When I started going to Warped Tour back in 2012, I had no idea what I was getting into. All I knew was that my best friend looked forward to that day year round, and she always talked about how much fun she had for at least a month after. So I went, and that first year- and even the second year honestly- I had fun without really getting into any particular band. Then last year I started working with a record label that managed a ton of bands on Warped, and as I started promoting them one band stood out in particular: The Color Morale.
The first time I heard about The Color Morale, it was when their newest album ‘Hold On Pain Ends’ came out. Every single song on that release talked about things that I had been through or seen friends go through, while also giving hope to their fans. It blew me away that this entire album seemed to be written with the sole intent of giving hope to the voiceless while also calling out society for how we stigmatize issues such as suicide and self injury.
The first song I heard from them was “Outer Demons” and once I got past the screaming (I still was a bit intimidated by that genre as a whole), I realized how much I related to the lyrics. My favorite lyrics from that song are “Is this you being yourself or acting on part to please someone else?” and “Boundaries don’t keep anybody out, they only fence us in.” While that was the first song I heard, the song that had the most impact on me was “Suicide;Stigma.” It makes me cry every time I listen to it, not only for the things I went through, but all for all the others who went the the same thing. It makes me think about how lucky I am to have survived my past, and it breaks my heart to know that others weren’t as lucky. The standout lyrics for me are “When I speak such a word, are you uneasy with how it’s heard? The stigma will never leave unless all of us can just start talking.”
But the lyric from “Suicide;Stigma” that gives me chills every time is “ Sometimes to win a battle inside, you need to start a war.” I’ve found that to be true in my recovery from self harming. It’s not easy at all, and sometimes you have to fight one tiny battle and rest for a while, but the only way to get out of it is to wage a war against yourself; and not the kind of war you’ve been fighting either, where you injure yourself just to feel. Rather than self harming, you have to get yourself out of the mentality, and find other ways to combat the issues you face, while also fighting against the urge to fall into your habit. For me, that new way to deal was music.
One of the biggest things that makes The Color Morale so inspiring to me is the fact that they genuinely care about their fans. They take the time to have real conversations, and they’re one of the few bands I’ve seen to put that much time into their fanbase. It’s a breath a fresh air. I can’t wait to see more from them, and I’m sincerely hoping they make it on Warped Tour this summer.