The Damage Has Been Done

Album: Veracity (2010)
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  • Evacuate Chicago is comprised of Psychostick members Alex Preiss (drums), Josh Key (guitar, bass) and Rob Kersey (vocals). Preiss told us about this song: "For starters, 'Damage' sums up the album pretty well for me. At one point, I was even considering naming the album after it! All the songs on the album, in one way or another, document my life when I was 19. At that point in my life I was reading a lot of books on child psychology, and just beginning to hold people accountable for things that happened to me when I was younger. It was a pretty serious time for me! I remember one conversation I had with Rob and Josh, and that's what the song is about, that conversation. We all went to Applebees, and they essentially had an intervention with me. I was becoming completely engulfed in the idea of hating a lot of people for being so apathetic towards child abuse. They asked me, 'Do you even want to be in the band anymore?' That really got my attention. If my best friends didn't even know what I wanted, I really had to figure this all out. That whole situation kick-started my journey towards 'being okay.'"
  • Regarding how he writes songs, Preiss explains: "I write all of my lyrics first. I know that is backwards from how most songs are written, but it works for me. It worked really well with the first few that I wrote in particular because I had this mental block that prevented me from writing songs. At the time, I thought of myself as less of a musician, and more of just a drummer. But once I started learning to play guitar at work, I began to realize that songwriting was not an unattainable task. I worked at a music shop in this dead plaza, and I had a lot of time on my hands, to say the least! So I started messing around with different guitars, and began to piece together a few parts of songs.

    After I wrote the lyrics for the songs, I took what I had on paper and a few ideas in my head to Josh. He and I took whatever I had and filled in the holes. Sometimes, I only had lyrics and an idea for the tempo or feel of the part. For other songs, I would have it mostly completed when I brought it to him. Then we would lay down the music with midi drums, and play the guitar parts that he would embellish quite a bit, and that gave us the foundation for the songs. After that, I had to try and sing the parts for Rob, who sang them much, much better!" (get more at


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