Ink To Spill, the song, was originally written on a flight back from Chicago after an event in DC in March of ’17, that led me to believe America’s system of a free press would soon come under assault. Freedom of speech and the freedom of the press have long defined America’s liberties and the protection of its constitution. We were still in the early stages of defining ‘Ink To Spill’, the band at that time. And yet, the moment I finished writing the song, it felt like we should change our name from ‘The Quills’ to ‘Ink To Spill’. Unfortunately, the past few years have only increased my concern over this assault on our basic freedoms. As one might witness in Turkey, the ‘New Dictator’s Play Book’s’ first step is to discredit the free press. In their case even jailing any dissenting journalists. Fortunately, the Founding Fathers (whatever their other faults) foresaw the risks of a system built without checks and balances and the American people remain courageous enough to march for their right to these freedoms.
‘Ink To Spill’, the song, is about a man who always felt he was objective, and fiercely independent, but not politically enthusiastic toward either of our major parties. A man who had his opinions, but rarely expressed them out loud. A man who finally found his tongue through the verse, chorus and song of this band. That man is me.
A young boy’s beside himself with grief as he discovers his classmate and best friend Jose’, the son of Dreamers, has been captured by ICE and shipped back to the country his parents left decades ago as children themselves. His friendship lost, betrayed by the reality of the political divide over legal and illegal immigration, the need to fill jobs in an environment of low unemployment and the distaste many American’s feel for manual labor in the agricultural and manufacturing sector. ‘Where Went Jose’?!’ explores the odyssey of a country and a population who seems to want to have it both ways: Low-wage-accepting, hard-working-workforce, that looks the way they want them to look and speaks their same language. The very people who shout the loudest to stop the influx of migrant workers often themselves profiting from their willingness to take the hard jobs with lower wages that drive their businesses. The cynicism of adulthood juxtaposed with the unconditional friendship of childhood.
Inspired by the most creative story telling chapter I’ve seen in fictional literature about a young, autistic boy obsessed with the length and placement of pauses in rock songs. Ink To Spill is honored to pay tribute to the author with their take on ‘Chapter 12’. C’Quil imagines himself on a flight from New Jersey to British Colombia in a seat next to the child as the young boy hares his unique passion for song pauses. As the song goes ‘Through all my January’s and all my Decembers, a more valuable…..I’ll never remember!’.
We took a less traditional approach to this video to explain how this tune came about and give the audience a peek into the personalities and inner workings of Ink To Spill, as we made last minute preparations for how to present ‘Chapter 12’ for our live debut. It worked so well, that we used that approach to re-mix the studio master.
1 in 59 people below the age of 21 are now on the Autism Spectrum. We wanted to support the cause of fighting this unique challenge and recognize National Autism Awareness Month by releasing this song and video in the middle of April. C’Quil Music has made a modest donation to both NAAM and the Philadelphia Eagles Autism Foundation on behalf of Ink To Spill. #CelebrateDifferences
Pray and Prey perhaps best describe Robes On Fire. An institution once renowned for its supposed purity offering a religion advocating love and forgiveness has apparently been hijacked in many cases by leadership preying on the children of their own parishioners. The collection plate goes around the church and a significant portion of the tithings are distributed to protect the alleged offenders, if the Bishop hasn’t already moved him to another parish. And then the example is seen by some in broader society and the template is recreated in other institutions, and a once Happy Valley’s pride and reputation in burned to ash.
Robes on Fire opens with an infamous sampling of a former Nun protesting the abuse she witnessed against other nuns and babies, that alarmingly works for today’s headlines. Ink To Spill delivers a driving, yet haunting rocker that shames the offenders and institutions that protect them. Look up ‘parishioners’ in Webster’s on-line dictionary and the recent examples of how it’s used in sentences is a regrettable reflection of recent news.
Keys Awaiting chronicles the Journey of Ryan and C’Quil to Gus’s Music Box on Vashon Island where we had our first demo session. Ryan came armed with the opening lyric line and shared it with us on day one. C’Quil woke up in the middle of the night that night after three a.m. and finished it off within the hour.
Keys Awaiting reflects the instant friendship and brotherly love that this project created. It starts gently with Ryan’s opening. Gus follows with his soulful story-telling about a lonely keyboard awaiting its master, and their harmonies soar as it climaxes at the end while Ernie delivers on percussion throughout.
A party girl whose got it all going on knows she can conquer Las Vegas and live the wild life she always craved. Skin tight clothes, high rollers who pay to play, coke, ecstasy and all night dance clubs are the dream soon realized. She fits right in and thrives through her 20’s. Over time, the lifestyle ages her beyond her years and the life she craves suddenly no longer craves her. The final scene a glimpse of her makeshift home in the alleys of Vegas ruing the origins of the 2nd word in the title of our song.
Raging Hormones has a danceable, thumping beat emanating from Ernie’s kit. Ryan’s vocals deliver the bright hope of life set to blossom all night, every night. Gus takes over midway through delivering the darkening shadows that inevitably catch up to our high-flying lead temptress.
Break ups are rarely fun for either side. Perhaps the worst ones are those that take too long – they end, restart and repeat over and over until all the good memories and trust are replaced with something else entirely. Something Here is Torn looks back at a final night of introspection from a dune on the Jersey Shore and I suppose its in the best interest of both parties to walk away with the belief they were the real prize lost.
S.H.Is T. is Ink To Spill stripped to its core. Gus delivers a bluesy, soulful solo that finally puts the past where it belongs and begins to turn the page toward better days. BTW, I didn’t realize what the acronym spelled until about two years after writing the song, but I suppose its apropos.
I’ve spent almost 2% of my life in New Orleans, as a young tourist, graduate student (conventions) and as lead Process Developer on a plant installation project. The song celebrates the places and images I’ve witnessed through all of those as a single story escorting a tall, beautiful, red haired colleague engaged to one of my friends.
Obsession: Most of us have felt it at one time or another….or, fortunately or unfortunately been the object of it’s desire. Love at first sight, an attractive encounter that grips the imagination, soaks the mind in dopamine and makes us abandon our normal behaviors because we simply can’t get someone off our mind. We take a different path to work, try to find them in social spaces or bomb their media accounts.
Mix in the motivation of raging hormones, personal and social pressures and you concoct a fire burning within….inside your mind the fire grows and finds it’s way to your loins with no hope of extinguishing it until you make your feelings known.
Join us as we share a funky little number with a hint of self-deprecating humor. Are you ready to put out the fire and Stop, Drop & Roll?
We all have to live with our decisions. Every choice we make narrows or expands the options of the next set of choices. We’ve all made good decisions and bad decisions and had an opportunity to learn from them, overcome them, regret them. Lenny reflects on the feelings of George after making his life-changing decision in Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’.
A couple of transient farm hands make their way through the Salinas Valley taking work and shelter where they can find it, hoping to save for their own acre of land. Lenny’s body is strong, but his mind is child-like. George is small, but of quick wit and leverages Lenny’s strengths to their mutual advantage.
Curley’s wife pushes the envelope to open an unfortunate turn of events and George is faced with the biggest decision of his life. Join us as we examine George’s mindset after he makes this devastating decision.
Opening with a few ‘bent’ notes, Lenny is instantly recognizable from the start as an Alt-Rock meets Americana as it recants Steinbeck’s famous story of friendship and tragic heartbreak.