Interview: Artist AM Pours Out His Heart In His New Single "Life Is Unfair"


New York based singer-songwriter going by the alias of AM, just released another new track titled "Life Is Unfair". This track is part of a 6-song EP that will be releasing in the near future, but AM just couldn't wait to get this one out to us. Written during quarantine, Life is Unfair is an angry, confessional pop tune that takes an acoustic approach to the genre. AM wrote Life is Unfair as a way to try and make sense of all the hardship he went through growing up. As a kid, he was exposed to constant neglect and he was never able to really connect with the world. After being moved from one psychiatrist to another, from age 7 all the way to eighth grade, AM had enough. He decided it was time for him to be in control.


Life is Unfair is an acoustic composition full of emotion and you can see that AM poured his heart out while writing and recording the track. Think of it as AM is creating his own version of an acoustic-emo tune with his singer-songwriter style for this song. The layering of vocals on top of one another combined with the lyrics, adds ambiance and darkness that infects the heart and spreads throughout the body. Add the occasional guitar riff that completes the melody and you've got yourself a song that can easily be listened to and understood.


We got with AM for an interview to ask what the writing process was like and learn a little more about the meaning and inspiration behind Life is Unfair.


INTERVIEW



FITT: Take us more in depth into the inspiration behind Life Is Unfair.


AM: Mental health. Everyone has psychological issues but most people just grin and bear it; they never have the opportunity to get treated. It’s like the walking wounded out here. So as someone versed in the intricacies of mental health ailments as well as treatment, I thought it was timely to put out a song relating to it. I get it’s a little cliche at the moment to be writing about depression and anxiety, but when you live it, it’s kind of an unavoidable subject. It colors your everyday experience. So suffering from mental health issues, but not really having a name for those issues, especially when I was younger, inspired me to write the lyrics. I thought the initial riff was kind of dark and low, so that’s the subject that I thought matched the palette of the song. It comes from my perspective, not toward anyone in particular, maybe to someone trying to get to know me. It’s almost a warning, I can’t promise a run-of-the-mill/getting-to-know-you experience when I talk to you. I might be a bit intense. A bit heavy. But those are the subjects I’m attracted to because I can relate to them. When pop stars sing about how gorgeous they are and how they’re always confident and wanted, I can’t relate to that. Because that’s not my lived experience. It’s fun to listen to, sometimes, but it doesn’t speak to me the way a deeper or darker song might. hen I write, I’m trying to write songs that I would want to listen to, and those songs happen to be on the more introspective side of the spectrum. FITT: Take us through your recording process for the single. Was there any challenging moments? Did you have any help recording who was this done totally solo? AM: This was done just with me writing, performing, and recording. This is actually the first time I ever recorded something all by myself, so playing around with the equipment and getting everything to work was a learning curve in itself. I took about a million and one takes because I couldn’t get the sound the way I wanted, but even when I did, I’m a bit ruthless when it comes to accessing my own performances, so this track took me about 60 hours or so. I had recording experience before, but it was always at someone else’s studio and someone else behind the console doing the recording I did get help from my friend, Silas, in mastering the work, just to give the track another ear to polish it and make it professional. He’s done a lot of work producing, mixing, and mastering tracks, so I trusted him implicitly. Plus since we’re old friends he did it for free, which was nice. The most challenging part was getting the harmonies in the chorus sounding the way I wanted them to, which was like two equal voices instead of one dominant voice and one supporting harmony. So that took a while. You tell me if you think I pulled it off, I don’t know. (He Definitely Did) FITT: You have a Youtube channel full of covers. What is your favorite song you've covered so far, and what is one you'd like to cover in the future? AM: Yeah, I really like putting out covers. I think the best way to absorb a song is by playing it over and over again, and then never again. I’ll learn a song I want to cover, play it 50 times, record, then never or rarely play it again. I have too many songs of my own to memorize to keep playing songs that I’ve covered. My favorite song I’ve covered has probably been About a Girl. I’m a massive Nirvana nut and I think Kurt Cobain is undeniably one of greatest songwriters who has ever lived. That’s a really great, poppy rock song. It’s got that simple sophistication all great pop tunes have plus unexpected chord pairings and a sticky as hell melody. He just had that musical sensibility, that intuition that can’t be replicated with lessons or figured out through analysis. Just amazing instinct and passion. You can hear it not just in his performances, but in the songs themselves. They’re timeless. FITT: If you could work with any artists ever, who would it be and why? AM: Oh, wow. I’d have to pick someone I admire, but not someone I’d be so intimidated by that I wouldn’t be able to work with them. Any artist ever? That’s like an unlimited amount of people to choose from, too. I think I’d pick Jim Morrison, because he’s a singer and I wouldn’t feel pressured to keep up with him on an instrument, I could just throw him a riff and see what he’d come up with. I love his voice, and I think The Doors are an overall underrated band. People don’t remember how transgressive they were. In 1967 while everyone was signing about sunshine and brotherhood, Jim Morrison was screaming his head off about murder, incest, chaos, insanity. It was proto-proto punk. Jim was also a poet, and I fancy myself something of a poet myself, so hearing his thoughts about the cross section of lyricism and poetry would be pretty priceless, if you ask me. His lyrics were evocative. Like on Peace Frog, he says “Indians scattered on dawn’s highway bleeding. Ghosts crowd the young child’s fragile, eggshell mind.” That’s an incredible lyric. From the first time I heard it, I’ve never forgotten it. He’s not the only one I’d want to work with/for, of course, but I think if even if it were a total train wreck it would at the very least be interesting to meet him. A story to tell people. FITT: What made you start creating music? AM: A combination of genetics and environment? I don’t know if there’s a single answer to that question. Both my Grandfathers were musicians. My mother’s father played Violin and my Father’s father played Clarinet. They were Jazz guys. And both wanted to do it professionally when they were young men, but gave it up to raise families. But I remember from a very young age I was always exposed to music and I’d seek it out. My favorite part of nighttime rituals as a tyke was being sung a bedtime song. Even songs like Rock-A-Bye Baby, and Go to Sleep Little Baby I loved listening to my mother sing. Nursery rhymes, radio tunes, whatever was aural I was into. Even today, it’s a weird thing, but certain people have voices that make the hair on my arms stand up. Just their speaking voices. There’s no reason I know of, but certain sounds, accents, and speaking patterns really fire up my nervous system for some reason. My grandmother used to sing All My Loving to me as a bedtime song when I slept over at her house, and that started a lifelong Beatles obsession which I am truly thankful for. Spike Lee, the filmmaker, says that if you want to be a filmmaker, you’ve got to worship at the alter of cinema. Well I think if you want to be a songwriter, especially in the Rock and Pop genres, you’ve got to worship at the alter of the Beatles. So I don’t know. Like what did Professor Uonuim put in the AM potion that made me pop out? Love of sound, a musical family, and the Beatles. Plus chemical X, obviously. Which is drugs. Just kidding. FITT: What can we all look forward to next after your EP "Misanthrope"? AM: 5 more songs. All acoustic-electric. All me, down in my basement, strumming, humming away. I’d call it a personal record but some of the songs actually don’t have anything to do with me. If anything it’s a solo reflection of my most valued influences. Like with just me and my guitar and a few overdubs how pure can my output be? That’s for you to decide, but you’ll hear Thom Yorke, you’ll hear David Bowie, you’ll hear Kurt Cobain, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Prince, Paul Simon, all artists I love and admire. I don’t think there’s any way for an artist to write a song without betraying his influences in one way or another, the trick is to reinterpret them and blend them together in a way that’s never been before. So that’s what I hope, that I come across as myself, but that I am known as a person who loves these artists and adores rock music. That’s the EP. After the EP, I’m still writing everyday so I have stockpiled quite a few tracks. I would love to get a group together to do some band stuff. But if not, I’m trying to worm my way into getting Silas to let me stay with him a few weeks over the summer in Montreal to record. But we don’t know how the COVID situation is gonna be in a couple months and the border might still be closed. But if it’s possible then I’ll come out with a spiritual sequel and it’ll most likely be me and myself again playing all the parts. That is, unless I can seduce a drummer and bass player to work with me, then it’s band time. But either way, more music is being written round the clock. It’s the recording part that’s tricky. I don’t want to take too much time between releases, though, so you can expect another batch of songs coming out before 2021 closes out.


AM pours out his heart in Life is Unfair and you can clearly understand what he has gone through. You can listen to the track here and connect with AM below.


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