Singled Out: Darro's You're Not Insane
Alt rocker Darro recently released a brand new single called "You're Not Insane" and to celebrate we asked him to share the story behind the track. Here is the story:
"You're Not Insane" is really a commentary on two things. The first is how we as a society tend to only present our "best selves," like a curated collection of our life. We talk about vulnerability but don't always show it.. The second is that just because a person looks okay on the outside, doesn't mean that they are, and even when it's revealed that they do have problems (be mental or physical), they are praised because they "look okay." My issue with that is that it sometimes feels like our problems are discounted.
This all stems from my brain tumor. In 2017 I was diagnosed with a brain tumor (non-cancerous) on my pituitary gland.. The tumor had been wreaking havoc on my body for years, acute hormone imbalances, mood swings, weight gain, and bone changes. I had several operations to fix problems caused by the tumor (knee surgery and jaw surgery) before I knew that the tumor was the main culprit. Once the tumor was found, I had brain surgery to remove it. Over the course of a year after the surgery, my body changed drastically again; I dropped a lot of weight, swelling went down etc. With proper medication, I'm able to get myself to semi-normal function levels, but this is basically what I have to deal with for the rest of my life, this is my new normal.
To anyone who didn't know me before the operations, I look completely normal. And to everyone, I look normal now, but I'm not. I have waves of depression, crippling anxiety, chronic fatigue, arthritis, hypothyroidism, acromegaly...the list goes on. But most of these are invisible illnesses. So whenever I tell anyone about the brain tumor, they're shocked, but almost
immediately follow with "but you're doing great! Look at you!" ...I don't always feel that way. In fact, I feel normal less than half the time. Most of the time I feel like crap, and am putting on a face to blend in.
The song itself is supposed to mimic my frustrations with these feelings, but also to show the humor and irony of it all: we all pretend to be great when we're not. The melody of the riff that repeats throughout the song was crafted in a way that sounds aggressive or angry when played with distorted guitars, but really playful and kind of silly on synths. So I have that motif repeated by all of the instruments throughout the song, switching from serious angry guitars, to playful ironic synths.
The drums were very much inspired by "Proof" by Paramore. I love the drum part in that song so much, and pattern being repeated on the entire drum kit with heavy emphasis on the toms, they sound huge but also fun and playful. I also wanted the drums to be melodic, and to contour with
the melody of the guitars.
The content of the lyrics show the most obvious irony. I explain that I've been trying to fit in with others by trying to be "normal." But I can't seem to do it because I have all these problems, despite others reassuring me that I'm okay. Then eventually you realize that everyone has problems, and in reality, I do fit in, but not because I'm normal, but because there's no such thing. I realize that everyone has problems, and I actually fit in because I have issues: the normal thing IS to have problems, be it mental or physical. So it's a complete flip on the idea of fitting in and being normal through the scope of health.
Of course, this is a completely internal observation of the world, so I know it doesn't ring true for everybody, but I hope that someone can relate in some way. Because hey, aren't we all kinda messed up? In some way or another?
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself right here!
Singled Out: Darro's Signing Out