Growing up in the Massachusetts hardcore scene in the late 90’s/early 00’s, Jared Colby had a lot of different types of bands to draw inspiration from. He was at shows 4-5 nights a week, just taking in everything he could, always wanting to make a hardcore record that blended a lot of different styles together instead of just sticking to one particular type of thing. His new band SECOND SPIRIT just dropped their new album, “The Weight Of Just Living” and we’re stoked to give you a special insight into this project, including a new lyric video premiere, Colby’s commentary, his top 10 records that inspired “The Weight of Just Living”, and a special Spotify playlist with a mix of older inspirations and newer bands that have made Jared want to jump back into hardcore.
Second Spirit is a one-man hardcore band from East Nashville, TN. That’s right, just one person, making all that noise themselves. Second Spirit makes aggressive music meant to connect with the very core of anger and rage. It’s an eclectic sound that is as two-stepping youth crew as it is metal, and as thrashy as it is spacey. Their debut album, titled The Weight Of Just Living is written, performed, recorded, and mixed entirely by the band’s frontman Jared Colby.
The Weight is not your average, by-the-books listen – it explores many styles of the genre, while placing most of it’s focus on songwriting.
Asked about the meaning of the new single, Jared said that “‘Brotherless’ is the very first song that he wrote when he started recording “The Weight Of Just Living”. “I had parted ways with a very close friend a few years prior – someone who I still felt a lot of anger towards after sharing feelings of resentment and hurt with them and getting absolutely nothing in return. At that time, I felt as though I had not only been betrayed and left all alone by one of the only people who really understood me as a person, but someone I really trusted and looked up to as well.”
𝑆𝑖𝑛𝑐𝑒 𝑚𝑦 𝑓𝑒𝑒𝑙𝑖𝑛𝑔𝑠 𝑤𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑠𝑜 𝑟𝑎𝑤, 𝐼 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦 𝑤𝑎𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑚𝑢𝑠𝑖𝑐 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑟𝑒𝑐𝑜𝑟𝑑𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡𝑜 𝑟𝑒𝑓𝑙𝑒𝑐𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡.
He continues: “I purposefully recorded in an acoustically untreated room to bring out a harshness that can sometimes only be found by listening to a loud band in a practice space without earplugs. I knew that was very much what I wanted my record to sound like. Plus, I’ve always been more inspired by imperfect sounding hardcore records anyways!”
Jared wrote and recorded this song between the fall of 2011 and the winter of 2012 at his studio in Worcester, MA (right before moving to Nashville, TN), played every instrument and sang every lyric himself! “I even recorded and mixed it by myself.” – he admits. “Looking back on it now, I think that kind of solitude was very important for me in the recording process. To be able to access the kind of emotions that were necessary to finish a song like that was crucial, or else it wasn’t going to have the depth that I thought it deserved.”
“And since I was not only bad at communicating without swinging my fists back then and I also thought the topic was so unnecessary to write and sing about anyway (since things did not have to end the way they did), I certainly did not want to be around another recording engineer or a producer while I was recording. I wanted to sit in my feelings, not share them with anyone – the classic ‘Man-From-Massachusetts’ way.”
“The Weight Of Just Living” will be out on Trash Casual on December 17, 2021.
“This record is about expressing my deepest feelings out loud and trying to leave the past behind me, where it belongs.” – shares Jared.
𝐴𝑠 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑔𝑒𝑡 𝑜𝑙𝑑𝑒𝑟 – 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑘𝑛𝑜𝑤 𝑎𝑏𝑜𝑢𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑝𝑒𝑜𝑝𝑙𝑒 𝑐𝑙𝑜𝑠𝑒𝑠𝑡 𝑡𝑜 𝑦𝑜𝑢, 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑠𝑢𝑟𝑟𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑑𝑖𝑛𝑔𝑠, 𝑝𝑜𝑙𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑐𝑠, 𝑟𝑒𝑙𝑖𝑔𝑖𝑜𝑛, 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑑𝑐𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑠𝑐𝑒𝑛𝑒 – 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑑𝑖𝑠𝑎𝑝𝑝𝑜𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑠𝑎𝑑𝑛𝑒𝑠𝑠 𝑔𝑟𝑜𝑤𝑠 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛 𝑦𝑜𝑢.
“Having to live with that is tough.” explains Jared Colby. “The title of the record is meant to have a double meaning. Not only does everyone on this planet feel a weight of just trying to live through their day without getting sucked into the bullshit, but there is also a massive weight in living JUSTLY. Being the bigger man, doing the right thing. It’s very hard to carry yourself in that way all the time.”
Although currently located in East Nashville, Second Spirit’s story starts in the great city of Worcester, MA – a mecca of hardcore at a time where the genre was at its most vulnerable influential. Writer / producer / engineer Jared Colby grew up in the Worcester / Boston hardcore scene from the late 90’s into the 00’s.
He grew up playing and writing in bands of all different genres, and by the age of 14, he was touring on a regular basis. In addition to writing and performing in his own projects, another passion of his was recording and producing other bands, such as Outbreak, The Sleeping, Youth Attack, and many others. During this time, he had always wanted to make an album that blended his favorite parts of aggressive music with a pop writer’s format – traditional verse / chorus style and hooky parts that would really give the listener something to hold on to. An album just as much influenced by The Hope Conspiracy and American Nightmare as it is Nirvana and Soundgarden.
In 2011, he started to write this record by himself with a drum machine and a Les Paul. Realizing that he liked the process of working alone for such an intimate project, he decided he wanted to play every instrument, perform all vocals, and record it by himself. After rescuing a very neglected Slingerland drum kit out of an attic in Connecticut and scraping together some borrowed cymbals, he got to work at Trapdoor Studios, his home studio on the outskirts of Worcester. By the end of the year, Jared had written and recorded about 90% of The Weight of Just Living. Come 2012, he moved to Nashville, TN, and took his recording studio with him.
But once he arrived in Nashville, he began writing, recording and touring with soul / R&B outfit Alanna Royale and Second Spirit was seemingly put on the shelf, still unfinished. Years later, Jared was cleaning out hard drives in the studio and decided to put an ear on the hardcore album he started back in 2011. After a thorough listen, he realized that he was still very excited about these songs and decided they needed to be finished and released into the world. So he finished the last bit of vocals and promptly mixed it at his home studio in Nashville, Love House.
Jared has always been the type of person to share music and art when he did not have the right words to say exactly what he was feeling within a conversation, and there is plenty of that style of vulnerability on The Weight of Just Living. From the topic of having to walk away from toxic friends on the record’s fast-paced opener “Brotherless“, to the ongoing issue of police brutality and gun violence in America on both “Turn Cold” and “Pig Farm”.
Jared sat down with us to share his playlist of songs by bands that were very influential to him in writing and recording this album, plus newer bands that have really revived his spirit and his feelings on hardcore:
SECOND SPIRIT’s influences and newer bands in hardcore worth a check:
Second Spirit’s Top 10 Ten Most Influential Records
The Hope Conspiracy – Death Knows Your Name
Since my introduction to hardcore in 2001, I was always a huge fan of The Hope Conspiracy. I first saw them in Providence, RI on the Jane Doe tour with Converge and American Nightmare, and I was instantly hooked. This band not only played the tightest sets of any hardcore band, but the controlled intensity was like none other. When they released Death Knows Your Name, I was in a place in my life where I really connected with what Kevin Baker was writing about lyrically. Between that, and it being one of the best sounding records sonically I had heard in a long time – this record quickly became a reference for themes, sounds, art, everything.
Cave In – Until Your Heart Stops
This is one of the first records I ever added to my collection. An old friend sold me the double album pressing, sides A and B were on translucent orange, C and D were on translucent blue. As a 14 year old, I had never seen anything like that before. I always thought that Cave In was way ahead of their time, they always sounded entirely unique to me. I was instantly drawn into the fact that they could play some of the hardest music I’d ever heard and instantly balance it with ambient, larger than life, spacey music that they have become known for.
Bane – Give Blood
Bane has been such a huge LIFE influence for me. No exaggeration, I have seen this band probably a good 50 times since 2001. With my record, I was very inspired by Aaron Bedard’s lyric writing, phrasing, and delivery. I also had such a respect and admiration for what five guys from Worcester, MA were able to do with their lives based off of a hardcore band. They also played the same clubs I played, they ate at the same restaurants, loved all the same bands as I did, worked at the record shop I went to, etc. So naturally, I really gravitated towards this band at a very young age, and never let go.
American Nightmare – American Nightmare 7”
The first hardcore song I ever heard was “The Day the Music Died”. I had downloaded it on Kazaa, and immediately got a ride to Newbury Comics in Shrewsbury, MA to pick up the 7”. This record changed my life forever. To me, Wes Eisold was such a poet in a land full of tough guy nonsense. I loved how straight-ahead the songs were. Exactly to the point. Simple, fast drums, no double kick. Just purely honest and raw. But those lyrics are what made this band truly unique and complex.
There Were Wires – Somnambulists
This record was a hard pick because both There Were Wires albums were insanely influential to me. I vividly remember walking the halls of my high school with my headphones on, and both of these CD’s in my discman. Both albums reassured me that I wasn’t the only person out there who felt the way I did, who saw life differently than the people that were around me. And I always just daydreamed for Friday when I could jump on the commuter rail from Worcester to Boston for $2 and go see TWW in a basement somewhere. But I ultimately picked Somnambulists because I found myself going back to this record for reference during the writing process of my own album. The way they blended fast paced hardcore with slow moving colossal guitar riffs really blew me away. The way the album was sequenced, the guitar and bass tone, the whole thing. Just a great record, and VERY different than everything else that was coming out of Boston at that time.
Blacklisted – Heavier Than Heaven, Lonelier Than God
This one was very important to me during the writing process as well. Sonically a fantastic album, I strove to make something that sounded at least half as good as this album. George’s lyrics were so, so, so personal and gutting, that it really gave me the courage to dig deep into my own feelings and emotions and put them on display. I also thought there was something very different going on with the writing besides what a normal, run of the mill hardcore band is supposed to sound like. It was almost as if there was some sort grunge influence, like if the heavier moments of Nirvana suddenly got way more thrash and somehow, darker and bleaker.
Panic – Dying For It 7”
This 7” was also pretty life changing for me. I found out about Panic right after I had heard American Nightmare for the first time. Same deal, I was just so drawn to the rawness of the recording, the short songs, and the absolute bluntness of the lyrics. This record gave me the confidence to record and release an album that wasn’t sonically “perfect”, in a world of beat detective and sound replaced drums. To me, it just sounded like a band playing very loud and fast in a rehearsal space and that is what I loved about it.
All Pigs Must Die – All Pigs Must Die
I connected with this album during the writing process of “The Weight of Just Living”. Since I was already such a big fan of The Hope Conspiracy, I really wanted to hear Kevin Baker sing with a metal band. This record definitely influenced a lot of the d-beat style drum playing on my album, a lot of the faster metal style riffs. And of course, the lyrics just brought imagery of the apocalypse. I was sold from the first moment the needle touches the grooves on this record.
Converge – The Poacher Diaries
This is definitely a lesser known Converge album, especially when you look at how big Jane Doe was for them just a mere year or two down the road after releasing this one. But The Poacher Diaries was just so undeniably raw and really towed the line of hardcore and metal so well. I thought and still think it is one of the most brutal things I’ve ever heard. You just cannot argue with Locust Reign. Plus, Kurt Ballou’s guitar playing has just always been such an inspiration to me ever since I started playing in bands within this genre.
The Suicide File – Some Mistakes You Never Stop Paying For
The Suicide File was a classic case of a hardcore band that came and went too quickly. I always admired how they could easily blend hardcore, punk, and rock n roll riffs into the same song. It never sounded contrived. Brutally honest lyrics about the state of the world, politics, and the darker side of the Boston hardcore scene. And Neeraj Kane’s drumming just consistently steals the show. It was just perfect. This album being a collection of all the 7” records they ever put out, you could really hear the whole scope of what they were all about as a band within one album. And it resonated a lot in my own songwriting, I was able to look outside of my own life experiences for lyrical content.