December 8, 2017
For the last three and a half years I’ve fronted a punk band called Food for Worms. And while I had always had starting a band while in Korea at the back on my head it took me about a year to finally start doing something with that idea. I was galvanized by a show that I saw on April 12, 2014 at Jeng-iy, a dive-bar with a stage that hosted live music in Daegu, South Korea. The line up featured Dead Gakkahs, Colours, and Genius. And I want to say The Plastic Kiz.
By that summer I had a band, and we had some songs. But this isn’t about the history. That’s another story for another day. This is a sentimental rant about how fucking much this has meant to me. And while I’m trying to swear less, I don’t think I can accurately reflect the importance of this band in my life without the use of casual swearing.
And tomorrow (Dec. 9th, 2017) we play our last show. We’ll spend the afternoon in the studio recording one last EP to be released posthumously, then take the stage at Club SHARP around 10pm. People often say “I promised myself I wouldn’t cry.” But I make no such promises.
Michael, Paul, Stephen, and Yu-Shin have become brothers to me. And there’s not much I wouldn’t do for any of them. There’s something about creating things with people that bonds you to them. As a writer I’ve worked mostly on individual projects. So my creative life, in the past, has been a lonely one. And other than the handful of times I’ve done theater, I’ve haven’t done much with collaborative creativity. But creating these songs, and putting on shows and working in a medium of artistic expression that I never have before has been amazingly enriching, and I couldn’t have been more fortunate than to have worked with these guys. The process was always one of encouragement and collaboration. It was always about how can we make this song better. There was never a real sense of fighting over creative control. It wasn’t a group of people working towards one person’s “vision” or any of that. I’ve read a lot of rock bios and band histories over the last few years and I realize, looking back on the last few years and realized that a Food for Worms biography would be a really boring read. And I don’t see that as a bad thing at all. There was never any major drama. There were no scandals. Nothing to tarnish it.
Through being a band frontman I gained a long dormant confidence. Although, I do sometimes feel like very much a different person on stage, almost to a disembodying degree,I never played a character. It wasn’t a performance so much as unleashing another part of myself, and letting that run wild. I’ve often said, “This isn’t a hobby. This is therapy.” and it’s done more for my mental health than counseling or SSRIs ever could.
I lost count of how many shows we did. But I loved every one of ‘em. There’s ones were were were on fire, and ones where we were a bit off. There were ones where I was sloppy drunk, and other where I was stone sober, but each time I was intoxicated. Fueled by whiskey, espresso, and carbohydrates.