Art Versus Industry. They made me excited about music again.

After being turned on to them by an online friend, and all around good person, Alex Morse who incidentally does their video and photo work, I’m hooked. They make me remember a time of Stabbing Westward and Nine Inch Nails, from The Fragile era. The darkness and melodic noise make me smile. They put me into that happy place where the warm synth washes around me and makes me happy all over. There’s something about the “darker” music that makes me happier than any bubble gum pop song.

I love the melodies and harmonies woven into the drum beats, guitar riffs and droning oceans of noise. It’s like Nine Inch Nails’ A Warm Place which is one of my favorite songs of all time. The safety and happiness in those notes are the security blanket for the 21st Century. The warm hum of sound and emotion cradles me and tell me everything will be all right. And most of all, it makes me feel just a little less alone and alien.

I remember listening to Nine Inch Nails growing up and really feeling like someone understood me and the pain I was feeling. I was going through the divorce of my parents. I was an artist in a world of farmers and hunters. I was a huge guy towering well over six feet tall which makes me stand out no matter where I went. I was a huge dude who had his own ideas about art and style and comfort and expression. I was a freak and I let that flag fly freely.

But I also hurt. I had a lot of nights of depression and anger and sadness and loneliness. I’d talk for hours to friends online or the phone. We’d talk about a lot of things. Sometimes it was my metaphorically talking them off a ledge sometimes the other way around. It was always two worlds growing up. The world of insiders, the Berryville natives. The families who had seemingly been there since the founding by Benjamin Berry centuries ago. Then there were us outsiders. Anyone who had moved to the area for one reason or another. To escape the poor school systems, violence, and congestion of Washington DC in the case of my parents.

I never felt like I fit in. I’ve always felt very alien wherever I was. I never felt like I saw the world like other people did. I never felt like what worked for others worked for me. How did they get through life so effortlessly? How did things seem to be so easy for them and work out so well? How did they show that cool exterior? Weren’t they a bubbling inferno just beneath the skin? I sure was.

I don’t know how “normal” people got through life. Did they have the same crippling, self-doubt and question their own intelligence and abilities? Was that a trait of an artist?

I’ve always been very empathetic. I feel what other people feel. I read people. I get inside their heads to the pain there. Growing up I had a lot of friends that shared a lot of the pain I did and in some cases had things must worse. I wanted to be there for them. I wanted to help them the best I could. I often wonder how things turned out for them…

I was always the guy my friends would turn to for help. I was a little older, a little wiser and had my head on pretty straight. I was also much to good to do anything truly wrong. Sure I bent a few rules growing up and I paid for it. But I’ve never done anything illegal or been arrested. I didn’t drink, smoke, do drugs, or attend the wild parties I knew went on in and around school on farms on the weekends. That just wasn’t me.

I was, and still am a devout introvert.

I keep to myself. I prefer the company of computers to people. I prefer the quiet, pre-dawn hours where the world sleeps to be awake and productive.

“It’s not Introversion. Just really good spam filtering.”