Singled Out: Red Arms' Run Away
Red Arms recently released their new album "Critical State" and to celebrate we asked Roberto LoRusso to share the story behind the song "Run Away". Here is the story:
We were writing for the new record and our hope was to make the new record more sonically diverse than our previous work. Eric Longtin and I are the primary songwriters in Red Arms so we were both trying to bring our best riffs to the table and bounce those ideas off each other. We then work on a tentative arrangement and add parts to each others riffs that we hear in our heads. This has worked out extremely well. I had the basic chords of the verse and chorus and the Eric modified the opening riff and fixed the vocal melody. Eric is a genius when it comes to vocal melody. He hears things that just make the song a million times more catchy.
We hashed out a basic arrangement and then brought it to Curt "Murder" Herbert (bass) and Jay Westman (drums) to do more tweaking of the arrangements and to write the drum and bass parts. I can not stress enough how much better the song got as each member added their special twists. When people talk about chemistry, this is it. The song was all but complete, we had the vocal melodies all sorted too, just no lyrics.
The lyrics are the hardest part. The songs always come together so quickly but the lyrics take so much time and this is because, for me personally, there is no more efficient way to ruin a perfectly good song than to throw together mediocre lyrics. The song deserved something good and I was trying to figure out what the hell to sing about, especially something that would fit the mood of the song. Unfortunately, inspiration of the worst kind was about to hit.
Sunday, Feb 12, 2017 I received the following message
"Hey Rob, if you could give me a call as soon as you have a moment I would really appreciate it (I know it's been awhile, this is important). -Amy"
It was my Ex's sister-in-law. We hadn't spoken in years. It was not at all common for her to reach out. I knew something was very, very wrong. My wife and I had just got up and I was reading my messages in my den. Carey was standing right behind me when I got the message. Somehow we both knew it was going to be bad. "Rob, you better call right now". I did.
Amy answered right away and I straight-up asked what had happened to her. Through her sobbing she managed to spit it out. "Trisha passed away last night". It was a gut punch. She didn't have to say another word I already knew it was by her own hand. She had been struggling for a number of years. Despite her talents and her accomplishments there was still that relentless inner critic that would never let her enjoy those things.
We were estranged by this point, however, it was my duty to reach out to all our old mutual friends. One by one, I had to let every one of them know before the news broke on social media. She was very well known in the city and internationally because of her music career. It was a furious race against time made all the more difficult by not having any information about the circumstance of her death, aside from being a suicide. The unanswerable questions made it all the more difficult.
To say I was experiencing conflicted emotions would be an extraordinary understatement. Somehow I had to reconcile the joy of this new life with Carey with this sudden loss. My wife was empathetic and supportive but the circumstances were extremely challenging for a newlywed couple. It made for an extremely complex grieving process to say the least.
The complexity turned to anger. I was so angry that she let it get to that point. I was angry that she isolated herself from her amazing family by living on the other side of the world. I was so angry that the last time we spoke we had a fight and the last words I spoke to her were in anger.
All I wanted for her was to have what I had found myself. She deserved that in the same way I did. I had moved on and I so desperately wanted that for her too. We weren't compatible but that didn't mean I didn't care what happened to her. She was a good person and she was so loved by her close friends and family. She, like everyone else, deserved happiness. Her state of mind, however, could not let her see that as a possibility and in an ultimate act of betrayal, her own mind lied to her and convinced her that it would never be, and for that I grieve.
I wrote the lyrics for Ran Away the day after her celebration of life. I had to put this noise in my head somewhere. I needed to be present for my wife, my family, and my friends and I couldn't do so with all this anger.
The song is bittersweet for me. It one of the best songs we've written as a band but I hate what inspired the words. Mental illness is no joke and we need to do a better job as nations to ensure the resources are accessible and affordable. Take care of yourselves.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself right here!
Singled Out: Red Arms' Run Away