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December 2018 / January 2019
Feature

Why you need to listen to... Songs That Saved My Life

Laura Jane Grace, Dan Campbell and more tell us about their contributions to new charity compilation, Songs That Saved My Life.
Published: 2:25 pm, November 13, 2018
Why you need to listen to... Songs That Saved My Life

A new charity compilation for mental health awareness and suicide prevention, Sons That Saved My Life features your fave bands covering songs important to them. We asked five of our faves why they picked the tracks they did.

Against Me! cover 'People Who Died' (originally performed by Jim Carrol)

“Choosing to cover a song that is filled with death to be featured on a compilation dedicated to the thought that music can save your life seemed completely fitting to me. I’ve always thought music was about taking all the sadness, pain, fear and trouble that you have weighing on you and turning it into something empowering, celebratory and life-affirming.” - Laura Jane Grace

Dance Gavin Dance cover 'Semi-Charmed Life' (originally performed by Third Eye Blind)

"We all connect with that song because we grew up around the time it was a hit, and that was actually one of the first times I bonded over a song with a close friend. It kind of became a point of shared reality with somebody else; it gave us a reason to appreciate art together. That was me as a little kid, so it still rings true to me after all this time. There really are people out there who are extremely well versed in mental health, and they can help you in ways you might not necessarily have thought of before. There is help there with professionals so please seek help if your mind is going to places that might be a little difficult to confront." - Tillian Pearson

Taking Back Sunday cover 'Bullet With Butterfly Wings' (originally performed by the Smashing Pumpkins)

"The reason we chose 'Bullet With Butterfly Wings' for the 'Songs That Saved My Life' compilation is that I always used to listen to the song kind of on the periphery, but it wasn't until 1999 that I really started to identify with it. I went through a lot of struggles in high school – I had severe stomach issues with caused a lot of anxiety and depression and I had a hard time just getting up and getting out the door. Thanks to a lot of very nice teachers I went through a homeschooling programme, and I somehow got through it, graduated High School, and in 1999 I enrolled in community college. I took a class in the history of rock n roll, and for the first time I was like ‘I want to learn everything!' So on day one of the class the professor puts on ‘Bullet With Butterfly Wings' and just blasts it out, and I was like ‘God, I've known this song for years, but now it really speaks me'. He explained the lyrics and the imagery, and I thought ‘Wow, maybe school isn't the lamest thing ever!' It gave me a lot of hope, and although I didn't finish up that year in school soon I was playing bass in Taking Back Sunday and touring the world!" - Shaun Cooper

Dan Campbell covers 'Broom People' (originally performed by the Mountain Goats)

"For the 'Songs That Saved My Life' compilation, me and my friend Ace Enders did a cover of ‘Broom People' by The Mountain Goats. I chose it because when we talk about mental health, I think there's a misconception in the greater culture which understands depression to be this thing that comes from one specific catalyst event – so something bad happens, and you're sad for a while but then you'll be OK again. I think ‘Broom People' is a great encapsulation of the everyday, mundane depression – just how difficult it can be when you're depressed to take out the garbage, to clean out the fridge, to vacuum the carpet, the little things that seem insurmountable. I remember feeling exhausted as a teenager, and looking back that's probably indicative of the depression and the anxiety that I wasn't really thinking about in those terms at the time. But I remember every day being like ‘How can I possibly get through another one of these?!'. Songs can have these huge impacts on you and can do amazing things, like make you realise the way you feel in your brain, when you feel like you're the only person in the world that feels how you do, you go ‘Oh, at least one other person on the planet feels that way. But mental health is an everyday activity you have to attack it every day. It's important to say that you have to actively take those steps, you have to go and talk to professionals about these things."

The Maine cover 'Transatlanticism' (originally performed by Death Cab For Cutie)

"‘Transatlanticism' is a song that means something to every single member of our band and individually we all have our own interpretation of it. You have to commit to that song every time you sit down and listen to it because of its length and for me because of the lyrical content. It's one of those songs that if I'm not going to listen to all eight minutes, I'm not going to listen to a second of it. I remember a lot of nights listening to it in my car; you'll still see chills on my arms when I hear it. It's hopeful yet hauntingly ‘real' songs that has always resonated with me. The motive behind me personally speaking to people through song is attempting to convey that you are not alone in feeling alone. That's my one piece of advice; I think it's imperative to realise that we're all lost, and the point isn't to be found it's to keep going." - John O'Callaghan

Taken from the November issue of Upset. ‘Songs That Saved My Life’ is out now, benefitting Crisis Text Line, Hope For The Day, The Trevor Project, and To Write Love On Her Arms. Visit songsthatsavedmylife.com.

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