Everyone Loves You... Once You Leave Them

Everyone Loves You... Once You Leave Them

There’s a heaviness to Everyone Loves You… Once You Leave Them that hits harder than the screams, growls, and riffs on The Amity Affliction’s seventh album. “It deals with my mental health, which is pretty standard, but some things are more specific than they have been previously,” songwriter and vocalist Joel Birch tells Apple Music. “I’m frustrated a lot on this record.” The metalcore band’s themes are dark—uncomfortably so, at times. But that’s the point. “There's fucking happy music for happy people everywhere,” he says. “Everyone who gravitates to this does it for a reason.” Here, Birch explains the stories behind each song on the album. Coffin “It’s about climate change and politicians, believe it or not. It’s the first time I've really written anything like that. It could be construed in any number of ways, but that's what it's about. Being really frustrated—as a human being, but also as a parent—with the conversation surrounding climate change and watching our fucking political establishment do absolutely nothing about the current problem.” All My Friends Are Dead “I've struggled a lot with believing that I've got support. The line ‘All your love has held this at bay’ is really about my wife and family, and staving off thoughts of suicide. I had a really fucked-up year. I was feeling really defeated and didn't think I could be brought back. I’ve got bipolar II, and when I have depressive episodes, I feel really alienated from everyone. I don't know how to talk about it and properly communicate what it feels like, but this song is an attempt.” Soak Me in Bleach “There was a particular incident—my friend killed himself. He was in a band called The Gifthorse, so we wrote a song [on Misery] named after his band and I used some of his lyrics in the song. This one journalist was like, ‘You're monetizing his death,’ which left me so disenfranchised and disappointed. So I’m just like, ‘All right, bring me up to your standard of purity. If your intentions are so fucking pure and mine are shady and for money, then sure, soak me in bleach, whatever.’” All I Do Is Sink “I’d been hanging with a friend [while touring] in Belgium and we got back at like 3 am, just making it back for bus call. We were driving past the canals; it was so beautiful. The full moon was up. I was admiring the landscape. But when I got back to my bunk [on the bus] I was just like, ‘Ahhh.’ Looking at what I have versus how I feel just doesn't line up a lot of the time. It’s a strange juxtaposition. It’s not so much confusing as it is frustrating. It just fucking sucks.” Baltimore Rain “It’s about when someone falls out with someone who dies, and then they're like, ‘Oh my god, we were best friends, blah blah blah.’ My [aforementioned] friend’s funeral was beautiful. But then I went to go to the wake, and I was just like, ‘This sucks, man.’ Half these people barely even knew him. All these people he wasn't talking to anymore were there. And I just came out with that line: ‘Everyone loves you once you leave them.’” Aloneliness “This is a bipolar conversation between me and me. It's about how hard it is for me to not give in. I reached a point last year where I was on the verge of killing myself, probably the closest I've been in a long, long time. And I made a promise to myself that I would at least make it to my youngest son's 18th birthday. I promised 15 more years. The line ‘I've forgotten 15 years’ is a reference to my childhood—I don't have much of a memory of my early life or my high school life. I didn't have the best home life. So I’m saying I've forgotten 15 years and I promise 15 more. And hopefully when I get to that point, it won't be the end.” Forever “It’s about what the aftermath would be if I were to kill myself. It’s the weird, anxious sickness that comes from feeling like I feel sometimes, and also knowing what the consequences would be. I’ve got three kids, and I’m able to envision how it would affect them and how it could send their lives spiraling out of control. My wife is very much my grounding. She grounds me and has done a very good job at keeping me here and being supportive through everything. She's my hope.” Just Like Me “This one's about people with substance abuse problems—primarily friends of mine. The line ‘Let me carry your cross’ is me saying, ‘Let me help you. Are you feeling the way I'm feeling? Are you depressed? Are you miserable? Is this helping?’ I feel like a lot of people out there are going to be able to hear it and think of someone they love and maybe gently put it to them that they're worried about them.” Born to Lose “It’s for the journalist I was talking about earlier. It’s like, ‘You’re trying to pull me apart and I’m thinking I was more deserving of an early check-out than my friend. So I'm trying to process that, and you're trying to deconstruct everything that I'm going through. Give me your much-wanted opinion as someone who didn't fucking know me at all.’ I've never met her, never interacted or anything. It was really out of nowhere and pretty upsetting. I just think people who are out there tearing people apart are probably not living an extremely happy life. I'm super vocal and aggressively outspoken about human rights, trans rights, gay rights, indigenous rights, but I’m not trying to tear people down. People that do that are probably not destined for much happiness.” Fever Dream “I bought Percocets at the beginning [of a US tour we were on]. I'm sober, so I wasn't buying Percocets to get high. I knew what I was doing. I threw them in the bin after a week of carrying them around, but I did the same thing again later on the same tour. I bought a whole bunch of sedatives. Like, 50 of them. But I threw them out later as well. The line ‘I’ve got death here in my pocket’ is quite literal. In my bunk, a lot of the time I was just listening to music, in tears a lot, just hiding from everyone. That line ‘Been digging holes/Not digging deeper’ is saying I've just been digging holes for myself to fall in instead of digging deeper for some sense of purpose. I felt like I was really giving up. I felt like I was living in a fever dream and not existing in the real world. I was lucky I made it out.” Catatonia “I woke up one day in Toronto—this was right after my friend killed himself. I was there on my own, and I guess I processed it for the first time. I was in the shower and just started sobbing uncontrollably. I managed to get out of the shower and dry myself. And that's about it. I was on the floor, just crying and staring out the window for three or four hours. I didn't move, didn't do anything…I don't know. I wasn't really functioning. The line ‘When you can't see the future, you can't see the light’ is something my friend Shane actually said to another one of our friends. Shane asked him, ‘Can you see the future? Can you imagine yourself with your wife and your daughter?’ And he goes, ‘Yeah.’ And Shane goes, ‘I can’t.’ And that was the day before he killed himself. I really had to struggle while I was over in Toronto, constantly FaceTime with my wife and promising I was going to get through it. Like I said earlier, I know that I should be happy. I know that I should be all these things. But the weather keeps on changing and I can’t predict what day I'm going to have.”

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