Ten years ago tonight while numerous children were knocking at my parents door requesting tricks and treats I was upstairs in my room writing songs on my guitar. Sheltered away from the Halloween festivities, by the evening’s end I had completed a song titled “Better With You.” Late that night I recorded a demo of it and the next day began sharing it online with friends and anyone else who was willing to listen. I was really proud of the song and thought “there’s something special to this one” — not really being able to put a finger on why, it was just a little gut feeling, I guess.
Well, about a year later, by result of a lot of hard work and other fateful circumstances, the song was featured on a (then) new reality series on MTV called Laguna Beach. The exposure was grand and certainly propelled my budding career forward quicker than I could have ever hoped for. A year after that more Five Times August songs found their way into other popular TV shows and the momentum continued to build. I began to tour the country, play in larger venues, record in awesome studios and work with talented musicians I could never have dreamed of playing with. It also afforded me the luxury of, come full circle, answering the door tonight for little trick or treaters in my very own home while my son is upstairs in his bedroom. He’s too young to write songs on his guitar right now, but his beautiful mom is probably singing him to sleep anyway.
So, as I think back on where I was ten years ago tonight and all the things that have happened since then, I have to say I’m so very thankful, and so very lucky. It’s not all just because of the one song, but it definitely moved things a long.
“Better With You” is usually most new fans introduction to Five Times August. It’s also the one that seems to resonate the most and embed itself into their life the way a songwriter could only hope their music could do for people. It’s been used in weddings, quoted in vows, gotten people through tough times, and has inspired want-to-be musicians to pick up the guitar for the first time. When I’m told that kind of stuff by you it blows my mind. It reminds me why I love music, and why I am a songwriter. Those things, beyond all, drive me to keep going. So thank you for adopting my music and making it your own.
I don’t really have a direction with where this little entry is going, other than I felt this 10 year anniversary warranted some retrospect and perspective, if for no one’s sake other than my own.
I released a special E.P. for “Better With You” today to celebrate the occasion, it’s available exclusively on Bandcamp.com and features 6 different versions of the song, including a previously unreleased live acoustic version, plus bonus downloads of the official music video and a PDF file of the guitar tablature if you always wanted to learn how to play it. I hope you enjoy the collection.
Happy Halloween friends,
– Brad w/ Five Times August