The Black Dog and Unity In Music

Static Era band photoYou can feel the chills creep up your spine, spread out across your shoulders and crawl down your arms. The music is loud, deafening (but if it’s too loud, you’re too old), it’s moving through your body. It’s the moment you’ve longed for, waited for, lined up outside the venue for, watched the seconds tick away for, waiting for the download or tearing the wrapping off the CD case.

It’s that moment where everything melts away from you, where nothing matters but the music as it moves through your body, the chills, as they prick the hair on your arms. You forget everything, the fear, the pain, the anxiety, all of your worries can’t touch you here, not inside this song.

Emma G, the charismatic front woman of Static Era, is one of many that bleeds onto a lyric sheet in search of those moments, but also in search of something that’ll bring us all together.

“We’ve got this tool to unify people and get people hooked,” she says, “and that video [‘Addicted To A Dream’] is a bit heavy and it’s based on a few life experiences and we wanted to make sure that we were able to give people an idea that, ‘hey, look, we’re human, we’re all human, we’ve all been through stuff but there is a way out and there is hope.’ You go through trials and tribulations but at the end of the day you have the power to control your destiny.”

‘Addicted To A Dream’ is the new music video, about an abusive relationship, and getting out of it, but it isn’t only abusive relationships that are in Static Era’s firing line – they know their music brings people together and they also know how to use it: against the Black Dog.

“Coming from New Zealand,” Emma says contemplatively, factually and with a certain gravity, “where our youth suicide rates are really high, and the second highest rates of suicide in New Zealand are middled aged, Pakeha, men it’s really important for us to say, hey, look [suicide and depression] do exist and it’s really important to us [to talk about it].

“We don’t want to pretend that we’re all bubble gum and candy floss or whatever. We want to be able to identify these things and say hey, once I know who you are and what’re you’re doing, let’s kick it to the curb because there is a way out.”

For Emma, music was the way out. It was the Constantine to her demons and now, she wants to use to exorcise whatever’s lurking in the depths of everybody’s minds.

“I decided I wanted to be a songwriter when I was nine years old and the reason why is because I have a condition called hydrocephalus so in my life time I’ve had 10 brain surgeries (having brain surgery’s not at all that fun, don’t recommend it). It was during one of these stints in hospital where I turned to songwriting as a way of dealing with my demons.”

Though she laughs at not recommending brain surgery, her openness, vulnerability, in those moments isn’t something you can experience and then walk away from unaffected.

“Over the years,” she continues, half solemnly, half as though imparting a great truth of the world, “I’ve realised that we’re all going through some sort of battle and trying to find that one thing that to hold us all together. So to me, the most important thing about music is that ability to be a voice for those going through a struggle.”

“Everybody wants to be heard,” Emma says, seriously, not oddly seriously, but the gravity has returned to her voice, “but nobody wants to listen…”

It feels like an age old truth, just like Twitter can be like standing in a crowded room with everyone talking to themselves, we all want to be saved but no one wants to do the saving.

For those that do reach out a hand, it can be a minefield of disaster, but that can’t put you off.

“Chris [Yong, guitarist] is a lot more tactful than I am,” Emma laughs nervously, “I’m really blunt but the underlying thing is as long as you’re honest about your experiences and about where you want to go and what you’re doing, I think that’s the best way to approach anything.”

She sums it up succulently, better than I ever could, hell, better than most people ever could.

“Music is one of those things that brings people together and if we can use that as a tool to help save the world, awesome.”