A lot went into writing your favorite song, but how much do you really know about it? This week Casey Boness, vocalist and guitarist of Seattle pop-rock trio Radumus, delves into 90-year-old tennis players, anti-bullying assemblies, and truly living life to the fullest.
Radumus will be performing Feb. 19 at El Corazon
Song: "Hope You Find A Way (Love & Laughter)"
Album: The Radumus EP
Release Date: Sept. 13, 2011
When it was written: Summer 2004
Where it was written: I began writing, and for the most part finished "Hope You Find a Way" in one sitting, on the living room floor with an acoustic guitar while visiting a friend in Pasco for the hydroplane races. I specifically remember the moment I finished writing the final lyrics for the bridge at about 3 a.m. in somebody else's living room in Indianapolis about six months later and we recorded the first version of the song a couple days afterward at a studio in Indianapolis.
Favorite line in the song: "Struggle is Optional / But if you just clear your head / Heaven doesn't have to be something you find until after you're dead."
Which part was the hardest to come up with: The lyrics to the bridge. For the most part, this is one of those songs that just came together really naturally, including the lyrics, which I usually take forever to write. "Hope You Find a Way" is just really true to where I was and how I was feeling at that time in my life and I think that came through in how fluid the song is. However, we were playing it live for several months before I finally figured out permanent lyrics for the bridge. So, for the first few months I would just make up the lyrics to the bridge on the fly each time we played it live. Lots of vowels. Not too many syllables.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be: When I just sit down and listen to "Hope You Find a Way," I feel really good about how it was written and nothing about the song yells out at me to be changed. That's definitely not the case with every song and is kind of hard to come by for me so I like that about "Hope You Find a Way".
However, when we play it live it's really difficult to sing the chorus well at the end of a long set because I'm tired and the notes are so high and hold for so long. I wish there was something I could do about that, but if we changed it, it wouldn't have the power that it has. So, instead, I just need to get back into vocal lessons, add another octave or so to my high vocal range, and quit crying about it.
Odd fact about song: The last chorus used to be "slow" like the first two chorus'. We changed it to be fast when we re-recorded it to be included on "The Radumus EP."
What was your inspiration for writing the song: I wrote this song at a very positive, spiritual time in my life when I was feeling really empowered and wanted to encourage others who were not feeling so empowered. I also just happened to meet a man who was then 81 years old, playing competitive tennis, driving a sports car, dating younger woman (You know, in their mid 60's type of younger woman) had just bought his first guitar and wanted me to teach him to play.
I've never been so inspired by such an undiluted, honest example of the undying human spirit in action and ultimately this man was like the real life "proof" to the message I was sending in the lyrics I was writing for "Hope You Find a Way". He's still alive and currently training to win the gold medal in the 90-years-old-and-over division for competitive tennis. When I grow up, I will be him.
When was your favorite time performing it live: Holy Crap. We have performed this song at every single show, ever single time, ever since it was written in 2004 ... So, that's alot of performances of this song! This is the song I've performed most in my life out of any song ever. We always play "Hope you Find a Way" last in our sets and we always lead the crowd through a sing-a-long of the chorus "Love and Laughter." For me, the percentage of the audience that is singing back to us during the sing-a-long is the number one barometer for how I feel the show went.
I'd have to say the top 10 times were all performance from our "One Big Team" anti-bullying school assembly program. Anytime there are 500-2,000 kids all yelling "Love and Laughter" back to you at the top of their lungs at the end of your set, you're going to have chills down your spine no matter what.
"One Big Team" performances excluded, I'd have to go with our first show out at the Gorge in George with Kings of Leon and Built to Spill. That was a huge, huge deal for me because I grew up near the Gorge and saw all of my concerts there when I was younger. So to be performing there myself was absolutely surreal.
What is the meaning behind the song: Unlike most of my songs, the proof is kind of in the pudding with this one in the way that there isn't much mystery in the lyrics. In general, I believe the power to become what we want to become and achieve what we want to achieve is within us now and that it is up to each of us individually to create the life we want. We can do that. We don't have to wait. We are not victims. We have control of our thoughts, feelings, choices and actions and the consequential results that arise from those things. Our life only sucks if we decide to let it suck. This is the notion I hope to empower people with and that they will "find a way" to get there.
Their is also a religious side to these lyrics. It really bums me out to see people spending their lives worrying about working their way into whatever heaven they believe in, regardless of their religion, and consequently go through life miserable in the name of a prize they hope to attain at the end of their tests, trials and tribulations instead of embracing life and living it to the fullest while they have it.