Chrissy Costanza, The Fuss
„Bad scene, sixty thousand degrees, don’t know what you want from me. We all speak but nobody thinks, and I’m looking for a way to leave.“
Guess the time has finally come to write about the thing I’ve been anticipating the most to write about. I always enjoy sharing my thoughts about songs and music with others and love having long discussions about deep lyrics and different artists, therefore I created the rubrics „Talking Music“ and „Weekly Song Recommendation“. Basically, I will share my thoughts about different artists, albums and songs, make reviews and challenge you to give music a chance to talk to you in a different way than you are used to, to listen beyond the melody and the lyrics.
Today I won’t be talking about a specific song but will try to bring you one of my favorite bands closer. As I already teased in my last post, I finally had the chance to see them live a few weeks ago and the experience was just unforgettable, but we’ll come to this later on ;). So, the band is called Against The Current and consists of three members; Chrissy, the lead vocalist, Dan, he plays the guitar and Will, the drummer.
To begin with, I think I have to go way back in time, just to give you a brief insight on how much this band actually means to me. You know, there’s this one label called Fueled By Ramen, in my opinion the coolest label on earth, since so many bands and artists that I like and admire, such as Paramore, One Ok Rock, Panic At The Disco, Fall Out Boy and more, are signed under Fueled By Ramen without me even knowing it was their label when I got into them. Now, where’s the reference to Against The Current? Well…I got to know them on Youtube, because they used to cover songs and worked with Kurt Schneider, and back then Kurt was (still is) very popular. So, I’ve been following ATC basically since their beginning, and they soon released their first EP which they released on their own without being signed to any labels. One day they posted a picture on Instagram, about 3 years ago, with them signing a contract with Fueled By Ramen. Back then I couldn’t believe it and it only confirmed that Fueled By Ramen is indeed the coolest label in the world. For those who know me a little better, they probably know that Paramore is my favorite band of all time, and Against The Current being signed to the same label as them made me so proud of them and means a lot to me. I’ve always seen them as a junior version of Paramore since they have the same constellation and make sort of the same kind of music and I’m sure if they keep going like this they will one day be as big as Paramore. Thus far about my love for Fueled By Ramen^^.
Anyways, as they got more popular they released more and more self-written music and soon their debut album followed. They also toured around the world and had stops in more and more cities but whenever they stopped in Switzerland, there always was something that hindered me from going. And in September this year they released their second album „Past Lives“, along with that they also announced their tour dates for their „Past Lives“ tour, and yes, they did go to Europe, but not to Switzerland. I must admit that I was very frustrated, since I finally would have had the time to go see them. But soon enough they announced their Asian tour dates and for once I had a little more luck than usual and happened to be in Seoul when they also would.
„We drive away, luckier than that Lucky Strike hanging in-between your teeth“Chrissy Costanza, I Like The Way
To be honest with you,I have never really been a lucky person. Never won at lucky draws, always miss the free things they distribute at the station back in St. Gallen and when someone special or important to me is in town you can be certain that I’ll probably be on the other side of the world at that time, so yeah, kinda not expecting much from the universe concerning my luck ^^. Anyways, as soon as I got to know about ATC having a concert in Seoul I immediately tried to get tickets, but somehow (and I really still have no clue why) it wouldn’t work. I tried it several times on different days, but it just didn’t work and I’m not gonna lie, I started to think that the universe just didn’t want me to meet Against The Current. Anyhow, by the time around one or two weeks before the concert I was going through my timeline on Twitter and saw one of Chrissy’s tweet saying how excited she was to be back in Asia…great, really great. But then I thought if I already have nothing left to lose I might as well tweet Chrissy and ask her how I could get a ticket for the show, with actually no expectation in her replying to me. I did post a tweet that night and went to sleep right after. I’m telling you, waking up to a Twitter notification from Chrissy, while I have already forgotten about the tweet itself, isn’t something I thought would affect me that much, but it did. I would’ve never thought, not in a million dreams, that Chrissy would actually see my tweet and respond to me, definitely something I would remember for a long time and I dare to say that for once I was lucky…kinda. Perhaps I complained so much that the universe felt sorry for me and decided to be a little more generous with me, because Chrissy’s answer was only the beginning of my lucky streak. I ended up getting a ticket and on the day of the concert I got to casually meet Will in front of the venue and had a small talk with him while all the other fans that were standing in line for the same reason as me, didn’t notice him at all, and I’m still wondering why. Furthermore, the band replied to me several times on Instagram, I got to catch one of Will’s drumsticks at the end of the show and I met Chrissy later on and we took a group photo. I don’t think I have ever been this lucky in my entire life hence I’m a little scared I might have used up all my luck for the next…maybe 30 years haha. ^^
Considering that I’ve been talking and talking about the concert now you’re probably curious about how the show actually was. Well, I’m not sure I’m able to put all the emotions and excitement into words but nevertheless I’ll try to do so. I have always enjoyed going to concerts seeing my favorite artists performing live and after this one I think I can call it an official hobby of mine. Sincerely, that night was magical. I don’t know what word could describe it any better, but it was just amazing, I had so much fun and couldn’t really believe that I was finally meeting Against The Current. Although they were only four to be on stage (they had a bassist playing for them) they still managed to make all the songs sound awesome and complete. Herewith I also want to praise their technician, the sound for sure was amazing, especially the drums. As a drummer and noob-wanna-be-technician I know how hard it can be to have a perfect drum mix, but damn, you (whoever you might be^^) nailed it! I think it was the best drum sound I’ve ever heard live and was enjoying it to the fullest, just as much as I enjoyed the rest of the show.
Chrissy’s stage presence is really something else, whenever she sang I got chills and I could feel her energy all over the place. The way she moved and danced on stage just made me want to dance with her and feel the music, and her voice has always fascinated me since it’s very special and not the voice you would expect to hear when you look at her, and she didn’t disappoint me one bit with her live performance. I’ve always seen her as a mini version of Hayley Williams with her hair, her style, her voice and the songs she writes but seeing her perform live just confirmed that she really is on her way to step into Queen Hayley’s footsteps ;). As for the guys, they are usually in the background since Chrissy’s the front singer and I’m used to them being quite calm and decent, especially Dan. And yet they surprised me. They’re stage present was different from Chrissy’s which doesn’t mean it was less, in fact they were so into what they were playing that they had just as much energy as Chrissy. Especially Will, the way he played the drums was so intense that it kinda left me in awe, it was almost like he was in his own world doing what he loves and not caring about who is watching…he was feeling the music and I enjoyed watching him play the drums so much. As a musician and a drummer, watching him made me want to practice harder to be able to play like he does. The three of them did an amazing job, and to be frank, I did expect them to be good and for me to enjoy it, but not at this extent. It amazed me how comfortable they all were on stage and just showing every single one in the room that, yes,that’s what they were made for, which inspired me a lot and makes me want to work even harder and become a better musician. In short, their performance was amazing and the memory of it still lingers in my head and heart. The sound was amazing, and I will definitely see them again whenever there is an opportunity to do so. The only thing I could complain about is that they played every song with backing tracks which made the fan interactions a little less than I expected but if that’s the way they feel comfortable to play I can’t really complain about it, right? Besides I was so close to the stage that looking Chrissy in the eye was already interaction enough ;).
As much for the concert, I think I’ve blabbered enough about it, and I might have bored you to death already, but I still want to talk a little about their music, more specifically about their latest album. Their tour’s name was Past Lives which at the same time is the title of their album. Therefore, I had the chance to hear the songs both, studio version and live version and it was pretty interesting to compare the both versions. Personally, my favorite songs from the album are The Fuss, Personal, I Like The Way and Strangers Again, but to be honest I enjoy listening to all of the 11 tracks. If I had to choose one song it would probably be The Fuss. Actually a little surprising since it’s kinda different from my usual taste, but I just love the groove and how ironic and accurate the lyrics are. As for Personal, the song is very vulnerable, and I just admire artists who can show that side of them. The lyrics are, in my opinion, very touching if you know the background and it is filled with pain and frustration but at the same time transmits hope and love. I also really like the production since the used elements are quite simple yet very effective, especially the rim click they use for both verses as a snare drum (I love rim clicks, just in case you didn’t know lol ^^). Amongst all the songs they performed, old and new, I Like The Way was my favorite. The sound was, I guess just perfect, I actually hate to say that because it always sounds fake whenever someone is telling about how perfect something was, but it really was. The drums were just…wow…and Chrissy was smiling and dancing during the whole song, so that song will forever have a special place in my heart as well. Besides the lyrics to I Like The Way are very sweet and from time to time I enjoy such lyrics. Also the message of „not wanting to settle for settling down“ is very intressting, whatever it might mean to you and whatever Chrissy was referring to ;).
In my opinion the album reflects how much they grew not just as musician but also as persons. I think they improved a lot, musically and lyrically, in the past two and a half years they’ve been working on this album. Their previous album already was very honest but to me this record is the most genuine and vulnerable they’ve released so far, and this is what I cherish the most about music and artists in general. Although they did have a slight change in their genre I think it’s alright since as time goes by, we all grow and change as persons and so does the music we make, and it’s completely fine as long as we stay true to ourselves.
„I look around and I’m feeling like I built a prison and put myself in it“Chrissy Costanza, Strangers Again
Wow, I wrote a lot more than I actually intended to, sorry for that, but I just had so much to say. Alright, guess it’s time to wrap it up otherwise I’ll end up writing a whole book. I hope I could bring you Against The Current a little closer and of course I hope you will give their songs a shot. If you do so, leave a comment or send me a message on any of my social medias linked below 😉 I’d love to hear about your opinions, feel free to state whatever you want 🙂 With all this said I wish you a good night and a nice weekend. Unfortunately, they didn’t play The Fuss at the concert, but they released a video just a few days after the show, so I guess they made it up for not putting the song on the setlist. Therefore: here a little gift to send you off to your weekend. Thanks for reading and see you soon 🙂