I remember the day I started on this song. I was sitting in my bedroom, I had just found the riff and the way that I like start on songs is to just sing random words, it helps me find a melody as well as ideas for a theme lyrically. Through this process I slowly etched away and eventually came up with the words to my chorus. I remember singing the line “All I can give to the world is my heart and my love.” When I sat for a moment to let the words sink in I thought this is fucking cheesy, who’s gonna like this. It’s interesting our initial reactions to things we create, they are vulnerable words that I really felt and still do, but so scared I was (channeling Yoda) to show my vulnerable self to anyone, I created resistance in the form of trying to negate a truthful statement of who I am and who I think we all are, caring loving beings!
This was the first time in my songwriting I had done this, the resistance came up and I asked myself is this what you want to say, do you truly believe this, is it a message you want to share? I answered yes to all three questions and from then on anytime resistance comes up in the form of telling myself maybe this is to cheesy, hokey, dumb or stupid, I return to those questions and more so than not I find I’m onto to something good that I really like. There are no rights or wrongs to artistic creation only preference in the form of an audience, but the actual creation is purely an extension and expression of one’s soul. When we let ego get in the way, we water down the beautiful experience that creating art is.
It wasn’t until months later when I was on tour for ‘Princess Of The Skies’ that I finished the song. I had only completed the chorus up to that point. I was in Thunder Bay for a show at the Apollo and I needed a motel for the night. I found The Kingsway Motel, I chose it because it reminded me of Edmonton, which has a street and mall named Kingsway. I had been traveling alone for over a week and needed to feel closer to home. I don’t know what it was about Thunder Bay and how I felt that day. I felt really content and at the same time I was holding a very heavy heart. Content because I was doing what I love and nowhere near the life I had waiting for me upon my return to Vancouver, which was where the heaviness came in.
After my afternoon of exploring I hunkered down in the motel, fueled by the incredible mixture of joy and pain, words began to flow from my voice and onto the paper that laid before me. I wrote a handful of songs that day, I had never been so prolific in one moment, a couple of the songs made it on to the ‘The Truth’ including Pick Me Up.
There is a lot of material on The Truth that stems from years of bottled up hurt, it was all pain that I wanted to share with family, friends and within my relationship at the time, but I carried such a fear of showing my vulnerable self. I was scorned so much in my youth that I believed I was worthless, so I turned inward and lived a world inside of my head. The amazing thing about our bodies is that it won’t allow you to hold onto this energy, the emotions we suppress will always want to get out and if it doesn’t, it turns into illness, mental disorders or what I ferociously practiced Addiction. We live in a symptomatic world, where if we see a problem we want to get rid of instantly, not spending the time to discover what lies beneath and taking time to heal it, let’s just get rid of it now, out of sight out of mind. I was so depressed even suicidal at times and I would turn to booze, cigarettes, food, shopping, sex, pills anything to temporally soothe my mind, but it always came rushing back afterwards, fueled by more shame & guilt over how I was quietly destroying myself.
Pick Me Up when I first wrote it was a cry for help, I was too scared to actually reach out for help, because I thought I would lose every one I loved. The first lines in it now are “A dark time has entered in our lives it feels like we’re out of control / We’re popping pills just to level ourselves man they’re killing our souls” when I first wrote it it was “A dark time has entered in my life it feels like I’m out of control / I’m popping pills just to level myself man they’re killing my soul”. I was literally writing about my drug addiction, no one knew what I had been doing to myself, but I had to get it out of me, even if it was temporarily. Singing and writing has always been very therapeutic for myself and has saved my life countless times. I was coming to my breaking point I couldn't hold on to all that darkness anymore. Over time I began to release my pain, my life fell apart when I did, but it was essential for my healing and growth. That’s why I changed the words later on, I found as I began on my lifelong path to healing the dysfunctions I’ve learnt, that I wasn’t alone on that path. Addiction in a nutshell is a habitual activity done that has negative consequences and we continue or relapse into them despite the consequences. Food, drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, TV, gaming, working, money, shopping and the list goes on. For that reason I believe there are a lot more addicts amongst us than the ones we can visually see affected living on the streets. There is nothing wrong with having these things to soothe ourselves, I just think they are more so a representation of our longing for acceptance, love, compassion, empathy from the world we were born into that can be so dark and negative. Beyond that as we grow further from the attachment of our parents there is an even deeper longing for acceptance and love of oneself. A desire to believe that you are whole the way you are, that you are not a mistake or a problem to be solved, that you are complete and beautiful the same way you were when you were born.
If I can gift anything to this world it is my love and when I do fall I sincerely hope you are there to help pick me back up and I will always do the same for you!
Pick Me Up
A dark time has entered in our lives
Feels like we’re out of control
We're popping pills just to level ourselves
Man they’re just killing our souls
We’re living in a world of fear
With too much pain in our heads
Holding on to hurt that don’t exist
I can’t believe we are all this ill
All I can give to you (All I can give to the world)
Is my heart and my love
I will fall along the way
But I pray to God that you will pick me up
What a strange world we’ve made
Sometimes I can’t believe my eyes
We’ve built this planet and it runs on pain
We all must suffer just to be alive
I want to wash myself of this
I want to love everyone
And feel the world coursing through my veins
And the only judgment we give is love