Every song helps tell a story about a man that has endured a life of many trials and tribulations, and has discovered what it means to overcome the influences on humans’ self-destructive ways: This is The Stories We Tell Ourselves by Nothing More. The new album dropped on September 15, 2017. It showcases further experimentation with instrumentals, vocals, and sentimental narratives. Nothing More has always woven their intellectual insight and influences into a unique listening experience. The band members stand out from many of their peers, in regards to recognizing the damage done to the moral fiber of humanity. The instrumental composition of each track makes the perfect background for setting up the rollercoaster ride of life-altering experiences, portrayed by the narrator, Jonny Hawkins (vocals), with a few additional bits of wisdom, from the late British philosopher Alan Watts.
On The Stories We Tell Ourselves, the narrator (Hawkins) becomes frustrated with the people around him, as they try to blindly change the world and continuously fail to do so. He decides that everybody falls for their own ignorance and deceives other people into using counter-intuitive solutions to fix society. He is convinced that society needs to burn to the ground and be entirely rebuilt. Unfortunately, he begins to struggle with maintaining a major relationship that he holds dear, as he is realizing that he is just as guilty of being ignorant to his own personal shortcomings. He expresses that he has fallen victim to criticizing other people for making the same senseless mistakes that he is, also, making. This causes him to doubt his ability to understand where he truly lies with humanity. He attempts to make right of the situation by tuning his perspective to better his relationship with himself.
As his relationship continues to fall through the cracks, he spends a little time trying to understand why he cannot come to terms with the fate of such a huge part of his existence. Finally, he discovers that in spite of his shortcomings and challenges he can still be an important part of changing the world. He gains a stronghold on his desire to overcome his personal trials and tribulations. One day, while looking at his father in the face, he recognizes his father’s assurance that he will find his way through life and to never let his challenges stop him. The narrator then passes this on to his own son.
When listening to the album from beginning to end, the storyline makes complete sense, assuming that everyone who listened to the album interpreted the message from the exact same perspective. In reality, a group of people cannot always fulfill their mission to relay important messages, to the public. A difference in perspectives often causes a conflict of interest, which disrupts the ability to educate and inspire others to fulfill a greater purpose. When there is conflict of this nature, those who bear witness to the conflict often become a part of it. This causes more frustration and a desire to completely destroy the root of the conflict.
In the heat of the moment, the conflict can continue to expand. More and more humans are weighing in on the current events of the world, through a vast array of different social outlets. They can become more than passionate and end up emotionally distressed by certain opposing views. Often, the conflict carries more weight because senseless judgement and belief systems, causing a manifestation of warped opinions on how humans should treat or view one another. It becomes obvious that too many humans are destroying the future for everyone, without thinking before they speak or act. This leads to a massive amount of confusion on how others should view themselves.
The most intuitive humans end up the biggest underdogs of society, when they get caught in the cross fire of the conflict. Their insight often gets undermined by ignorance and bias. It can make them believe they have failed themselves and the world around them. They not only recognize their own flaws, they can end up allowing others to feed more insecurity into their heads. When they further doubt their own wisdom, they find it harder to come to terms with their own need to maintain their perspective on life. “Funny Little Creatures” is the tune that expresses the way self-doubt can cause a person to question everything they know to be true and fear the thought of not having themselves completely figured. The funniest thing about bearing a keen sense of what is happening in the world is having the knowledge that those who do not have that intuition tend to be the first to point their figures.
Given that those who live in worldly oblivion are usually very skilled in the practice of masking their flaws from public view, that is potentially why they feel that anyone who wishes to be real with themselves and openly admit that they do not have themselves completely together are in need of what would be labelled as “tough love”. It is really just an excuse to place harsh judgement on an imperfect person, which makes them feel more in control of themselves. A person who is highly intuitive may end up withdrawing themselves from speaking their mind, altogether, which results in less credible insight being available to those who need to hear it the most.
What good comes from speaking on anything unless one understands the meaning and weight of their words and actions? It is the ability for people to analyze their environment, find the appropriate way to speak on what they have learned of their environment, and understand how other people respond to what they hear and see that makes a world of difference, in a conversation about how society needs to change its thought and behavior patterns. Part of the process of understanding other people’s responses usually means that one learns how they think or behave, when relaying the message to the masses. One must, also, not allow another person’s warped views of reality to cause them to doubt their own intellect.
However, what if everyone told themselves that they do not need to change themselves in order to help make this world a better place to live in? Would anyone truly understand how to live in a world with over 7 billion people and not influence every single one of them to breed more of the hate and ignorance that the world already lives with? If everyone that lives on this planet listened to The Stories We Tell Ourselves, those who have yet to come to terms with how their views are causing substantial conflict might just feel compelled to start wanting change in themselves.
If there is one band that can relay social ideas to the masses, effectively, it is Nothing More. If this is so, why are there still people that are not paying attention to the messages presented in the band’s work? One of the most important reasons to remember is that people in our world can hang tightly onto their feelings and beliefs. They can end up blocking out certain ideologies or truths that contradict their own views. Nothing More shares thoughts and ideas that can be viewed as a bit radical, to some individuals. They do not shy away from speaking on what they recognize is true of the world.
More importantly, if there is a prime example of how to bring a group of people together to effectively heed warnings to the public and share knowledge of the state of the world, as it is right now, Nothing More can be looked at for inspiration to shed light on reality from the blended perspectives of many people. They prove that anyone can overcome opposition of their views to be heard, and that it might just be the message that everyone needs to hear. They further reassure that anyone can overcome personal conflict to be a positive influence on the way society operates, making a more positive experience for everyone.
Hawkins is one of the most unique vocalists, in the fact that he always seems to take on the world and its woes as his own. His vocal style is unmatched in its ability to provoke deep thought, by many of the most legendary vocalists. Hawkins truly sets the example for how to relate the music to those who are coming-of-age and thirst for valid reasoning on life. Hawkins has been the poster child of representing the unified efforts of the band in the development of each record, from the beginning. This particular album showcases that ability in Hawkins, even more than the previous records. Where others fail to fully express their feelings on what is happening around them, Hawkins has always come through for the speechless. Even with this album being a four man effort in merging their stories together as one, it is obvious that Hawkins could easily convince the audience that the newest record is his autobiography, with no questions asked.
Suppose that this was the case: Can one truly connect with a message that does not bear similarities to their own state of mind? People make connections best when the message sent hits closest to home. Nothing More truly stands out as a band, in this regard. Before the connection can be made, the need to listen must be a high priority; otherwise, the message will never be heard. What one does not hear might just have the most detrimental impact on how they understand the world they live in, let alone themselves.