A lot went into writing your favorite song, but how much do you really know about it? This week Ryan Carney, vocalist and guitarist of Hawaii-turned-Washington alt-rock band Stoic F.B., delves into writing a magical song, losing a best friend and turning negatives into positives.
Song: "Next in Line"
Release Date: Oct. 2013
Where it was written: In the living room, bedroom and yard of my old house in Shoreline.
Favorite line in the song: My favorite line is, "Gnashing teeth and midnight moans / Awkward conversations, with underlying tones," from the second verse. It brings me back to the moments and feelings that inspired the song. It's my favorite song that I've written, mostly due to my emotional attachment to it.
Which part was the hardest to come up with: This was one of those "magical" songs that just happened. Musically and lyrically it just fell together. Even when I brought it to the band, it just flowed.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be: Nothing, I love it the way it is. If I could go back and not have lost my friend and gone through that long and painful part of my life, I would in a heartbeat.
Odd fact about song: I got the name "Next in Line" from an insult that an old friend threw at me. Perfect example of taking something negative and turning it into a positive.
What was your inspiration for writing the song: The song is about losing a best friend. I had a really close friend and band mate who was going through a very difficult time in his life, and his method of dealing with it was to derail his surroundings. He started lying and manipulating the people around him; it got really dark and twisted. Eventually he caused his friends to not trust one another because of all the stories and lies he was spreading. At one point, he openly admitted to me that he enjoyed the feeling of being in a room knowing everyone around him was uncomfortable because of his lies. We were living together at the time, so this proved very difficult for me. We'd been great friends for years, so I couldn't just walk away. I stayed and tried to be there for him. It got to the point where I was so stressed about it that I was having trouble sleeping, and I actually started grinding my teeth at night. It escalated to an apex and I would have been masochistic to continue the friendship. That may have been the hardest part because I had to break it off and kick him out. I still have so much love for him yet so much anger and pain for what he put me through. He ruined a few good friendships for me, and we haven't spoken in years.
When was your favorite time performing it live: I would have to say the first time we played it about two years ago at the Tiger Lounge in Georgetown. I got such a rush from performing it. Most of my songs have some personal aspects, but "Next in Line" is really the first time I laid everything on the table.
What is the meaning behind the song: The song is a story about being close to someone who is fraying at the edges. As they fall apart, if you stay too close, they slowly bring you down as well. It's about trying to stay and help for as long as possible, even though it's against your best judgment. The chorus sums up the emotions and the realization that although you don't want to, you must say goodbye. "I'm afraid, I'm afraid, I'm afraid that I'm through with you."