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Against The Current’s Chrissy Costanza: “I Want This Record To Make So Many People Proud”

Chrissy Costanza
Chrissy Costanza 12 February 2018 at 11.22

Chrissy talks all things album two in her new column, taken from the latest issue of Rock Sound.

"Holy shit I’m tired, and we’re not done yet.

I’ve mentioned a handful of times how exhausting writing a record can be, but I still forget. We have the songs; they’re written and they’re chosen. Now they have to be completed. Then they have to have a visual manifestation: merchandise, music videos, graphics... the album needs a name and a face, still.

I’m grateful for Round Two already. It feels different - it’s heavier and lighter, more colourful yet completely desaturated - all at the same time. I can’t explain it.

I feel an excitement that’s electric, like all of my veins are sending an electrical charge through my body on an endless loop. But I’m also exhausted sometimes, like someone flips a switch and the power in my soul goes off completely.

It’s strange. Some of the songs were written a while ago, some more recently. Some were written about moments that feel like they existed in a different lifetime. There are songs with so much emotion woven into the threads that means nothing to me now. When I say means nothing, I don’t mean the song - the song means everything to me.

The emotions behind that song, however, aren’t real anymore. I’m not angry like I was when I wrote it, or sad, or happy, or anything else on the spectrum. It’s strange to listen to those demos and think about how it felt to feel those things that I am relieved of now. It’s cathartic to listen to songs filled with pain and know that I don’t have to feel that today. But there are also songs that hurt as much today as they ever did.

We have a song on the record about my friend Julius who passed away a year and a half ago, and the emotions still feel fresh. People forget to mention to you when someone passes away that it isn’t just darkness you feel. It’s a rollercoaster. I have this new thing, where on long drives I play out any scenario in my head I can think of that would bring him back to me today. They’re insane.

I’ve spent hours formulating this narrative in my head where he didn’t actually die, but he’s been in a coma this entire time and he’s brain dead, so his family told everyone he died but secretly couldn’t let him go and have kept him on life support. Then one day he wakes up. Who the fuck thinks of things like this in their spare time? And why? Is it supposed to make me feel better? I’m pretty sure it’s one of the most destructive things I could be doing with my time. Giving myself false hope, knowing it isn’t true, just to pretend for a moment that I’ll see him again.

Julius has been a driving force behind this record for me. I want to make him proud and show him that I can do this. His dream was music, like mine, but he doesn’t get to fulfil it now, so I’ll do it for both of us. That’s a lot of pressure to put on myself. If I fail, I fail twice as hard because I fail him too. Sometimes when I’m writing I think, “Would he like this? What would he say about it? What would his ideas be? How would he say this?” Instead of talking to myself, I talk to him.

Having him live in my head throughout this process has been exhausting for its own reasons. It’s also just not healthy, because I’ve created pressure that doesn’t exist. It’s been hard to not write every song about him, to not walk in every day and choose a different feeling that has come from his death to write about. I could write an entire record of songs about his passing. I have felt a variety of emotions I didn’t even know existed until now.

I want this record to make so many people proud, but he still stands out. I look for little pieces of him everywhere I go, anything to make me feel like he’s there watching over me. And maybe he’s not, maybe wherever he is now he’s got better things to do than follow me around all day and keep me on track. But I hope he pops in every once in a while.

I hope this record is something he would have been proud of me for. On the days that it was almost impossible to wake up, I pushed myself because I didn’t want to let him down. I’ve found another way to talk to him through writing this record, and I’m so grateful for it.

I can’t wait for you to hear it."

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