We Love the Underground is a high-energy band that does not easily fall into one specific genre of Rock. With hints of Punk, Metal and even a bit of Jazz they have created a dramatic sound that’s all their own. The band is hosting their “Children of the Program” album and book release party at MaGerk’s in BelAir, MD, on Saturday, March 5, at 9:30 pm. This is a 21 and over event. Come on out and join the party to be among the first people to hear their new music. We Love the Underground will be on hand to chat, pose for a photo and sign the album and novel at their meet and greet. MaGerk’s will be featuring drink specials during the event as well.
We Love the Underground lead singer and book author Brad Cox recently spoke with Examiner about the book and the band’s latest album, both titled “Children of the Program.” The album has an epic Rock Opera feel to it, which makes sense since the songs accompany the intriguing supernatural themes discussed in the book.
Examiner: What was the inspiration for the book?
Brad: “It’s kind of this story that’s been brewing inside me, since I started my musical journey. I tried to not only tie together the album themes, but also my personal interests in ancient alien theory, religious symbology, numerology and psychology. It’s chock full of psychology.”
Examiner: How much, if any, of the story is autobiographical? They say to write what you know.
Brad: “It’s very inspired, and we’ll leave it at that. For example, I did run off to California, as a youth, vying to realize my rock n’ roll fantasies, and there are certainly some stories to tell. So, a lot of the chapters, written in first person, and the explicit details therein are meant to reinforce the imaginative process of those written in third person.”
Examiner: So you drew from personal experiences?
Brad: “Absolutely. ‘Children of the Program’ is a backstage pass into my psychology. I was raised in a very spiritual household. In some ways, that opened my mind and in some ways it closed it. As I got older, I realized how dangerous a closed mind could really be, and how it can effectively ruin what’s most important about life’s journey, and that is connecting with one another. My youth was a lesson in escapism. I became rather masterful at it. I wasn’t unhappy, but the world and the way I saw it, just didn’t fall in line with what was being sold. I’m a stargazer.”
Examiner: Do you have an interest in Shamanism or ancient Egyptian spirituality, there are a lot of common themes between some of what you describe in the book and their beliefs?
Brad: “I do have an interest in Egyptian spirituality, there’s something fascinating about its history. I would also like to learn more about Shamanism and other forms of spiritual connectivity. I think, innately and instinctively, I’ve explored a lot of it, without a label. The spiritual world is extremely complex and our brains are like rabbit ear antennas, try as they may they are limited. It’s like an old black and white TV trying to project the world in HD.”
Examiner: What would you say is the message of the book and album?
Brad: “That there’s a lot going on out there and that we are all called to a greater purpose, infinitely responsible to one another.”
Examiner: Can you tell me how the themes behind certain songs tie into the book? Do songs relate to specific chapters?
Brad: “Some of the songs add to the storyboard, and act as the missing chapters and some of them are a little more direct. For example ‘Cadence of the Sun’ is about the Cadence of the Sun and is intentionally chant oriented, which makes sense, if you’ve read the book. Or, ‘Hallway of Sorrows,’ which is the sinister intro, ties directly to the first chapter in the book. ‘Paint the Desert with my Heart,’ is also fairly obvious, and deals with a rather significant relationship, post-gathering circle.”
Examiner: Have you always had an interest in writing, beyond songwriting? How are the two processes different? Or is it the same?
Brad: “I have. I have a bachelor’s degree in journalism, writing is in my blood. Though, writing a novel is a lot different than penning lyrics. It’s one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done, because you have to understand and learn how to pace and build your landscape. I’m a fast talker, so I have a tendency to communicate a large amount of detail in a very small space. I had to constantly remind myself to slow down. Then, of course, I couldn’t rely strictly on metaphor, puns or poetry though there’s still plenty.”
Examiner: Any future book plans?
Brad: “I’ve already started the follow-up and it’s really expanding and becoming way bigger than I ever imagined. It’ll probably be a three-part series, when it’s done.”
Examiner: Is the book available in any local stores?
Brad: “I have it in a local deli called Vagabond’s and also in Stalefish both located in Bel Air, MD. “But otherwise, it’s available on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.”