Self-reflection can be a strange thing. Whether it’s done in passing or out of necessity as you desperately grip reality, the idea of looking into your own soul to better understand yourself is something many people can’t fully grasp.
For their new record What’s Past Is Prologue, alt-emo outfit Free Throw take this concept of introspective thinking and up it tenfold as vocalist/guitarist Cory Castro constantly questions his past life decisions on songs like “The Corner’s Dilemma,” “Anaconda Vice” and “Today Is Especially Delicious.”
Singing lines like, “Sometimes I think I’ve wasted my whole life,” it’s clear Castro had reached a point in his existence where, after years of struggling with his mental health and self-medication, the outspoken frontman was ready for a change.
Opening up about his band’s new Triple Crown Records release, Castro has put together an honest and heartfelt letter to his previous self detailing some rather personal things. Serving as another means of self-contemplation, Castro’s note walks readers through just where his head was prior to releasing possibly their best album yet.
To read Castro’s endearing note to his former self, be sure to look below. Afterward, if you haven’t already, make sure to grab a copy of What’s Past Is Prologue and pick up tickets to see Free Throw out on tour here.
A letter to my former self, by Cory Castro:
Do you remember your freshman year of high school? You were a late bloomer, so you still looked like you belonged in a first-year-of-middle-school classroom. A new town, new school, no friends, surrounded by older looking strangers making one of the first big transitions in their life; that first day seemed like a mountain you had to climb. The anxiety was bubbling inside of you to such an extreme extent that you thought you, quite possibly, may be able to vomit it out.
You felt alone. Much like I know you feel right now. It’s been so long since that year, but I know you remember the struggle to push forward. You did it, though. Just like you can now. You joined the school newspaper and took your first dive into writing that year. You found a group of other people that were into skateboarding and punk like you were, and they gladly took you in, regardless of getting made fun of for having a “little kid” hanging around them.
That year you listened to the Get Up Kids and Taking Back Sunday for the first time. That year you told yourself that music was what you wanted to do with your life. Little did you know then, almost every step you took that year was a big step forward to making that a reality. You, somehow, found a way to push forward when I know damn well you didn’t want or have the urge to. Just like you can now.
I know you’ve been thinking a lot lately about how the hell you let yourself get to this point. I know you’re scared. I know you aren’t sleeping. I know you’re probably drunk. I know you constantly think about death. I know that you want to shift the blame for everything onto something else so that you can convince yourself that nothing is wrong. I know that something is wrong. You know that something is wrong. We both know that something needs to be done. Just like we know you can now.
I could go on a whole cliche “the grass is greener” type of tangent but I know you’ll just brush it aside. So I will say this: I talked to our good friend Fernando the other night. He was telling me about his long hike down the Appalachian Trail. He was telling me a story about how he got to the top of a mountain, and as he had been doing up until that point, he was videotaping himself. He said the wind was blowing really hard so the audio was all messed up, but when he watched it back he could see the emotion take him over as he experienced true beauty for what felt like the first time in a long time. He decided to stop filming everything after that, which I assume means he just wanted to truly take everything in from that point forward.
This album you are thinking about writing (I know that seed has been somewhat planted) is something you need to do. You won’t understand this cause you can’t hear it yet as there is too much wind going on in your head, but it’s your video at the top of the mountain. Trust me I know. I’m up here and let me tell you, it’s fucking beautiful. So I’ll see you when you get here. Everyone that loves you is here waiting. Me included. I love you, even though I know you don’t love yourself at the moment. We all do.
PS: If some white-haired professor comes around with a time-traveling car or some ghosts come into your bedroom on Christmas Eve late at night, whatever point in time they take you to, please do not step on a butterfly or something. I’m not trying to have that on my conscience. At least, I know this will get a smile out of you.