Today, Free Throw have dropped their brand new album 'What's Past Is Prologue'. Following up on 2017's 'Bear Your Mind', it's a record that's both honest and raw, but also Really Very Good.
To celebrate its release, we asked the band's Cory Castro to run us through the record 'track by track'. So hit play, get your reading glasses on, and get under the skin of an album we're pretty confident you're gonna love.
This song somewhat picks up where Bear Your Mind left off. At this point in my life I was drifting into one of the darkest places I’ve ever been. I picked up smoking again after 4 years and had recently went through a pretty bad break up, and that serves as a symbol for falling into bad habits and shifting blame for your own personal problems. Blame shifting plays a big part in the first half of the record.
This song is where the blame shifting aspect really kicks into full drive. The song is basically about the reasons the breakup had happened. A constant cycle of the same problem turning up over and over again, and how sometimes you will hold onto something when it’s not totally right. Though what I’m saying in the song is valid and tells a real story, the underlying reason why this song is a part of the overall story is because rather than accept that there was something wrong with myself, I wanted to blame the breakup. I used the break up as an excuse to dwindle further into a dark place.
At this point in the story I’m trying to get back out and get my social life back on track, but my anxiety was at an all time high at this point. Just being at a social gathering made me freak out. Drinking would help but that anxious feeling would eventually find its way back. That lead to more self medicating. The song is basically a conversation with my overly anxious brain. A back and forth of trying to convince myself that I’m okay, and the anxious thoughts that creep in.
A while after the break up, I was drifting harder into a bad state of mind. During that time some things were said to me that came from a place of anger and hurt, which left me in a place of anger and hurt and caused me to shift the blame for how I was feeling even more. Reflecting, I know now that what was said was just a moment of anger, but at the time it hit really hard. The grip of love was loosening not only with my past relationship, but even more with myself. Even more than before.
Ah, a short moment of understanding. This song to me is the first moment of foreshadowing in the album. It’s basically me pondering that people in general are complicated creatures. Minds are complicated puzzles. It’s my first real moment of understanding that a breakup isn’t the real issue with how I feel. Though, it’s an honest representation of knowing there’s an issue but not really knowing what it is or how to fix it. There’s something hiding in all of us. Also, I have a guitar solo on this song. Rock and roll, baby.
This song is kind of a continuation to The Corner’s Dilemma. My anxiety and depression had gotten so bad at that point that I was self medicating constantly to quell the symptoms. I was realizing a breakup wasn’t the true source of my issues, that something deeper was going on. That honestly had the opposite effect on my mental state than I thought it would. It caused me to drink more and try to escape because I didn’t know how to deal with it. I was spinning out of control. At the end of the song I basically pass out drunk and depressed, which leads me to...
Waking up hungover, drinking more to get rid of the hangover, which leads to drinking through out the day and passing out drunk again that night. It’s a vicious cycle. Vicious cycles are definitely a theme through out the first half of the record, but this song is the turning point. Despite its fun and catchy demeanor, It’s about when I truly realized that I was fucking up. It’s that brief moment of clarity in the bridge that starts off the second half of the story. It’s the first step to recovery.
One night, after a show, I had gotten pretty intoxicated and I hadn’t played up to the standards I hold for myself. I was upset, drunk, and I felt like I had let everyone down. I called out to my little brother, our bassist Justin, to talk to me. I cried to him and told him I needed help, that something is terribly wrong with me and it needs to be fixed. That night I promised him when I got home I would get some help. I started seeing a psychiatrist and learned that there was in fact something wrong and I was prescribed a medication to help. It has helped tremendously and was a big step in the process of getting back to being happy. This song encapsulates my thought process during all of that. Looking back at video of that show, it really wasn’t that bad, albeit a little sloppy, but I’m really glad that happened. I needed the wake up call.
At this point, I was doing a bit better mentally, and the band was working harder than ever before. To be honest Free Throw as a band and as people have always felt a bit like underdogs. It always seems like we are almost at the point we want to be but just inches away. Around this time we were feeling this even more than usual. Our last album had done a lot for us, but it seemed like a lot of people were upset that it wasn’t exactly what they had envisioned. This really bummed me out. It felt like though I had tried to put myself out there and some people wrote it off because it wasn’t the same as Those Days Are Gone. Also around this time I was on the path to getting better, but it seemed like some people around me didn’t believe it. It hurt. Of course I had my slip ups, but I was truly working hard. All around I felt held to a standard, without any form of true understanding from those holding me to said standard. It was a rough time and I tried to capture all of that in this song.
I’ve always had issues with sleep, from sleep paralysis, to sleeping for days on end, to the bouts with insomnia I’ve had over the past few years. I was suffering from insomnia through out this entire story, before and slightly after the start of my path to better mental health. I would often try to drink or use other vices to deal with it. Insomnia would affect my anxiety in crazy ways. This song is literally about one of the last times I was having bad insomnia. I was thinking about the effects it had on my body, especially with the drinking. What if it killed me? What if a loved one had to find me dead? Anxiety attacks are cruel. This experience caused me to “wake up” mentally and keep myself on track. No one ever said the road to being better isn’t a bumpy one.
To better have context on this song I recommend everyone reading this listen to a song called “Overthink” by Jay Vee, which is featuring myself on vocals and lyrics. It is the preface to this song. This song is about new beginnings. Though this album is about a journey of self, a helping hand never hurts. During all of this I met someone who understands what I’m going through and was willing to give me a shot, regardless. At first I was hesitant and not sure I was ready, especially seeing all that I had been through the past two years. If your mind is like the home for your inner self, mine was most definitely haunted. At this point though, I realized I was over thinking, why would I pass up something that felt so right? I think it was Wayne Gretzky that said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Or something like that. Or was it Michael Scott? Anyway, this leads us to...
This song is culmination of everything. It’s the moment when I finally realize I’ve done it. I’ve made it out of that dark place. I’ve finally learned to love myself. I’ve learned to enjoy life again. The song really speaks for itself, but it has a lot of references to Free Throw songs through out our entire time as a band. The whole album does, actually. This song is my fresh start. I’m still me. Just better. So it ends how it started, but with a better outlook on life. I know that everything tends to move in cycles, I just feel like I’ve broken the one that held me down the most. The past is just prologue to the story that lies ahead. Cheers.