S: From Grayce Word to We the Kings
BC: There's only one way out
FC: Smile Kid
1: They don't even know what it is to be a fan. Y'know? To truly love some silly little piece of music, or some band, so much that it hurts. --Almost Famous
2: July 30, 2011 Danny, Drew, Hunter, and Travis, I wanted to thank you for being such an inspiration to me. The best way I can show you is through blog posts on my tumblr (which is currently http://smilexkid.tumblr.com and will probably stay that way for good) and sharing the quick version of the story to my life and how you helped shape it. I first since I heard ‘Friendship Is a Touchy Subject.’ To be honest, I can’t remember who had me start listening to you. It might have been my friend Keith, who traveled to Florida a lot and is in a band himself. Regardless, I felt the song connected to my life and started to research you. I convinced my band director to listen to you, and he played ‘Check Yes Juliet’ for his classes when it came out. I was the crazy fan girl. I met you for the first time March 3, 2009 in Louisville, KY. A blog is written about that, so I'll leave it there. I still say that night is one of
3: the best nights of my life—simply because it was the first time in my life I felt loved. I have a tattoo, which I hope to show you, saying ‘Smile Kid.’ I got it on spur of the moment after drinking Tim Horton’s but I don’t regret it at all. I get to tell people about this amazing band that saved my life while telling my battle with depression and Bipolar II disorder. I attempted suicide twice, once before I heard about you guys. The second time was after I heard you---I remember begging my RA to let me listen to you as she drove me to the hospital after the second time. I was out of it, but I knew I wanted to hear you. This past time I got suicidal, I put on ‘The Story of Your Life’ and called my mom, telling her I was driving myself to the hospital. Had I tried again, I would have succeeded. I wasn’t supposed to be home for days. No one would have found me until it was too late. You seriously saved my life. I listen to you guys whenever I am upset. Thus so many blog posts. I hope this doesn’t bore you. I just wanted you all to see how much you mean to me. I love your music, who you guys are. Please never change. Going to your concerts are what keeps me going. 3/3/2009;;7/28/2010;;7/30/2011. Best days of my life. Love, Grayce Word
4: September 7, 2010 Day 29 — A letter to your favorite member/Day 30 — Why they’re your favorite band My favorite member is Travis, or Hunter. But I LOVE all of the guys, I can't just write to one. It's impossible. They all mean the world to me. So, I'm going to write to all of them--and this will get personal. | We the Kings, Hi. I know you probably don't recognize me. I'm the girl who goes to your shows and stands in awe everytime. Because it's only during that time that my mind seems to stop racing, and I can think. But you wouldn't understand that. Well, you might. I feel as if you do. But, just in case you didn't, let me explain. I have been diagnosed with manic depressive disorder. Basically, I have severe depression that's lasted for 6 years. | And during that time, music was my escape. I honestly started listening to you in 2005, but it wasn't until 2008 that your music began to speak to me. There's a quote from Almost Famous that goes something like 'They don't even know what it is to be a fan. Y'know? To truly love some silly little piece of music, or some band, so much that it hurts." Well, that is me with you. I go to your concerts, and hear some of your fans squeal over 'We'll Be A Dream' without knowing about Armor of
5: Hope or even Check Yes Juliet. I am glad you guys are becoming so big. I was so afraid that once you 'hit it big' you would be stuck-up. But you're not. I saw you July 28 and you guys gave me the biggest hug. You make me feel alive, and loved, something I'm not used to now a days. And your music--your music saves me. | I am a recovering self-injurer---and a large part of my recovery is your music. Anytime I want to cut, I listen to you. And I get happy, or find hope, and I don't want to as bad anymore. I'm also getting a tattoo very soon. It's going to be a smiley face and say 'smile kid' in honor of you guys--and to remind me I need to smile more. | As I wrote this, I actually am listening to your 'Secret Valentine' EP. These past few weeks have been hell to say the least--and I just got a huge piece of reality again. And I want to take a blade and cut up my arms--but 'Bring Out Your Best' is playing. I know it's a love song--but it keeps me going. Reminds me to bring out my best--and fight. Because your music--it calms my soul, my mind. I could write a book, thanking you for being an amazing band. For being there when no one else is. So I'll stop now. Just know that I will always be your fan.
6: September 23, 2010 They don't even know what it is to be a fan. Y'know? To truly love some silly little piece of music, or some band, so much that it hurts. I know, I post this many times. I post that quote, and this story, many times. Maybe what I have is an obsession rather than a fan... though I don't think so. I look at that quote, and listen to their music, and it just describes it. That night, March 3, 2009, was one I will always remember. That was probably around Midnight. After 3 months of living in my own self-inflicted hell, and nearly 6 years of self-hatred, I met them. And Travis changed my mind with the simple sentence-- "You're beautiful, regardless."
7: I litreally cannot explain in words what they mean to me. Their music keeps me from cutting many nights. They keep me sane, allow me to find freedom from my own mind of torture. I want them to know that regardless. I listen, and my heart aches because they will never be able to fully know what they mean to me. I can go and see them every chance I get, tell them what they mean, and still--they will never know. I love them... and what they mean to me.
8: October 4, 2010 My first tattoo--based off We the Kings second album 'Smile Kid', and their song "Story of Your Life" This is now, no I don't mean maybe. Just wanna scream and call you baby now. Take a chance and call me crazy. Smile kid, there's only one way out. | I love it--I know my grandparents and many 'conservative' people I know will question it. But for me, it was something I've wanted for a while. I wanted to show the world what this band means to me. It also has a deeper meaning. As I suffer from depression and usually don't smile, it's a reminder to smile kid. =]
9: November 24, 2010 I am so, so, so thankful I've met these guys, and had the privileged of listening to their music. | They are some amazing people, and anyone who doesn't listen to them or go to their shows are missing out. | They have been my sanity through some of the worst of times. The things they say just seems to go with my life so much | Not only that, but they 'gave me love' when no one else would.
10: January 25, 2010 My story starts as a girl in an abusive relationship. I had bought tickets for my ‘boyfriend’ and I to go see them, since he ‘acted’ like he loved We the Kings. (I had been a fan since 2005 maybe he did it just to get with me.)
11: January 31, 2011 My tattoo simply says 'Smile Kid.' The artist actually gave me a hard time for wanting it--he said it "didn't express his artistic talent." But I told him the story behind it--like I do everyone else--and they understand it. We the Kings happen to be my favorite band. Their second album is called "Smile Kid." The band literally helped to save my life. I attempted suicide February 6 of last year---I was listening to 'Rain Falls Down' and as I was completely out of it--I decided I wanted to keep fighting, to find someone who would stand by me. I called my boyfriend at the time, who then called people at my University. I don't remember anything after that....except waking up in the hospital. I was diagnosed with major depression--which I already knew I had. Six years of my life I hated myself. So, the tattoo serves as a reminder for me to smile--and as a symbol of the band that saved me.
12: March 29, 2011 They will never know what they mean to me. This band has saved my life so many times. Anytime I'm having a horrible day, I listen to them. While I was in the hospital, I sang songs by them. I drive down the road, singing along to 'Check Yes Juliet.' I'm the crazy fan girl that squeals whenever their songs come on the radio. I'm the girl who will never quit loving them, their music | We the Kings keeps my life somewhat normal. Without them, my life--my head, would all go into crazy mode. The opening chords of any of their songs and I'm in my 'happy place.' Seeing them live keeps me going. I'm always craving that next concert--the next time to get a hugs and talk and be a person. The next time I get to breathe. I will never forget that Travis Clark was the first man to tell me I was beautiful, or that Hunter Thomsen was the one who tackled me in the parking lot because I didn't hug him. I'll never forget Danny Duncan throwing his drum stick, nearly hitting me, but my friend getting it--then having a girl steal it. Drew Thomsen being sick, but still trying to be with fans.
13: This band is my life, Don't try and diss them, I will go evil on you. A band that keeps me alive is a band that's amazing--one that helps me stay sane.
14: MARCH 29, 2011 Dear We the Kings, I've written these many times before, but I'm hoping this time you'll read it, and respond. At times I wish people saw depression/mental illness as a 'make-a-wish' cause. I know it's not, and I know cancer is so much worse--as well as the other terminal illnesses make a wish helps. But this depression/bipolar/anxiety is bringing me down, and you are the only one who helps. | I met you first on March 3, 2009. I had just gotten out of a horrible relationship and still had a bruise from the last hit I took. I told Travis the short hand of what happened, and he just looked at me and smiled. What you said will forever stick in my mind: "You're beautiful. Some guy is going to see that and respect that one day. Don't give up just because some jerk hits you. You deserve love." | I did find that someone, Travis. And he understands how much you help me. He always plays you guys when i'm on the phone with him. It's adorable, and he's the first guy to ever understand that you guys are more than an obsession--you're a life line at times. I'll never forget Hunter tackling me because I hadn't hugged him. But then Danny kept talking to me and my friend and
15: kept us laughing. You guys, I was in so much awe that I was standing there. After a horrid year, I FOUND YOU. And it was then that I decided I was going to be a fan--no matter what. I had loved you guys before, | been listening to you since I heard about you back in '06, but this was LOVE you. The next February I decided I had enough of life. I attempted suicide by slitting my wrists and overdosing. | I was taken to the hospital, where I was permitted to listen to music on MTV and other channels, as well as the radio. I was overly excited when I heard you. Even when I was at my lowest point in life, you guys were there.
16: I met you again in July of 2010 at Warped Tour. I paid the extra money to see you guys. And I was happy again. When I was in that tent with you, I couldn't have asked for anything more. I was safe and loved. That's what mattered to me. You guys make me feel safe, even in my own head which no one can. I missed your performance because I had a panic attack, but I know it was amazing, just like you. To this day you are the only band/anything that can calm me down. You get me out of my head. I am at peace when listening to your music. I hope to see you all again one day. If you ever feel | like giving up, know that you have helped one person--and are continuing to help. It's been 2 months since I last cut myself, or hit myself, and it's because of YOU GUYS. I listen to you when I want to, and I know that I'm not alone. Thank you. Thank you for everything you do. I know this is selfish, but if you read this, could you please tweet me so I know you did, or better yet, visit my tumblr and leave an ask. You have no idea how much that would make my life, my year. You are now keeping me alive. That boy I was talking about? He just dumped me.. 3/29/11. 'Check Yes Juliet' on repeat.
18: May 10, 2011 Survival The lights dim. The crowd, restless for the last few hours, is silent. A nervous excitement fills the air. This is the moment we all have been waiting for. The opening chords to “Armor of Hope” slowly fill the room. A murmur of approval flows across the audience. Shadows move about on stage, putting instruments into place. The lights get even dimmer, not allowing for anything on the stage to be seen. Suddenly, it’s bright. The music grows louder. Animated screams erupt from the crows. This is the moment we have been waiting for. We as one gather for the concert that will keep us alive until the next one. To many, a concert is simply a place to let steam off. To others, it’s to have a good time with friends. For some, such as me, these moments are the only moments we truly belong with the world. The band, in this case We the Kings, happens to be the reason that I will even attempt to keep going for the next few months, until the next concert, the next escape, arrives. The energy is indescribable. When you know that you are going to be in the prescience of your heroes, something inside you just lightens up. That heavy weight you’ve been carrying around for the longest time is lifted off your chest. All the pain from the last few months leaves. I have found the reason to keep living. Even more indescribable is when Travis, the lead singer, looks my way. I can sware that he is looking into my soul, seeing the pain I carry around. With that look, all of it is gone. For that moment in time, I am at peace with myself, with the world. The opening lyrics to “Rain Falls Down” play as I imagine that he is singing to me. He will be my protector. In this made up fantasy, he is the hero.
19: I am the heroine, together we will conquer all evil found within my heart. I will fight to survive. The moment I have been waiting for arrives after two hours of screaming, singing, letting all the rage escape. The band slowly walks off stage, seeming to take an eternity to reach the place I am standing. Is this really happening? Am I meeting the men who convinced me to give up the blades that controlled my life? It must be, for Hunter is smiling at me, holding out a hand. Drew stands silently, a smile upon his face. Danny is beside Travis, waiting for his turn to talk. It’s as if this moment has been made for me and me alone. No one else matters, it’s just me and the guys. I offer a quick story to entertain them. A story of self-hate and self-injury. Travis looks at the other guys within the group, and suddenly, I am surrounded by the four men who understand. I am immersed in a hug that should last all eternity. I know that it will live in my heart for the rest of my life. Like that, an entire night is gone, some would say even wasted. But I know the truth—that is the night I found my salvation. The night I found my will to live again. Since that night in early March of 2009, I have been waiting for the next concert, the next moment of life. And I must say, waiting isn’t so hard when you have such amazing guys and music to wait on. (Finale. Picture credits to myself and http://wtkthings.tumblr.com)