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Diana Vilic

Blogger Visual Marketing Student Photographer Coffee Addict

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Andrew McMahon

  • 7:08:00 PM
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I used to listen to Something Corporate when I was about 5 years old. At the time, my older cousin was dating a guy who was into "Pop Punk". So it was all she listened to. Due to the fact she practically raised me, I did too.

I remember when my cousin broke up with her boyfriend, I took all her punk albums and added them to my collection. She moved into listening to classic rock. I blasted Something Corporate. At the time, I didn't really know about anyone in the band. I didn't really care. I  just loved the music.

My parents weren't too thrilled about their daughter listening to "evil punk" (as my uncle would call it.) But being my parents, they let me blast it everywhere I went. I remember crying a few years later when I got North for my birthday. I once got kicked out of class for teaching one of my classmates the words to "Punk Rock Princess". (Their parents thought it was the Devils music.)

As I went into Middle School, I realized Something Corporate wasn't going to make me the "Cool Kid". And I wanted desperately to fit in for once in my life. So I traded Something Corporate, The Acadamy is..., Relient K, and Taking Back Sunday, for Hannah Montana and The Jonas Brothers. Lord knows how I survived.

Disney pop didn't fulfill me.
It didn't make me cool either.

As Middle School went on, I became the target of bullying and I fell into a clinical depression. Two weeks before Middle School ended, I made a plan to end it all. It's hard to want to exist when you can't see an end. In my mind, my family wrote me off, I had no friends, and teachers didn't do much to better my situation. I went from a straight-A student, to being placed on academic probation.

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When I was in the process of ending it (to avoid being as graphic as humanly possible), I was listening to an 8tracks playlist (like a true punk kid). During the dark days of Middle School, I always found comfort in music that was depressive. I was numb to the entire world around me. Depressive music gave me an excuse to feel sad. Almost glorifying my lack of emotion.

At some point the depressive playlist I had on ended. And "Holiday From Real" by Jack's Mannequin came on. It caused me to put the knife down. I remember sitting on the bathroom floor, in the dark, crying as I listened. And for the first time in so long, I felt something that wasn't anger, sadness and a hate for the world. At 12 years old, I didn't know how to respond. So I replayed the song. Then I played the album, Everything In Transit. I stayed in the bathroom the entire night, playing Jack's Mannequin on repeat until I could fall asleep.

The following day, I skipped class to listen to Everything in Transit in the library. Then I listened to it on my way home, and at home, and so on. Until I could slowly come back to reality.

 Jack's Mannequin became my favorite band. However, I had no idea Andrew McMahon lead both  Jack's Mannequin and Something Corporate until much later.

As I entered High School, I was met with a new form of bullying and an entirely new sense of loneliness. But I could start each morning listening to  Jack's Mannequin. It was my sort of meditation. I did it as I needed to. At least until I could build up enough confidence to not hide behind my ipod.

I would skip class with my best friend to dance around the hallways singing Miss California. We rocked out to Dark Blue at lunch. Annoyed our teachers as we quoted Doris Day instead of answering questions,

"I saw your man, fast car and a dark suntan You said he's in a punk-rock band But baby, punk-rock's dead"

 To this day, I only refer to my friend Amy as "Amelia Jean"...which she doesn't find the least bit funny.
When my best friend had his first heartbreak, I didn't know how to fix it. So I made him a mixtape. With Mixtape being the first song and "Holiday From Real" being the last. To me, it was fitting.

By the time I went to University, Jack's Mannequin ended. And Andrew McMahon in The Wilderness was in existence.

I didn't plan to enjoy the band as much as I did. I had other music I found comfort in and by the time I was in University, I didn't need Jack's Mannequin to give me courage or strength. I found my own footing into the world. I just assumed Jacks Mannequin was a phase, like Something Corporate. It was something I loved and found comfort in, but I wasn't going to have it on an everyday playlist.

That was until I had a breakdown in my car when a girl convinced my entire class to call me Snaggletooth and Vampire. I didn't know how to fix myself. In my attempt to put myself together, I  played an old playlist and "Holiday From Real" was the first song to come on. I decided to purchase Andrew's latest album in that moment. Thinking maybe it'll offer me some comfort.

The first song to play was "Maps for the Getaway". In that moment I was lost in the music. Nothing that happened to me mattered. Just like I did in Middle School, I listened to the entire album over and over again. Until I could compose myself.

The music made me feel something that was not anger or hate. At the time, I needed that. I needed something to remind me why I didn't end it when I had a shot.

I originally only told this story to my Best Friend, Adam, when he purchased a signed poster for my birthday.

Then I told my other friend at the Andrew McMahon in The Wilderness show when they played in Grand Rapids. I wanted him to know why it was a big deal for me....and why I may cry during (I did).


Something Corporate, Jack's Mannequin, and Andrew McMahon in The Wilderness all found me in different spots of my life. The music has changed and stories don't always fit my life. But it's still the music I listen to when I do my homework and I want to tune out the world. And it's in the playlists I send my best friends. (Mixtape will always start off my playlists.) And if I ever hear "Doris Day" or "Me and The Moon" I'm going to sing along.

I don't know if everything happens for a reason. I'm not big on fate. But I know I'm forever grateful for Everything In Transit and everything after. Because it got me through a time where I couldn't see the end. And it gave me something to hide behind until I could stand on my feet.

Marketing student with a focus in visual marketing with a addiction to coffee.


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