When you write music, you have the opportunity to communicate with strangers in a way no other art form can. Music can be a powerful tool, a way to share words and feelings of darker emotions such as anger and pain, as well as uplifting ones of love and of hope. Torn in Two, an alt-rock band based in Huntington, W.Va., is aiming to make a positive difference in the world by encouraging others through faith and hope, and by facing each new day – head on. I got the opportunity to talk with Scott Smith (lead singer of Torn In Two) over the weekend, where they played at the new RadioActive Bar and Concert Venue in Vienna. So glad I got the chance to hear their music, and hear more about the band, as a whole:
Michelle: Tell me things that have nothing to do with what other interviews are about:
Scott: I think what people don’t ever get a chance to hear is about our struggles. You know like, why we truly do it – we really wanna inspire hope. But I think it’s that we’re trying to inspire ourselves.
Like I said earlier on stage (during the show), this is our therapy. I won’t be the first, and we won’t be the last musicians to say that.
M: But people don’t talk about that.
S: Right. Honestly, I’ve read some more things about a series that’s about to be done about the “lead singer syndrome,” and about what it is to be like that on stage, but with me – luckily it’s not my name up there. It’s Torn in Two’s. Every single person on that stage represents our album, Identity Crisis. Every single person on that stage represents Torn in Two, and that is, as a whole, a group of men, trying to go against the grain.
It’s the fact that, when we step on that stage, we, as a whole, are trying to define who we are as individuals. If you listen to the music on Identity Crisis, it’s all about looking yourself in the mirror. There’s literally a song called My Only Escape – it’s my favorite.
“I’ll look in the mirror, and my finger’s on a loaded gun”
It’s (about how) everyone is trying to deal with self image. Everyone is trying to deal with depression. Anxiety in our country is at an all-time high, and how can we combat that, ourselves? And for us, that’s music. And if real music isn’t being made, then no one’s getting their dose of their therapy.
M: So what do you mean by “real music?”
S: Music that; there’s nothing wrong with a good party anthem. I think every musician – every band that’s trying to be a pop band, I think they’re all looking for that pop anthem, that party anthem, that summer jam. There’s nothing wrong with that music. But I think that it directly ignores the problems that are going on in our society. And I think that that is what we’re (as a band) trying to do (address our problems). That’s something I can wake up every day for. We’re trying to say “No, you don’t have to turn away from your problems.” You can beat your problems. The Devil Inside – that’s our first time we ever played that song (at the show on Saturday). And that song is about dealing with those deepest, darkest parts of you. And I even say in the second verse:
So this is how you found me
This is why you’re here
Do I have to tear myself open
To get you out of here
And it’s like, you can say no. You don’t have to let it, or whatever the circumstance in your life is, win, today. You don’t have to give in, tomorrow morning, and just lay there in your depression. That’s what it (the depression) wants you to do. It’s a perpetuating circumstance.
And that if we, as a culture, would stand and look at it (depression), we could move past it, together. And that’s what music is. It’s culture, it’s community…it’s a scene. This scene, the rock scene, it’s angry, and they’re (often) looking just to be mad. But how can we re-channel that anger? How can we use that “anger” positively? You heard Sick. We opened our set tonight with a song called Sick. (the music video to this song begins with a statistical report on bullying and this song was written to help those who struggle with those pains, as well as other challenges in their lives). Everybody has those days where they’re freakin’ tired of it, they’re done. But how do you re-channel that into actually being productive and being positive-being the best you? I think that’s really what Torn In Two is really about, every day. And if we’re not there, yet, just like any person that isn’t over it, yet, we’re getting there. Every song we write, we’re closer.
Scott did go on to say he realized some people do need medication, and he wasn’t trying to discount that. But his concern seemed to lie in how many people are what could be considered “over-medicated.”
Torn In Two will be headlining a show in Marietta this coming Friday (May 26th) at the Adelphia Music Hall, alongside A Story Told, John Patrick & The Outside Voices, and Tulips. Be sure to check them out, and also, support their awesome message by buying their merchandise and telling your friends.