We've got some great new interviews this week, so we're going to kick these off with an interview from Bad Seed Rising. This interview was actually done a few weeks ago (so I apologize for taking until just now to get it posted; things have been so crazy over here in the office!).
I had the absolute pleasure of speaking with Francheska Pastor, their vocalist, a few weeks ago about songwriting, channeling her emotions in the lyrics on their most recent EP A Place Called Home, and much more. Check it out below.
Let’s talk about the EP. How did you approach the making of this EP, A Place Called Home, in comparison to something like Charm City?
For this one, we wanted to write mainly for ourselves. Charm City was very much us saying “oh we have to write for this demographic, we’ve gotta write for these kids” Obviously, I want my lyrics to relate to people, but not in a way where it’s just ‘selling out’. We wanted to write something heavier, because that’s what we love. We love heavy music. I know it’s not “heavy” heavy, but it’s heavier compared to the last EP. This one we wanted to write entirely for ourselves.
With all of the lyrics on this EP, they talk about my struggles as a teenager. I wanted to write lyrics that other teenagers could relate to. Especially with our song “Carry On”. It’s a song that’s about my own personal struggles, but I purposely wrote it so that when anyone listens to it, they understand that they have to keep pushing through, regardless of how big their problems might seem. And I just wanted to shed some perspective, saying that these problems are just what will make us, you know? They’ll either make or break us, and in all honesty, they’re never really supposed to break you. You’re given these problems from the universe, and you’ve just gotta take them and go with them. You have to realize how small they are in proportion to who you really are as a person, and who you’re going to be in the end. You just have to keep pushing through, regardless of how tough it gets.
I thought this was a really powerful EP. From what I understand, you worked with producer Drew Fulk at Think Sound Studios.
Yeah! And he actually helped work on the newest Motionless In White record (Reincarnate).
Very nice. What did he bring to the table as a producer for you guys specifically?
What was so great about him and what we all loved about him is that he listened to us. He listened to what we wanted, and not what he wanted. That’s what we wanted to do. This music industry is very “dog eat dog”, and all these people have to put out their input, and what they say matters more than the artist, because they wanna get the money from it. I mean, maybe it’s not just the money; maybe it’s just because they love doing that, they love to have their ideas be a part of it. With him being the producer, he kind of just stepped back. He was there when we needed him, and he helped me a lot with lyrics as well. This is the first time that I actually wrote lyrics by myself, and he helped me a lot.
I voiced my opinion with exactly what I wanted to say on this EP. “ADHD” talks about my mental struggles and just figuring out who I am as a person. So many people want me to compress myself into someone that I’m not. I’m not ready to live that life. I don’t want to live that life. Everyone’s thinking “oh I’ve gotta get married, and settle down, get a nice job,” and I’m not ready to settle down. I want to travel the world! I want to play music and I want to change people’s lives for the better! I want them to realize that everyone has a chance at living, and even though they’ve gotten many chances and they’ve probably failed a lot of times, you still have a lot of chances! You’re still frickin’ living. That’s gotta mean something!
I know what you mean. I graduated college earlier this year, and I would see the same thing with people who were getting ready to leave that I had met after those four years. I’d seen what their parents wanted them to do versus what they wanted to do. But there’s a lot of life left to be lived, you know? There’s so much you can do.
Yeah! This world is a book, and if you stay in one place, it just means that you’re reading the same part over and over again. What’s the point of that if you’re just reading the same page over and over again? You’ve gotta move onto different chapters. I mean, you don’t have to move on physically. That’s how I prefer it. I prefer to travel. I can’t stay in one place forever.
What does the name A Place Called Home represent for the overall tone of the EP?
A Place Called Home is actually one of my favorite lines that I wrote. It’s the chorus of “Mess”. It’s accepting myself for who I am. I don’t need other people to make me happy. I don’t need a guy to make me happy; I can make myself happy. This year and last year, I’d gone through some crazy shit personally. I don’t really tell a lot of people, but I’ve been more vocal about it in my interviews, because people actually understand the point of my lyrics. I suffer from seasonal manic depression, and….it was rough. This last year, for seven months, I suffered from depression. I’ve fought my way out of it. For a moment there, in my void, I realized that in this home, it’s okay that if I’m here, as long as I accept myself, it is my home. I mean, I got myself out of it. For awhile, I was pretty sedentary and sat in my little hole, but I realized that what’s the point of living if I’m going to be upset? So I pushed myself to be happy. My formula of being happy is to just do whatever the depression stops you from doing. And once you start doing those things, that “fake it til you make it”, you’ll achieve happiness.
I feel like a lot of people suffer from depression. And if you don’t suffer from depression, don’t feel pressured to suffer from depression, because that is a good thing: to not know what depression is. It is a good thing. Ignorance can be bliss, you know?
For anyone that’s reading this, the people that are happy or achieve pure happiness are the ones that do everything for themselves. If that’s not making you happy, just fake it till you make. Just put on a smile, and you need to just do all of these things that depression doesn’t allow you to do. Just push yourself to be happy. That’s what I did, and eventually I became happy. I feel like that void comes back every once in awhile, but I feel like I’ve learned the way to just brush it off.
My next question actually about “Mess”. Personally, what did it take for you to take those specific lyrics and put them down on paper, and bring them to life, when it was a harder struggle than most would take on?
Well for me, I know writing is different for everyone. When I’m feeling something, I’ll literally pull out my notebook or notes on my phone, and I’ll write down one word. Or I’ll write down a sentence, or a paragraph. I’ll write down whatever I feel. If I find two words that sound remotely the same, I’ll write them down. If you see my notebook, nothing makes sense. I have drawings; it’s illegible. It doesn’t really make any sense, but it makes sense to me.
This song, and a lot of my other songs as well, are created from a bunch of experiences that I’ve gone through, and then just compiled onto one song. I try to make it flow together, to make it make sense. “Mess” is a duration of a long period of time. (laughs) It’s composed from a lot of different experiences and a lot of different relationships in my past. So it’s not just about me and one person, it’s about a lot of things that I’ve experienced, especially in relationships. My choruses are kind of just talking about accepting myself, and just realizing that none of these relationships were meant to work, so I had to let it go.
What does music mean to you? I know it’s a broad question.
It’s broad, but it’s deep! Like the ocean. (laughs) It’s…everything. There’s not a day that I’m without music. If my phone breaks, or my CD player doesn’t work, I’m singing music. I’m singing the songs that mean the most to me. We all have those songs. We all have a playlist of when you’re feeling really down or feeling incredibly happy, or if you’re feeling down and you want to feel happy! Music influences everybody’s lives, and you may not even realize it. If you wake up really tired, and you play some music, you turn on the radio and some pop song comes on, it wakes you up! It makes you happy! Music is literally the epitome of life. It impacts everybody. I know it’s as generic as a broad question can get, but music means the most to me. It gives me a purpose. Not even just as a musician, but as a listener. When I listen to other peoples’ lyrics, I feel like I have a purpose in life. Like, I can relate to a lot of things when it comes to my personal experiences.
This has been another Shameless Promotion.