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METH Finds Light Through Tough Times On New Record Shame

A deeply personal, extremely heavy effort.

Photo by Vanessa Valadez

meth. is now streaming their dismal new record Shame, which vocalist Seb Alvarez so kindly took the time to explain in great depth. Check out Alvarez's full story behind SHAME – from dealing with tough times to catharsis through music – and pre-order SHAME here prior to its February 2 release date.

The following was written by Alvarez: "I sat down to write this out multiple times. Trying to gather the right words and dive in on the process of writing the lyrics to this record and do a 'track by track' to the best of my ability. It's proven to be rather difficult to dissect myself in that manner. Much of the lyrical content of this record was written during times of heavy emotional distress, whether it be stress from my personal and professional life, dealing with fleeting highs and extensive lows of being unmedicated and bipolar or coping with everything I tried very desperately to avoid.

"If there's one thing I've come to discover about myself it's I struggle very heavily feeling things. Good or bad, my natural instinct is to dilute and hope things will go away. I struggle having casual conversations with people and feel an unbearable anxiety anytime my phone rings or someone tries to make small talk with me. I have a lot of trouble taking in complimentary comments from people, especially from friends and fans in regards to my art. There's a weird air of almost feeling like you're being lied to constantly and being involved in a set or piece of art and having the knowledge of all the flaws within the work makes it impossible sometimes to feel like your work is worth anything more than its flaws.

"Much of SHAME, for me, was trying to really examine the whys to my emotions and my reactions to said emotions. 'Doubt' deals with much of what I elaborated on prior, the unending and unrelenting culture that music and art cultivate and the struggle of finding a healthy balance that never truly feels like it exists. 'Compulsion', 'Blush', and 'Give In' all more or less coincide with feelings of helplessness within yourself. The lack of control one feels with their own impulses. A thing I've really, really, become hyper aware of since my bipolar diagnosis. Even talking about my mental health in a public manner like this is absolutely fucking terrifying. But I do feel it is necessary for myself to move forward. To not feel the internalized shame of my mental illness, my issues with alcohol and my issues of constantly overwhelming myself to further ignore the stressors of my life. I wrote SHAME to help get over my own.

"The song 'Shame' may have been the hardest to write but also came together the quickest. It was meant to encapsulate the worst aspects of myself during one of the hardest periods of my life. Working a shit job for no pay, being intoxicated almost every moment of my waking life while actively trying to hide all of it from friends and family. Feeling like your body is decaying slowly from the inside out and being well aware that the decisions you make can be completely life threatening and being selfish enough to not really give a shit how your choices affect other people. It's a point in my life I don't like to think about; even typing this I feel very exposed. But it's important to acknowledge and learn from the shitty behavior you perpetuate and the choices that you make. It's always important as a person to grow, even when you know you are heavily flawed.

"SHAME is an album written as a method to find light. It's hard for me to revisit and it's really fucking hard to talk about like this but if it was easy then I probably wouldn't feel like it was worth doing in the first place."

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