GUEST BLOG: Civil Youth – “Between Us, it’s More than Just Music”


This blog is certainly geared more towards our fans, rather than other artists. Other artists will know what we’re talking about below. We really want to show you a side of the music industry people really don’t see. By the way, this is Civil Youth. We’re an alternative band from Philadelphia, PA. Hopefully if you’re reading this, you’ve heard of us. If not, come to a show and we’ll get to know one another.

We all love going to concerts. Whether it’s our friends’ show or a huge arena band like Twenty One Pilots. In fact, I can even say that’s what we live for, which I know from some of our fans that’s not exaggerated. As an artist, we all want to play for tens of thousands of people, or have our picture featured in an art museum in New York, or go model for Gucci out in LA. As a spectator, you only see that one moment, but that moment represents about 1% of the work that went into getting there. There are sacrifices we make (which we’ll only explain ours since we’re not you and can’t say what you’ve sacrificed for your own art) throughout our lives to showcase our art in an end result.

There’s so many moments we would like to spend with our family and friends, but we might have to travel go shoot for a video, or hit the studio to finish perfecting the mixes, or even write a blog about sacrifices while on a family vacation…talk about irony. That’s not to say those things aren’t fun. We LOVE doing that, otherwise we’d be in the wrong profession, however over time those moments add up and you don’t realize what you’ve missed until the moment has passed or that person has passed. You can’t do anything about it. It really teaches you to appreciate what is going on right NOW and the things that are in the present. The present is all we really have.

We also have this sense of pressure to be the best. Everything we do and put out will be judged. We’re not asking for everyone to love what we do, that’s why there are thousands of bands to listen to instead, however there is still this pressure. I think what I’m trying to say is this pressure builds up to succeed and if we don’t, there’s not another option for us. A great inspiration of mine once said, “it’s like we put our money on the black, and rolled the dice.” Evan and I [Mike] tried the college route and we ended up dropping out, and Dan didn’t even go to college. Not saying you have to, but it certainly limits what you can do. Essentially, we don’t have a back up plan, which is why we always try to get our point across when we’re distributing content. There’s no turning back once it’s out. We can’t just go get another job.

One last sacrifice we’ll talk about, so we’re not too boring, is we sacrifice our mental health. Sounds crazy, but hear me out. Civil Youth always writes about our own experiences of our mental health. Everyone goes through some sort of pain and we like to write about that. It’s our way of giving back and letting you be happy. That’s a big reason to why we’re even a band. That being said, when you’re constantly thinking about emotions and times that have pained you, it starts to get obsessive and all you think about. Being negative all the time can really take a toll on you. That’s probably why when we’re not creating, we act insane and have all this energy. We’re letting off steam. Haha. Perfect example is when we were writing Who Rescued Who. I [Mike] was the most depressed I’ve ever been and it took three or four months to really break that. It even gave me some Melophobia when we started writing for Conversations, our newest, unreleased album. I didn’t want to write because I was scared I’d fall back into old habits. I eventually broke that and we’re so happy to say that Conversations will be available everywhere on May 19th, 2017!

Hopefully this gave some quick insight to how we are when we’re not on stage. The point of this whole blog wasn’t to gain your empathy or make you fully aware what artists can go through, but it’s more to say make sure you appreciate all art. If it’s not your thing, it’s a thing to someone else or at least the person creating it. It’s more than that one moment you get to see. It’s that person’s whole life journey and hard work you’re witnessing first hand. That’s special and no other form can express that.  Also, make sure to live in the present. Sort of a side topic, but something we feel strongly about! Lol. Well I’m gonna go jump in this pool that’s in front of me so hopefully we’ll see you at a show!

Written by Civil Youth (Michael Kepko, Daniel Chapman, Evan Seeberger)

Post by Corey Kleinsasser

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