The Exchange will be performing January 23 at El Corazon
A lot went into writing your favorite song, but how much do you really know


How A Smartphone Piano App On A European Train Sparked "Tell Me Your Story"

The Exchange will be performing January 23 at El Corazon
A lot went into writing your favorite song, but how much do you really know about it? This week Mikey Moore, lead singer of alt rock band The Exchange, delves into lost ships, European backpacking trips and lending an ear.

Song: "Tell Me Your Story"

Album: Tell Me Your Story - Single

Release Date: September 2012

Where it was written: In the living room of my house.

Favorite line in the song: "You're like a ship that can't find land, I'll be your courage, here's my hand / Giving you strength in which to stand, and I will listen."

Which part was the hardest to come up with: I wanted to convey the feeling of what someone who is misunderstood and lonely might feel like. The analogy that came to mind was that of a ship being lost at sea, maybe in the fog or without direction, to paint the picture of what a person might feel like who is depressed or lonely. Funny, how that was the hardest part of the writing process, but it became the favorite line of the song.

Odd fact about song: The melody for the song was created on a train ride through Europe, while riding the Eurail through Germany. Our lead guitarist/piano player, Britt Espinosa, had a small piano app on his phone and came up with the catchy tune while on a backpacking trip through Europe. When he got back from his trip, he played it during a band practice. Then I told him about the inspiration I had for a song, and we put the two together to write the song. Within a year of that train trip, the song was a semi-finalist on a local Seattle radio station and had over 6,000 downloads on the internet, as well as being played on radio stations across the nation. Who could have known that plunking some notes out on a smart phone app on a train ride, and my frustration with a friend, would result in a song that encourages us to listen to one another and bring healing to our relationships?

What was your inspiration for writing the song: Each of us have people in our lives that are difficult to get along with. You feel irritated and annoyed at them. At the time I wrote this song, I had been struggling with a friend that seemed selfish and self-absorbed. It was difficult to get along with her. People around her were staying distant from her because of how selfish she was on the outside. One day, though, I had a chance to really listen to her, to hear her story. I realized that she was crying out for someone to just listen to her. She pushed everyone away but really all she needed was someone who was willing to listen. She was depressed and lonely. I took time to really listen to her story and then I could better understand her. The simple act of listening to her gave her strength and hope.

It made me realize how many other people have such deep stories that are hidden under their outside negative behaviors. Over the past couple of years, at our concerts, we hear the stories of individuals who have had such incredible hurt in their lives. On the outside, they push people away or make it difficult to be their friend. Have you heard the statement, "Hurt people, hurt people"? People, who have hurt in their lives, usually end up hurting those closest to them. Sometimes just simply listening to a person, hearing their story, can make all the difference in the world to that person.

When was your favorite time performing it live: Every time we play this song, the people in the crowd immediately sing along with the "woahs, woahs." Whether we are playing at a large venue or a small coffee shop, it explodes into a warm feeling of community, even though we we're all strangers at the beginning of the night. That is the magical moment - when we feel like we are one big happy and caring family. We have had several memorable moments with this song. One was in Dallas, Texas at the opening for a fashion show; we played it acoustically on the white covered runway. However, probably our most favorite moment has to be back in November, when we performed an acoustic version in front of a 3500 person crowd, with all their voices singing along!

What is the meaning behind the song: We have so many ways to connect with others and yet people more than ever are feeling disconnected, depressed and lonely. Have we lost our ability to really listen? To really hear the stories that are shaping people's lives? We live in a highly connected society and yet, more than ever, people feel alone and disconnected, uncared for and not listened to. This song talks about this bold question we need to ask ourselves - "Am I willing to just listen?" We all feel like we need to judge and give other people our own opinions but what if we just listened.

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