Music saved Wilkes-Barre’s Ervasa — now the metalcore band’s coming for you
Music equals life. It’s a phrase music fans wear on shirts, bags and buttons, but for Wilkes-Barre metalcore quintet Ervasa, it couldn’t be further from the truth.
“If we didn’t have music there is a chance we may not be here,” said Ervasa bassist Jeremy Melton, 23. “Without this medium for us to release our aggression, our fears, our sadness, we would be very dark individuals because a lot of us struggle with anxiety and depression. This is how we get our emotions out. Having music is the most important thing in all of our lives.”
Music isn’t just an outlet for Melton and his bandmates — it’s also a coping mechanism. The song “Console Me,” from the band’s recently released EP “Awakening,” was written for Melton’s father, who’s currently battling Stage-4 cancer. The beginning of the track pulls the listener into a tunnel of sound, with dissonant guitars and a drum machine paving the way for echoed vocals before the band comes out the other end with a driving first verse.
The heaviest segment of “Console Me” offers a stark battle cry (I won’t let it end this way/Live to fight another day) before transferring back into the welcoming warmth of the track’s early seconds for a final, lasting statement (We’re all here behind you while you stand here at this door/There’s so much more to show you). Listeners familiar with the band’s chosen genre can hear influences from A Day To Remember and We Came as Romans throughout the track’s four minutes and 39 seconds, but there’s something else there too — a message of inclusion and hope that’s distinctly authentic.
That message comes through clear on Ervasa’s newest track, “There Is Hope,” released Jan. 1. Guitarist John Ratajczak, 23, said the song “kind of sounds like ‘Awakening,’ but it’s a little bit different, a little bit heavier,” but just like the songs on “Awakening,” there’s a clear message buried under the blistering double bass.
“This song was written basically as a single for anyone out there who struggles with anxiety,” Melton said. “People who feel like they shouldn’t be in social situations or aren’t good enough, people who can’t stand to be in public spaces as well as with their family without feeling like jumping out of their skin or being uncomfortable.”
For Melton, Ratajczak and the rest of Ervasa, the music they listen to didn’t just influence their personal tastes — it saved their lives. Now they’re using their time and talents to pass that favor on to other music fans, one breakdown at a time.
Do you know of a band that would be perfect for a future edition of Quick Chord? Email Gene Axton at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach him on Twitter @GeneAxtonTL