is how powerful music can be

Just had someone Facebook message me that one of the tracks “Denied” on the Static Era album “Fit to Fight” has given them strength to leave an abusive relationship.

THIS.

THIS is how powerful music can be. I’m humbled and amazed that one of our songs can positively impact people’s lives. <3

Fit To Fight song meanings part 2

You know what’s strange? Listening to essentially five years worth of music all summed up onto one album. That you’ve made. That you’ve poured your heart and soul into. That you’ve put your blood and (literally) tears into completing. And it all boils down to one 11 track album – each track a snapshot of quite a significant time (or moment) in your life. Each word specifically placed to try and portray the happiness, ecstasy, torture, heartbreak, stubbornness, frustration, confusion or sheer joy that you were feeling at that point in time.

Performing these songs can almost be like acting – because you’re placing yourself into a role where you get to recreate those emotions in the song – and connect with an audience through those lyrics. But listening to an album you’ve created? It’s almost like you’re allowing yourself to reconnect with yourself. It’s strange.

I realize that many people reading this probably have no idea what I’m talking about – some are potentially glad they don’t – so I’ll break it down a little bit.

I’m currently listening to the fully mastered, final product that is the next Static Era “Fit to Fight” album, and truth be told, I’m getting a little bit emotional. Next Friday 17th April is our last show for the forseeable future, before I head off to the States on the beginning of my OE / trip of self discovery / getting to know my family, and I’m really going to fucking miss playing in my band – but what a way to leave NZ; by releasing our debut album as a tribute for the last five years of hard work and achievement.

So I thought I’d take you through some more of our songs on the album, and what they’re about/what led us to write them…

Weakness

When I first moved to Auckland, I frequented an open mic night in Ponsonby. Ponsonby is often affectionately / not so affectionately referred to as “Pon-snobby”, but this particular bar was a little bit alternative. Not in a hipster kind of way (no, thank you!) but more in the “I just want to kick it with some good beer, good music and good people” kind of way, as opposed to “check out my labels and my swag and my dolla dolla bill yo” kind of way. Haha. Anyway, it was at this open mic night that I met a range of beautiful people – musicians and music lovers alike – whom I became very close with. One person, in particular, and I hit it off (after I gave him absolute hell for smoking), and we became a sort of a thing…. but not quite… and I could never really get the balls up (as the saying goes) to actually DO anything about it. Truth is, I’m still incredibly awkward and shy when it comes to relationships. Seriously. Ask any of the men I’ve dated. I’m pretty strange. Ha. Anyway, eventually things kinda just dwindled, and he ended up moving overseas. We’re still good friends now though – even though he is WELL aware that that song was written especially for him!

Sleeping Dogs

The thing that tends to annoy me the most about creativity is the fact that it can strike at the most inopportune times. Sleeping Dogs was one of these songs. Back in 2012, I was staying at my then-boyfriend’s house, and I couldn’t sleep. The entire house was REALLY quiet, but I suddenly got this lyric and melody stuck in my head “I am the queen bitch, I am Ms Cynical…”. Before I lost it, I grabbed some paper, and literally 20minutes later, I had the song completed. El Boyfriend at the time mumbled something about what I was doing, but thankfully he seemed to understand creative madness, and when I shyly showed him the lyrics the next day, he was well impressed, stating that there were actually no suggestions he could make to improve them. I took that as a good sign, and since then, I think the only change I’ve actually made is adding in the third verse “I am a nightmare wrapped in candy…”. Truth be told, I’m not sure what inspired the song initially. It’s a cynical love song, that’s for sure. A definite “don’t fuck with me, cos I will eat you”… which is not really my style at all… but I think that everyone who falls in love has a tendency to bite back when they’re feeling threatened. Love is scary shit.

Denied

Warning: this one’s a little bit more sensitive. In 2013, contrary to my 2012 romance and opinion on relationships, I found myself in an abusive relationship. I’ve talked before about Te Whare Tapa Wha, which is a similar concept, but it’s relatively common knowledge that there are five parts to a person: the mental, physical, social, spiritual and emotional. This particular relationship failed miserably in all of those areas, but the thing about abuse is that it is often done so subtly that you have no idea that it’s actually happening. Something might seem a little odd from time to time, but we always seem to shrug it off as our own minds playing tricks on us, or we’re overthinking things, or we misinterpreted something. One day you wake up and barely recognize yourself. This relationship was like that. Mentally, my intellect was always questioned. My ideas trivialized and my thoughts were discounted. Socially, my friends weren’t good enough to hang out with, so I was discouraged from such things. Spiritually, my beliefs were belittled. Emotionally, I was ignored, or made to feel like something was wrong with me if I questioned something. But the physical side of things was the worst. I was made to feel severely overweight and not good enough. I had to take fat burning pills, work out with the aim of getting skinny (I now do crossfit and weightlifting – I’m all about muscle over being thin!), and wear clothing that he approved of… and that was only the start. Never mind the violence, intimidation, or sexual abuse that occurred.
Anyway, it took a while for me to cotton on to what was actually happening, and by the time I DID, I had, thankfully, the support of my friends and coworkers to say goodbye, and “Denied” was born. It’s rather aggressive, I guess, but it was important for me reclaim myself, and songwriting is the best way for me to do that.

And now I have this album – this little musical offspring – a momento that represents the last five years of my life – and I get to share it with you. The actual CD will have all the lyrics as well, so that you can read, sing along, understand, connect (if you like), and share this adventure with me.

Bring on April 17th!

Fit To Fight song meanings part 1

I’ve been writing music now for over 20years. Not even kidding. I’ve kept the lyrics for over 400 songs that I’ve written / half composed. I’ve recorded two EP’s now with my band Static Era, and we are just about to release our first album. It’s pretty exciting. But it’s also terrifying. Why? Because every song I have ever written is an up-close, intimate snapshot of my life – a window into the life that is Emma G – and by sharing that music with the public either online or on an album is literally giving the world a piece of my soul.

I love it.

As I was going over the lyrics for the album yesterday, I couldn’t help but chuckle a wee bit at the wonder of it all. This album is the culmination of hours of frustration, hard work, tears, laughter, foolishness, idiocy, smiles, success and creative word vomit. So I thought I’d give you an insight to the behind the scenes of some of our songs on the album…

Start

It’s pretty obviously a frustrated love song (I’ve written a few of those haha) – about a comedian I briefly dated actually. When I wrote this song, Dave (drummer) told me two things: 1. I say too much, and 2. I’m too blunt. Both are pretty accurate statements, really. But while I’ve always reveled in being a straight shooter, it WAS a wee bit awkward when he (the comedian, I mean), finally heard the song… ah well. Perks of dating a creative, I guess.

So Sore

I actually wrote this song when I was 15. With the incredible support of my music teacher at the time (whom I’m lucky to still have as a friend these days), I wrote out a lot of my teenage angst in songs. I was processing quite a bit in So Sore; strange relationships, drug addictions that I wanted to leave behind, the societal pressures of religion (or being told I needed religion), and, believe it or not, the racial pressures of having gang expectations – for lack of a better term haha – placed on me. It was a particularly strange period of my life. Though, life is pretty strange.

Nobody’s Toy

Originally, this song was called Walk Away, but as a band we decided to completely rewrite it, and it became this little rebel of a thing telling you to not walk away from life’s problems, but telling those problems to essentially fuck right off. Filming the video for Nobody’s Toy was incredible too, because subconsciously I was able to harness the lyrics from the song, and work up the courage to leave an abusive relationship…. but that’s another story.

Fire Away

Chris (guitarist and one of my best friends) and I actually wrote this song together. We wanted to acknowledge the number of obstacles that people are faced with on a day to day basis, and essentially giving them/us/me the permission or ability to say “bring it on! I’m stronger than you!”.

I find a lot of what I write is for me. My lyrics are there to spur me on and give me courage, hope and strength. If they can also help others… well, that’s an epic bonus.

One of the only times I’ve actually written for someone else though, is with our new song “Dear Me”. Inspired by one of my students, I wanted to give her a ticket of hope when she was feeling suicidal herself. So I wrote her a letter of song; reminding her to hold on and think about the potential for tomorrow’s.

I’m excited about the album release, and about sharing my life with you.

Music Is My Boyfriend

Emma G and Chris live at Backbeat.

He’s always there when I need someone to talk to. He understands when I need to yell and scream, or be soft, vulnerable, strong and confident – better yet, he gives me what I need to be able to do all of those things.

He introduces me to people I never thought I’d have the privilege to meet, and he shows me that even the most seemingly different of people can be brought together simply because he exists. Yep. The best (and by far the longest lasting) relationship I’ve ever had is with music.

My relationship with music began when I started writing songs at five years old. Growing up in Whaingaroa (Raglan), I was surrounded by music – blues, rock, country, hip hop, ballads… everyone my mother knew was following their bliss – and they were doing it well! But that’s not why I started writing music – not really.

I was born with a rare condition called hydrocephalus – which literally translates to “water on the brain.” It means that I have a cyst in the middle of my brain which blocks off the exit way going down my spinal column. Everyone’s brain floats in water and this water is changed daily, but because of my cyst, water can enter my skull, but it doesn’t have anywhere to leave. So I have a tube (called a shunt) going from my brain to my abdomen to drain out the water. It’s pretty awesome technology – but it doesn’t come without its faults. As a result of my shunt I’ve had 24 operations in my lifetime (not bad for a 26 year old) and 10 of these have been brain surgeries; yes, I am freakin’ lucky to be alive! It’s pretty badass – but not something I’d recommend! And this is why I started writing music; to express myself in the only way that I knew how – creatively.

Funnily enough, I started out writing pop music, with the aims of being a solo artist, but after moving to Auckland, it soon became evident that pop music wasn’t – and never really has been – my main buzz. I’ve never been that sit-down-and-shut-up kind of girl and I think a lot of people have this perception of pop princesses. I’m far too loud, opinionated and in your face, specially considering where my lyrical content began – and that’s why Static Era is perfect for me.

Some of the Static Era songs I wrote when I was a teenager (think ‘So Sore’ and ‘Cold’), but now Static Era has become an identity all in itself and the boyfriend or music grew, changed and developed with me. Chris (guitarist of Static Era, and one of my best friends) and I now do a lot of the songwriting in collaboration with each other, and it works well because we push each other to do better lyrically. ‘Nobody’s Toy’ for example – at first it was a song about taking the higher road and walking away from life’s problems or issues, and then it transformed into this beast, telling life’s problems to essentially fuck right off. ‘Fire Away’ is also a result of the Chris and Emma writing methodology – a song again challenging life to bring it on and try us, but knowing full well that we, the listener, are stronger and can take it. My boyfriend grew from vulnerability to a solid entity of strength, truth and self-belief.

Being able to write, sing, record, and perform these songs is the icing on my relationship with music. Why? Because it’s the culmination of why I do what I do; to connect, share, empower, and be part of something bigger; our audience, and music lovers everywhere. The biggest compliment I’ve ever received is from a complete stranger thanking me after a concert and telling me that not only did they feel they truly knew and understood me, but it was as if I was singing directly to them – giving them the strength to move forward, succeed and be the best they could be. THAT is what it’s all about.

This post was also published on musicisdead.org.

Songwriting about the black dog

This year I’ve had a number of run ins with the black dog – not me personally, but friends, and people I work with contemplating, attempting or succeeding in ending their lives.

Last night at Static Era HQ, Chris and I started writing a song about suicide, and why it’s important to hold on. It’s a letter from our future selves to our present selves reminding ourselves that tomorrow is a new day, and things WILL get better.

Stepping Out

So last week,we had the absolute pleasure of playing with Pennsylvania / Virginia based band “Sinclarity” at Blacksalt Bar, New Lynn! Sinclarity were over here in New Zealand playing support for Everclear, and did their own NZ tour as well. Matt, Pat, Geoff and Will were AWESOME dudes and it was rad not only playing a gig with them – but also going bungy jumping!

Check out the photo below of Emma G plummeting head first in to the Auckland hardbour!

Have you done something outside of your comfort zone? Or something a little crazy? Tell us about it!

Static Era Insider #3

Hey guys!

Well, it turns out I’m not the best at doing this weekly (haha), but that’s because so much has been going on!!

In between writing new songs – we’ve got about five new ones that we’ll be unleashing soon!! – we’ve been busy looking for a new bassist. AND WE’VE FOUND HIM!!! Hailing from my home town of Hamilton, we’re stoked to have Vic Pesch join our line up. He drinks beer, washes daily and plays a MAD bass! We’re super looking forward to introducing him to you all – and what better way to do that than to PLAY ANOTHER SHOW!!!

…. Which conveniently leads me to our next piece of news: our next show is all on at The Rising Sun (373 K Rd, Auckland) on August 24 with rockers These Automatic Changers. You may remember these guys from back in March, when we supported them at Juice Bar. They’re awesome – it will be a rad show! So keep Friday August 24 free and come party with us at The Rising Sun!

Lastly, but excitingly, our next music video is getting filmed this weekend! We’ve enlisted the services of Sakowski Studios to film the music video for “Weakness” (our soon to be released next single), and it’s all on this Sunday! Keep an eye on our website and Facebook page to get updates about the release date, but we’re VERY excited, and can’t wait to show you the final product!

Rock and ROLL!!

Xx

Emma G

Static Era Insider #2

Hey dudes and dudettes!

Hope you’ve had a brilliant couple of weeks! I meant to get another blog in last week, but for some mysterious internet phantom reason, the website was down – hope you didn’t miss us too much!

The last two weeks have been full of writing for me – I think I have a songwriting flu. Serious business really. Haha. The newest song I’ve written is about rocking out with all of you guys! So, my question to you is: What do you do when you’re rocking out? Whether it’s at a concert or gig, or just playing air guitar in your bedroom until your partner walks in and busts you doing a Tom Cruise, like in Risky Business. Personally, I love nothing more than being in the front row of a concert and going hard – though, I always get a ridiculously sore neck after moshing!

Dave and I also headed to York St Studio last Sunday to record the drums for our next single! We’re narrowing down the choices for songs for the next EP too, and, just quietly, it’s going to be hella rock! BRING IT ON!!!

If you haven’t yet heard “The Start” EP, don’t forget it’s available on iTunes now (http://itunes.apple.com/nz/album/the-start-ep/id529440435) – AND on Spotify! open.spotify.com/album/2fJ01GK5nuBeFWzFdNxe5D – if you haven’t yet checked out Spotify, do it. It’s awesome!

Anywho, that’s it from me this week – short and sweet! If you have any questions, as always, just give us a yell either by commenting on this post, or on our facebook page: www.facebook.com/staticera

Have a gnarly week!

Xx

Emma G

Static Era Insider

Hey guys!

So, we’ve decided to start doing a bit of a blog each week (hopefully) to let you guys know more about what we’ve been up to over the week, what’s coming up and really just tell you a bit more about who we are.

If you ever have any questions about us, what our thoughts are on something, or just want to get to know us better, drop us a line, or ask us a question on our facebook page, and we’ll get right on to it for you 😀

These last few weeks have been HECTIC, with the release of the EP and the video for “So Sore”, we’ve been going hard nuts organizing the EP and video release gig, talking to tv and radio about “So Sore”, and planning our next EP! If you didn’t make it along to the EP release gig though, don’t worry because we still have copies available. You can email us at info@staticera.com to order your hard copy ($10 + postage) OR you can head to itunes and download it from there! Awesome! Just quietly, I’m quite bloody excited about being on itunes. I don’t know, maybe it’s the idea of having the boys as my ringtone? Haha. Check it out at http://itunes.apple.com/nz/album/the-start-ep/id529440435

Other exciting news is that So Sore is going on national television baby! I’m going to be on TVNZ U (which is on Freeview channel 6, or Sky channel 16) tomorrow (that’s Saturday) afternoon at 5.30pm chatting to the crew about the So Sore video, the EP and… well, rock and roll really! If you have anything you’d like me to talk about specifically, let me know on our facebook page, and I’ll hopefully be able to sneak it in! The video for So Sore is also going to be debuted on C4’s “HomeGrown” on Tuesday night at 10pm. Check it out!

Apart from that, this week’s been a bit of a blur for us all really – winter’s really started setting in, and I’ve been battling off a cold for a few days now. If you have any good winter remedies, I’d love to hear them. Although listening to Halestorm has definitely helped to lift my spirits! It even inspired a new song that I’ve started writing called “Good Girls Finish Last” – we all need a bit of bad girl sometimes! Haha.

See you all on TVNZ U tomorrow! \m/

Xx
Emma G