September 23rd, 2018

Oh Mic! - Maybe

byMic Manaras

In early April I had the opportunity to take a spontaneous vacation to visit my cousin in Athens, Greece. It was just under a week, but for the first time in years I felt real peace.

There was no schedule, no meetings, no pressure to wake up and rush into traffic or even that guilty feeling that I should be doing something more productive. I was so far off the grid it felt like my body and soul couldn’t register where I was, like my internal GPS lost its signal and consequently went deep into relax mode.

Every morning we’d walk down to the local bakery for an iced coffee and a little treat, laugh about stupidities and then walk around some more, casually greeting passers by with our broken greek accents. There was no sense of urgency or panic in the greek people, just genuine friendliness and good vibes; it was contagious. For a people facing such an unbelievable economic crisis, they sure seemed a lot friendlier than what I was used to.

So after a week of iced coffees, soaking in the sights and shooting the breeze, it was time to go back home. But instead of turning the machine back on once I landed, I feel like I left myself on airplane mode, taking what I learnt from my trip with my cousin and trying to be a little more appreciative, taking an extra second to enjoy.

So when it was time for the next recording session, I wanted to write something fresh. Inspired by the feeling I got from a new Dropkick Murphy’s song called “Blood”, I wanted to write a song I could sing with my friends, about my friends that gave us the feels. I had no clue where to start though.

A few nights before I was due in studio, while watching some insane conspiracy video on YouTube, I was noodling with a simple chord progression and the words “I tell myself I’m gonna read 500 hundred books a year” came out. Intrigued, I thought I should press record on my phone’s voice memos and see what else could come out.

It turns out I was subconsciously spitting out where my head was at after my trip, questioning my overachiever motives and asking myself if I already had what I needed. The lyrics just casually emerged, not even rhyming, but it felt real so I went with it. The talking verses were random goals, the pre-chorus is that realization “Do I have what I need, am I good?” and the chorus was the ode to my friends, my loved ones. It’s me expressing my gratitude towards them and how much joy it brings me to just shoot the shit with them, and that everything else is just noise.

The music in my songs always reflects my headspace, and the other ones are very noisy and manic. Maybe is a result of my trip to Greece, it’s calm and relaxed, and very in the moment. That’s why I felt recording it on acoustic guitar with minimal added production, not overthinking the lyrics or melodies, just letting it happen would be best.

I’m not sure why it clicked like it did in Greece, but it made me realize that even if everything I was working on crashed and burned, if I could still go for a coffee with my friends, I wouldn’t be doing so bad.