Soon after releasing “it always hurts and one day it will win” (Zegema Beach Records / Tomb Tree Tapes), one of the most striking post hardcore releases of the year, in early October, Oregon screamo band TO BE GENTLE have served a jaw-dropping follow up in the form of a 33:30 min long single ““A Love Song for the Terminally Haunted” and “Love Songs for the Terminally Haunted (5 Years)”, a 132-track (!) collection of all of their songs, celebrating the 5 years of the band, showcasing a chronological-order archive of the official tracks released throughout 2017-2022. To celebrate this unique moment in the band’s history, we sat down with their vocalist and guitarist Eve Beeker to discuss the new releases and dive deep into the lyrical content behind each and every song from “it always hurts and one day it will win”.
The band’s newest mega-collection release “Love Songs for the Terminally Haunted (5 Years)” marks their5-year anniversary as a band. TO BE GENTLE was formed in 2017 by Eve Beeker and Pat Fisher and has seen a lot of phases and has endured a lot.
“I wanted to celebrate this milestone by archiving all the official tracks we have done so far at a very affordable price. There are many options on Bandcamp to support us, but I felt like this was appropriate and kind of a fun way to say “thank you”.” – comments Eve Beeker.
Asked for possible vinyl or CD offering of this behemoth of a release, he adds that “there are no plans for this particular release to have physical media”, but leaves a good teaser by saying that ‘There will be something similar in Spring of 2023.”
TO BE GENTLE’s newest track, an over 33-minute long epic “A Love Song for the Terminally Haunted” is dedicated to Eve’s ex partner, who he is still very close to.
“The song is about me and her, independently and together, struggle with our pasts.” – comments Eve.
“The lyrics depict me sitting in front of my old stereo listening to songs that remind me of her, at incredibly loud volumes.”
Expounding more on the lengthy format, he admits that the song length is more of a statement than anything. “I really want to invite the listener in and stay for a while.” – says Eve. “We have long movies, poems, books, etc, I figured a long, epic song of sorts would be fitting too.”
Speaking about the cover art for the single, Eve reveals that the cover is his stuffed ghost, Cornelius, who is very special to him and symbolizes his inner child healing.
“My goal with this song was to leave a legacy behind and a time stamp on our relationship.” – he concludes.
What’s interesting, the band’s previous song “How Bright You Shine” “piggybacks on “A Love Song for the Terminally Haunted””, taking a lyric from the latter and using it as the song title.
“It is also about the previous person, but has a more jubilant and childlike energy to it.” – adds Eve.
To Be Gentle is the passion project of marred mental healths. It is my calling and purpose to care for and love others, and to ultimately heal, through the art and music that is To Be Gentle. – Eve Beeker
While TO BE GENTLE always did have a sonic signature of their own, their latest album “it always hurts and one day it will win” feels like something realer, more touching, more fully rounded, with not just catharctic emotional contrasts, but unfolding narratives working through the structures of the captivating tracks.
We all have songs that helped us through tough personal moments, that have changed our way of thinking for the better, or have shaped and reflected our own views. For some, views and perspectives of what mental health really means. On the other hand, the expression of feelings and experiences are crucial for recovery from mental health conditions, and TO BE GENTLE‘s Eve Beeker took this exercise with deep understanding and visceral portrayal of his experiences and troubled feelings.
““it always hurts and one day it will win” is about my moment-to-moment struggle with mental illness.'” – he admits. “I wanted to write a record that truly encapsulated how I feel on a daily basis, and present it in a genuine, but not overbearing way.”
All proceeds from this album will be donated to the White Bird Clinic in Lane County to support their important work in TBG’s local community.
“From the art and promo, to the songs and lyrics, I wanted everything to pertain to how my internal monologue sounds like and what my wounded inner child looks like.” – says Eve.
“This points to the greater theme of universal care and compassion: you never really know what people are going through on a daily, moment-to-moment basis.”
𝑊ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑠𝑎𝑦 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑑𝑜 𝑡𝑜 𝑜𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑠 𝑟𝑒𝑓𝑙𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑠 𝑏𝑎𝑐𝑘 𝑜𝑛 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑓, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑤𝑒 𝑠ℎ𝑜𝑢𝑙𝑑 𝑏𝑒 𝑎𝑟𝑡𝑖𝑐𝑢𝑙𝑎𝑡𝑒 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑔𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑙𝑒 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑒𝑎𝑐ℎ 𝑜𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟.
Arguably the strongest TO BE GENTLE release to date, ‘it always hurts and one day it will win‘ is a truly special collection of 10 songs that deal with honesty, accountability, beauty, loss, and acceptance through the medium of post-hardcore, screamo, post-rock, grind, and metal.
The level of emotion, catharsis, and songwriting here is enveloping and caressing, despite being rooted in aggressive music. – Zegema Beach Records
Track by track commentary, by Eve Beeker:
“the crevices in my head are filling with black water” is about what it viscerally feels like to live with my diagnoses.
Sometimes the scary thoughts my mind produces seem to fill every corner of my skull, becoming exceedingly overwhelming. I find a lot of instrumental/ambient music tells its story through sounds/textures since there are no words to accompany it. I wanted to accurately interpret these feelings and thoughts through a sonic medium, and present them as such. Starting with a gentle guitar pad suddenly being interrupted by the crack of a snare drum, and frantic guitar picking help this track portray my message.
“i worship what will kill me” means “I fixate on my own death” to me.
I spend a lot of time worrying and anxiously ruminating on how I will die, whether it will be by my own hands or something else.
“it always hurts and one day it will win” is about frustration with circumstance.
It is painful to exist, and sometimes I feel that it is unfair to me to need to stay here for the sake of others. It would make many people sad if I passed, and although it is selfish, it can create a lot of cognitive dissonance within me to wrestle with those thoughts, and not letting the stronger of the two win.
“we are all connected and we all love you” is an homage to “If You Are Reading This”, from L’autre Côté de la Peur.
Although different chords are being played, the rhythm is the same as one part of that song.
If one imagines the phrase “I Love You” as numbers, one can associate the word “I” as 1, being that the word “I” has one letter. “Love” is 4, being 4 letters, and “You” is 3, following that theme. The way the instruments play the rhythm out, the accents of each beat of the music are on beats 1, 4, and 3. So the music itself is literally telling the listener “I love you” in this way.
“greenhug” is about a moment: lying in an open park underneath a willow tree with someone.
Experiencing many sensory feelings, all conducive to an anxious joy. Despite the many wonderful things about that moment though, there is a looming, overarching feeling of sadness knowing that these moments and relationships can’t last forever.
Greenhug as a title refers to the feeling of green, how it is a safe and sound color for me, and feeling wrapped within it. The person I was with was wearing a green sweater during that moment.
“peace be still” is referring to the existentialism that accompanies thoughts of death.
At my core, I truly just want to be at peace with myself and what troubles me.
“the willow tree in our backyard” is dedicated to this beautiful willow tree that lives in my backyard.
There is something so special about those trees. I really wanted to dedicate a song to it and it’s blissful energy.
“every time” is about falling short on your word, and being forgiven and loved regardless of your mistakes.
That is true love, and true compassion.
“i have seen you and i” is a direct influence from Gillian Carter’s “The Same Landmarks That Used to Miss Us”.
The phrase says so much without saying much at all, and I wanted to create the same feeling while giving a solid nod to my friends.
It is a lead in to the last song, which is my favorite song on the album.
“the love i have to give will not die with me” is a poem I wrote for an ex partner. I don’t know what else to say about it but the words mean so much to me.
I will include them below, as I find that reading it will be more fitting of an explanation inherently.
Sweet, melancholic, pink catharsis
I love you just the way you are
We are machines
Traversing our flesh and blood,
Bone and dreams through generations
Of starspun bodily trauma
That does not know the bounds
Of any earthly love
You are the sound
Of lips caressing
And arms holding warm bodies
And every time I hear that sound
My spirit blossoms
My cold heart pines for your ardent sweetness
This may be my last breath
But I want you to know
That you made it all worthwhile
Lastly, to send some more chills down your spine, we asked Eve to give us his favorite screamo / post-hardcore releases of this year (so far), and here it is. Be sure to give it a listen, share with your friends and support DIY art!
1. Salvation Through Misery – Gillian Carter
2. it sure is sad to hope for the best while expecting the worst – atameo
3. The Weight of Everything – Blind Girls
4. Thanks a Million – Pique
5. Discount Fireworks – Roman Candle
6. Mystic Sisters – City of Caterpillar
7. I try to rage against it – Brahm
8. Disguise – My Fictions
9. Precedent – Sonagi
10. Stridulate – Indisposed
Find more screamo and post hardcore inspirations in our mega playlist on Spotify, with new songs being added on weekly basis:
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