Singled Out: Jason Paulson's Bad Habits
"Bad Habits" is the first single off our new album and is actually the first song I had written for it. I sat down to write and just started strumming a kind of country shuffle thing. I was singing whatever came to mind and the first time through the words "I wonder what comes next, bad habits or bad checks" came out and I just started building around that.
Being a working musician is not the easiest road! Picking up what odd jobs you can between tours and album releases. I have felt the sting of that tag line more than once, and I imagine there is a good portion of the population that have as well. So I started putting together words that reflected my situation as well as the people around me. I suppose it is a bit of a blue collar tale.
The song starts "her eyes could always see, a better part of me, I wonder just how much I have left." How many people have looked in the eyes of their loved ones and forced a smile, trying to live up to something and falling a little short. "Money can't buy smiles, but it could hide the pain a while, instead of working three jobs to live in debt." I grew up with slightly hippie parents. That was kind of the motto, Love is all you need…….I agree it is, but if you have love already, a little less stress and more time with the people that mean most to you would be nice and sometimes money is the what can make that happen.
The chorus starts getting a little more personal, the tiredness of working so much, the nightlife running into the daytime, Being a dad, chasing a dream, trying to be a good husband, it all comes back to that tag line and wondering how much longer a person can continue to chase a dream before the price you pay is more than the prize at the end.
The rest of the song continues through the woes of a traveling musician or any father really that works hard and long hours to hopefully make a better life for his family. In the bridge I try to touch on the reasons why he continues a bit, or at least my reasons. "All who wander are not lost, and you can't avoid the cost, of the stories you can't throw away." I hope it's a small glimpse as to why to keep going.
The song ends with "So, I wonder what comes next, bad habits or bad checks, cause lately I've been too damn tired to fight." I hope it leaves the story a little unresolved. In a way it allows people to write their own ending. For me the fight keeps going. For the listener, well that is their call. We all go through the hard times, it is what you chose to do with the experience that creates the ending to any story.