by Kirk Kisch (with the help of David Vega)
Around the age of 18, I was in a Pop Punk/Hardcore band called “All That.” At the time that was the style of music I wanted to work with, but at the same time, I wanted to mess around with some acoustic songwriter stuff. So I figured, on the side, I’d start my own solo acoustic project. Of course, I needed a name, but I didn’t want to go with my own name. I wanted an artist name, something that stood out. So that’s when I went through the good old music library and came across one of my all-time favorite songs. Among the Wildflowers.
Listen to the EP while reading the text.
Awake and Tired
The lifespan of “All That” didn’t last very long and at the time, Among the Wildflowers wasn’t something that I took seriously even after releasing my first EP under the title. To this day, I still can’t listen to my first EP without thinking how much better I could’ve done. I tried really hard to make something that I had no experience with.
Shortly after the separation of “All That” and what was supposed to be the end of Among the Wildflowers, I met up with two old high school buddies of mine. David Vega and Justin Ledesma, two of my closest and most loyal friends, who just so happen to share a love for music similar to mine, but I knew they didn’t have the same experience with music as I have. For me though, that wasn’t much of a problem.
About a year or two after meeting up with David and Justin and working as a dishwasher at a retirement home, I felt like it was time for a bit of a change. I left my job after working there for a year because I knew I wanted something more, but I just didn’t know what it was. So I thought “Heck, maybe I could become a cook!”. This decision led me to my next job, where I met “John Doe”. John, of course seemed kind of off in the beginning, and he didn’t really seem to get along too well with people who didn’t understand him, so I thought, this guy could fit in with us! John shared the same interests in music, as well as being one of the most talented musicians I’ve ever met. Meeting John is what led to our band “…NotWell…”.
“…NotWell…” was nothing more than just a garage practice band, of course we wanted more, but for the time being that’s all it was. Nonetheless, being back into music while doing nothing else but work kitchen jobs felt so great. Unfortunately, John wasn’t the person that we thought he was.
John had told us a little bit about his past and how back in the day he was in a band signed to so and so records and that it didn’t work out well, etc. So we took his word for it since by this time we had got pretty close to him. Everyday that passed by, we started noticing more and more that there was something off about John, and this feeling just started to grow exponentially only because he started giving us reasons to think so, but for David and I, we weren’t fully convinced. To us John was like an older brother trying to push us into doing what we love to do.
After a while, John started pulling each one of us aside to tell us “the band is just me and you, we don’t need anyone else”, he also threatened my girlfriend, he told her one on one that he won’t let anyone get in the way of our music, and let it be known, she’s nothing but supportive of my music. Our friends outside of the band started doing some further investigation. It turned out that our “close” friend wasn’t who he said he was. I was torn by making the decision of leaving the band, causing the rest of the band to breakup as well.
At this point John knew that we had figured out about his past, so he went back to his hometown. David and I lost a brother and gained horrible trust issues, which led to a pretty severe bout of depression and heavy drinking. We lost the will to do anything we cared about, much less start up another band.
About half a year into this we finally decided to buck up and get back to the world. Among the Wildflowers was the first thing that came to mind and I decided to start it back up – only this time with more of a direction and a couple of new members.
Back to the Old Days
Our first EP together (the second EP) was made during the holidays, which was around the time all this had come to an end, and we needed to find a way to get back into music. We eventually did but realized at that time we had a lot more to write about and to get off our chest. That’s when we started to find out what our sound was. An embodiment of all the things that had happened in “…NotWell…” and the depression that followed.
Those events spawned “Leave, and Don’t Come Back…”, our third EP. Sure, there aren’t any songs written in particular about our events with John, but past events of abandonment, unconditional love, not feeling “myself” and of course the depression that was brought on from the events of “…NotWell…” as well as feeling like I wasn’t good enough for my girlfriend, my family, my job at the time, as well as my music, are all covered on this EP.
We’re aware that it’s not a fun one to listen to, but getting it all off of our chests really helped us get through some of the tough feelings that we were dealing with at that time. We were happy with the way it came out, but we still felt like we needed more, and we felt like it was time to get through some of those dark emotions, and at that time things were starting to look up with the support of all of our close friends and family cheering us on every step of the way.
I knew we had to step up with our writing game, and show people that we are more than just about depression and sadness. That’s when we came into contact with another old high school friend, and ex-drummer of some of my previous bands, Sonam Wangyal.
By the time Sonam had joined the band, and “Leave, and Don’t Come Back…” had been released for a good 5-6 months, I had quite a few song ideas ready to be made into full songs And after working with Sonam in the past, writing these songs and bringing them to a band took little to no effort. While being inspired by bands like Title Fight, Kings of Leon, and The Hotelier, we knew that; we didn’t want to be constricted to just one sound, but we wanted a sound that stood out as our own. We figured the way we’d be able to achieve this was by writing whatever we wanted to write while keeping the same sort of “emo” undertone from “Leave, and Don’t Come Back…”.
We started writing this EP by using a song that I had originally written to be in the style of our previous EP. A Way Out was the first song we had written with Sonam, and adding the drums to it added a completely different dynamic, and overall just brightened up the vibe. From there on we knew that we had found our sound, and writing the rest of the EP was a piece of cake.
As for now, we’re doing our best to promote our 4th EP “New Chapters,” in hopes that it will reach the ears of many people and inspire them to keep their chin up, and to work hard to continue to achieve their own dreams. In the mean time, we’re busy with not only our personal lives, but we are still working hard to make our music full time, and are actually half way through writing our debut album! Label or not, we got our eye on the prize!
Among the Wildflowers
Among the Wildflowers, Category: Artist, Singles: New Chapters, Leave, and Don’t Come Back…, Top Tracks: Cold & Gray, Talk, A Way Out, Don’t Fall Asleep, Dear Brother, Monthly Listeners: 32, Where People Listen: Santa Ana, Corona, Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside
available on all streaming platforms!