Bad Year

On Friday, June 18th, Bad Year will release their new single “Killing Me” in hopes of breaking the stigma surrounding mental health conditions, raising awareness, and promoting suicide prevention. Along with an article in New Noise Magazine, the track comes as part of a joint venture and new partnership including a portion of royalties to be donated to Backline.

To celebrate the first single off of their third EP, musician and co-songwriter Joey Jonas writes:

Ever since I can remember, I have always had difficulty coping with life on life’s terms. It wasn’t until someone very close to me took their own life, that my world turned upside down. My drum instructor of five years, John Ruka (Founder of the Drum Instructors Guild) was by far the most musically talented person I’ve ever met. John taught me everything about music. His teaching style and nurturing interactions were pivotal in my development. Although his expectations of me as a student were challenging, his wisdom, expertise, and work ethic were incredibly inspiring and have uplifted me into the person that I am today. John was one of my biggest role models, and from my perspective, one of the happiest people I had ever met. But behind his blissful presence, deep down, he was suffering. Within two weeks of my first year of college and last speaking to John, he took his own life. The moment I found out, I immediately broke down. There were no outlets or coping mechanisms that I possessed at the time to grapple with such a traumatic event. John was my hero and his suicide was absolutely heart-wrenching. This event and countless others drastically affected me and ultimately led me down a path of self-destruction that would profoundly alter my life. 

I began recklessly abusing substances to try to numb the pain and became addicted to anything that would get me out of my head. As my suffering escalated, I also contemplated suicide several times and I even made attempts to intentionally overdose. For some reason, today I am still here. I try not to question “why” I’m alive when so many good people have passed away from mental health conditions and the disease of addiction. Although I often ruminate on this thought, I try to practice mindfulness; to be more aware of the gift of life and better allow myself to be of service to others who may be in need.

Depression and addiction are just symptoms of the disconnection happening all around us. The root cause of addiction to anything in life is a direct result of our desire to avoid feelings that are unpleasant or uncomfortable. Wherever we are disconnected from is typically where disease shows up in the body and mind. The solution to suffering, and the opposite of addiction itself, is connection. Although, a healthy connection often involves paving out harmful attachments to ultimately form healthier relationships; to be connected to people we want to be present with.

Bad Year is not only an outlet for us to express and voice our true emotions that helps heal and improve our lives, but it’s a setting where we freely aim our practice to give back to society and help others by making music that hopefully, people identify with. As musicians, we hope that our fans experience a sample of the healing and passion that we’ve experienced through our musical influences. As an overall group, we are blessed to have opportunities granted to us and are determined to spread love and positivity through our songs and friendships. “Killing Me” is a song that touches on heartbreak, suicidal ideations, and the loss of loved ones while still offering a glimpse of hope. We hope this song helps you get through hard times because let’s admit it, life sucks sometimes. We should not only embrace our struggles in life, but we should tactfully seek them out and use them as fuel to make us stronger so we can be helpful to others.

The most important thing to remember about pain and suffering is that it is inevitable. It cannot be avoided but what we must avoid are the haunting premonitions of what may or may not happen in the future. Instead of accepting hardship or resigning ourselves, we should agree to work with it, to decide to make the most of it, to see opportunity as a hardship, not an obstacle. If you are ever contemplating suicide, please consider staying one more day. If you need help, there is no shame in saying so. Reach out or share your story with those around you. You might just save their life.