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Chrissy Costanza: “This Song Gave Me The Freedom To Be Angry Again”

Chrissy Costanza
Chrissy Costanza 29 October 2020 at 16.06

Reflecting on a new era for ATC.

Fresh from the release of ATC's new single, here's a brand new edition of Chrissy's Column, your insight into the mind of the voice of Against The Current

By the time you read this, Against the Current will have released our first new piece of music in over two years. You’ll already know that the song is called 'that won’t save us'. You’ll already have seen the video we made. And that absolutely terrifies me. We have told you all that we have gone back to our roots and we meant it. But the scary thing about going back is the uncertainty; will anybody be there anymore? Will anyone still care?

Rewind to about 3 or so years ago when we embarked on the 'Past Lives' era journey. I think it was pretty clear from the beginning of the writing process that we were a bit lost. When we finally wrote 'Strangers Again', things made more sense. But along the way we were losing our identity. I’m not going to sit here and trash talk 'Past Lives', because I still will always love that record and the songs on it. But it was so safe, and so passive, and that isn’t what I wanted to say. We had voices telling us to go pop, to make a radio single, that we needed a hit. So, we tried and tried. And don’t get me wrong, the ride was amazing. Voices is still one of my all-time favorite Against the Current tracks, and I loved the overall vibe of the era. But still, I had so many pent up emotions that were more than just that melancholy/moody space. It’s why playing a song like 'Talk' will always be therapeutic to me. Half singing/half yelling that chorus just for you to yell it right back at me is church for me. That song ends and I feel infinitely better than when it began. I wanted that feeling again. I wanted to throw my head around, jump all over the stage and paint the room red. Of course, we’re all still a bit unsure when we’ll see each other in person, but at least I got a small taste of it.

So back in January, I took a train down to Washington DC and then drove just outside to Maryland to write with Matt Squire. If you don’t know his name, you certainly know some of the magic he’s made. 'Dear Maria' by All Time Low? You can thank Matt for that one and countless others. This song, that won’t save us, is the first song we started together. He played me a bit of an instrumental idea and I was invested already. We wrote the song and demoed it the next day, but it wouldn’t be ten months until it actually reached the light of day.

If I told you that moment was the lightbulb and that I knew that song would be the one you’d hear first, I’d be a massive liar. I had doubts about the song for a while. After being thrown into writing session after writing session with amazing pop writers who have wrote some of the biggest hits in the world for 'Past Lives', I was unsure how my rebellion against my training would be taken. Those concerns always seem to be quelled when Dan and Will get their hands on a track though. Between the four of us, the guys, I and Matt, the song that you have in your possession today came to life. And then I felt it. I knew this was the song I needed.

I spent so much time on 'Past Lives' talking about myself, how I felt, my inner monologue, etc. never wanting to point the finger or place blame. But in reality, I was angry. Our band was in an extremely uncomfortable position with nothing but uncertainty on the horizon, my relationship had fallen apart and trust was destroyed, and ultimately, I just felt isolated, angry, and unsure of myself. I didn’t know what to do with all of that. This song gave me the freedom to be angry again, to yell a bit, to get loud. And the people around me encouraged me to let it rip, to hold nothing back, and pull no punches. The lyrics on this song mean so much to me. It feels spiritual and cathartic.

I have so much more to say on this song and I promise I will. We’ll talk about it for a while because it feels like I’ve come back into myself again. This is the Chrissy that is unafraid to say when she’s angry. I don’t want to be passive. I’ve never been ice, I’ve always been fire. I know a lot of us have been angry this last year. I hope this helps even a fraction of how much it helped me. Heads up. 

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