watch out for the viper shark.
On Monday, March 21st 2011, Swear Jar had our final practice. That night we finally fleshed out a song that had been in the works since June of 2010- this picture is Mitch’s diagram to the song. I didn’t know then that demoing that song would be our last act as a band. I can’t speak to how Morgan or Kyle or Greg feels, but I know what this means for me.
I was relieved that we’d worked our way through the practice because it felt to me like the distance that had grown between Mitch and I was in some way bridged in that weekend. I spent a lot of time that year in isolation, and it took its toll on a lot of things- Mitch was one of those. The day before that last practice we spent the afternoon together, talking through our problems and realizing how fucking dumb us fighting was. Finishing that song was an exclamation mark on the idea that we’d get through any negative shit we had been going through, because that’s what good friends do.
That week, we tweaked the lyrics to fit where we wanted them to be. He sent his final suggestion for the “vocal break” to me at some crazy time in the morning. I remember thinking “oh god, it’s perfect” before falling back asleep. In the weeks that followed his death, thinking about that practice and the process of creating with Mitch really helped me out. In ways I don’t feel I can currently do justice, we were perfectly suited to frustrate the shit out of each other and then both end up happy. I can’t pick up my guitar and not think about what he’d suggest, or what he would be playing loudly while I tried to tune (most often refused, or little lungs), or the first time he made fun of me for not knowing how to play a power chord despite the fact that I knew way more “theory” than him.
What started as Mitch and I goofing off in a basement, playing keyboards and hoping to be a two-man electro-pop band (specifically made as a way to meet girls) became something real over time. Something that captured- as best as two guys who couldn’t sing or play guitar (and certainly not both at once) could- what being us was like. ”Viper Shark” is about being fucking scared of so much shit, but trying to get through that. Essentially that’s what everything Swear Jar ever touched was about.
Tonight, eleven months and three days later, the finishing touches are being put on the recording of this song. I feel there is no way that it can act as the goodbye I would want it to, because no goodbye will ever be right- I just hope we came close.