MP: How did that turn out when you started writing for yourself?
CD: I wrote a bunch of songs and then I started a band and put out four records. I put out a solo record, called affection, in 2020 that's electronic based somewhere between late era Trent Reznor and Matthew Dear. But I realized I just still wasn't dealing with my mom's death. My dad and I had become pretty estranged. He had an affair with my mom's best friend and that was a trigger leading up to my mom doing what she did. My dad built a life with the woman he became involved with and she is a part of our family now, so it was a challenge for me to not be angry and to try to be understanding of his situation. I learned he had been struggling all of their married life, 50 plus years, with my mom constantly facing depression. So I wrote a whole bunch of songs, with the help of Mark Fischer, who dusted off his guitar and drum skills, and all of a sudden I realized maybe they were something to stand up for and I should memorialize them, because they might help me feel better if I recorded them.
MP: What's it like when you're taking something so personal and working with others to bring it to life in a song?
CD: We made some demos, me, Mark and a friend of mine, Sam, handling drums. I have become close with Vance Powell, who has worked with Chris Stapleton, Jack White and some other folks as a producer and engineer. He heard them and seemed emotionally moved by my healing journey, so he got involved. I wanted to have guys that I knew and trusted in the room playing with me, so I could heal and talk about it. The intention never was to release the record. It was about feeling better and memorializing my emotions with everybody doing it as a favor. Mark was really instrumental in saying I should consider it could help people who are going through the same challenges and who have had a close person in their life commit suicide, or just going through trauma. My message in the record as a whole is just survival tactics. It's about communicating and talking about the trauma. A lot of people are afraid that makes them look vulnerable and weak and I feel like it makes you stronger to talk about it. MP: That's the other side of it. Making something so personal and deeply emotional is one thing, but releasing it for other people to ingest themselves has to be daunting. CD: It was a bit of mentally shifting for sure. I have to credit Mark for understanding it from being an artist himself and a songwriter and producer in his career. And then with all of his business experience and seeing the way that he has adjusted his to managing young creators, who are very on point with mental health. We've had a lot of conversations about what social media might be doing for not only his creators, but for the people consuming it as well. As we get older, I believe it's important for us to reflect on what legacy we want to leave.