Today Suffolk-based punk hardcore band Cheap Heat release their debut full-length – ‘Everything I’ve Ever Loved Has Either Died, Broken, Left Me Or Let Me Down.’ It arrives off the back of a handful of demo EPs recorded that has since the quartet hone their sound since forming in early 2016.
With their collective inspirations coming from abusing alcohol, sustaining from anxiety, depression, relationships, vegan food and Nicolas Cage films, ‘EIELHEDBLMOLMD’ takes a more personal approach, serving as emotional outpouring for vocalist Dan Callis. Throughout the record, he tackles subjects such as awkward breakups, self-loathing, dealing with ignorant people, balancing a full-time job with other priorities, and going on drunken benders.
Wrapped in a raw, ferocious DIY skin, ‘Everything I’ve Ever Loved…’ documents the highs and lows of two years of Callis’ life with relatability and complete honesty.
To coincide with its release, Dan has pieced together a detailed break down behind each track on ‘Everything I’ve Ever Loved…’
1. My Ego Is Out Of Control
This song was based on two conversations I had with different people in my life.
The first was with a girl I was seeing for a few months in 2016. When we first met I mentioned I play in a band and she asked if I’d ever write a song about her. I responded with something along the lines of; “If I ever write a song about you it’ll be because you’ve done something to upset me, as I don’t write happy songs about love.” In the end, we had a messy breakup and rather than give her the satisfaction of being in a song, I recited that conversation.
The second was a conversation I had with my girlfriend who I’d known for years before we got together. One Christmas, at the pub, we were talking about creative outlets. At this point, I wasn’t in a band and was talking about how therapeutical music was for me, how much I missed it and how I felt like I was clinging onto a lot of issues that once upon a time I’d have vented in a song and closed the door on it. She described it from her perspective as putting a lid on it, putting it away and not having to worry about it anymore. I liked that description of the process, so much so that I used it for lyrical inspiration.
This song isn’t really about anything in particular. Just a weird mash up of the first 3 months of my life in 2016. I was living with my ex for a while which became very awkward, I was drinking heavily and I was single for the first time in 8 years. I was trying to find my feet during a pretty big life adjustment and I wasn’t doing a very good job of it.
The dating scene had totally changed too. The last time I was single before this period was 2008, when you’d actively poke fun at a friend if they signed up for online dating as it was still seen as taboo. All of a sudden I was thrown into this modern day single world of swiping on photos to meet someone and imaginary texting etiquette to ensure you seemed interested without being too interested. It seemed like bullshit then and it still seems like bullshit now. Just be honest with people and life is so much easier.
3. A Chip On The Shoulder
This song is about the internet. It’s mainly centred around arguing with people who take things to a personal place rather than debating the subject at hand, but also tackles other issues such as how people present a perfect life online which never reflects the mundane or depressing elements of reality. We’re all guilty of the latter in some way.
4. Unenthusiastic Handjob
I wrote this song when I had writer’s block. I decided if I couldn’t think of anything to sing about, I’d take my literal surroundings and current predicament as inspiration instead, and I liked how it turned out.
The song references elements of the place I was in at the time; smoking cigarettes despite the fact I despise myself when I do as I’d call myself an ex-smoker these days, seeing a poster on the wall in Rooker’s living room of a band I’d never heard of, sitting on the sofa on my own feeling isolated from anything exciting or depressing enough to inspire me and just general boredom.
For a 30 second song, this hits a fairly big incident in my opinion. When my ex and I moved to Suffolk, only to break up 6 months later, she ended up getting a job via one of my friends who also worked with his ex, and who later become my housemate.
After we broke up, she ended up befriending his ex in the work place. About a month after we broke up, his ex happened to be at an Ipswich Town FC away game in London, and saw me in the pub where I was singing football chants with the rest of the pub. For whatever reason, she decided to go back to my ex saying she saw me in the pub drunk out of my face talking to myself, despite the fact I’d not even had a drink at that point (I was waiting for my mate to bring me my first from the queue at the bar).
I thought it was petty as shit and proper snake behaviour, and thus the song came to be.
This one happened almost by accident. Rooker (guitar/vocals) and I wrote and recorded the original demo on his camera in his living room in about 20 minutes.
One Monday in the Summer of 2016 I was half way to his house for practice when Jago (our drummer) had to bail last minute. You know that messy break up I spoke about in the explanation to the first song? Well, this was literally the week after that happened, I wasn’t eating and I felt like shit. I phoned Rooker, said I just needed to vent creatively and told him I had a chorus in my head that could work really well acoustically. Plus I was around 30 minutes out of the way of turning around and driving home which would have been a waste of petrol.
I spent the next half an hour in my car singing that chorus back over and over to a clean demo of a riff on my phone. By the time I got to Rooker’s I had it down to a tee and sung it back to him whilst he played said clean riff. We recorded it on his camera, nailed it third take and put it on YouTube. I looked dead behind the eyes in that video because I really was.
I also like the lyric at the start of the second verse too (“And she said; ‘You don’t have a problem, you only abuse alcohol and it doesn’t control you'”) as it was something my now-girlfriend said to me one night when I was confiding in her with all my recent relationship issues. Funny how things work out, isn’t it?!
7. You Make Me Wish I Was Dead (So I Can Roll In My Own Grave)
This song mostly wrestles with ignorance or more arguing/debating with ignorant people. I’m pretty opinionated as a person but all my opinions are based on what I see before me, be it experiences, knowledge, evidence or what someone with more authority on a topic has told me.
Sadly, this doesn’t seem to apply to many others, and when presented with the cold hard fact that 2+2=4 they still insist it’s 5, to the point of putting their fingers in their ears. Sometimes you’ve got to accept that you’d have more luck talking sense or reason into a brick wall, hit the block button/walk away and move on. All that time wasted convincing an idiot of something could be spent talking to someone who will listen.
8. Lost, Confused And F*cked
Sidenote: Our bassist Jarman mixed and mastered this record and I have no idea what he’s done to the bass in the intro but it literally makes me feel a bit sick listening to it. Reminds me of the bass on iby Khanate, which I am 100% into.
As for the song, there’s not much to it other than I was upset at someone at the time of writing it. I honestly can’t even remember who it was or why they had upset me but at the time I remember thinking they would have no idea the song was in fact about them and said incident. I think that’s pretty accurate seeing as I have no idea myself anymore either.
It also touches on a shift I’ve had lyrically since my last band I was in 5 years ago. Historically since I’ve been in bands from the age of 18, I’ve leaned on metaphors and cryptic lyrics. Since then I’ve got REALLY into Single Mothers and Drew Thomson’s lyrical style of the literal mundane of everyday life frustrations has spoke to me and influenced me a lot. The line “I’m sick of writing in these metaphors, I just hope you never know this song is about you” describes that shift in my songwriting.
9. Rusted Shut
This song deals with an issue I had with my work/life balance in a previous job.
I enjoyed my place of work and liked my colleagues, but it was a minimum one and a half hour drive each way to get there, some days taking me an extra hour if traffic was bad. The company was in Norwich but I live in Ipswich, and anyone who knows East Anglian roads will tell you the A140 road between the two places is one of the worst in the country. A county city and a county town connected by a narrow single carriageway, several roundabouts/villages where congestion is beyond a joke and the regular occurrence of getting stuck behind a slow-moving lorry or tractor.
The time it was taking me to drive, combined with the early mornings/late evenings to do said drive had a negative effect on both my working life and my personal life. I was struggling to concentrate in the office and the quality of my work dropped. I was getting in in the evening and not eating because I was too exhausted to cook. It was adding an extra layer to a battle with depression I simply didn’t need.
The whole thing took a heavy toll on me and eventually something had to give, be it me moving to Norwich or me finding a job closer to Ipswich. In the end, I went for the latter and now I get to sleep/eat better.
Also, this is probably one of the slowest songs we’ve written. I want more people to slow dance to it at our gigs. Bringing back that awkward 90s school dancing for life.
10. Bypass Me
This is by far my favourite song we’ve recorded to date. It’s punchy, fast, it has a big chorus, it’s great fun to play live and the subject of the lyrics revolves around a really good change in my life.
I’d had a massive crush on my now-girlfriend for years, and we’d always been what you’d define as “we kind of know each other” friends. I was going through a rough time, as was she, and we both found out we had a thing for each other. We started seeing a lot more of each other from that point onwards and it was an utter mess, but in the best possible way. We were continually on crazy benders and having the best time despite how depressed we both were, which eventually led to us realising we had something special and becoming an official item. We’ve been together nearly two years now and I’m moving in with her next month. Completely fucking loved up, I am.
Getting our mate Jay to do vocals on this song was cool too. He was in a band called Volunteers who are local DIY legends around our way and he owns Hardcore Hobbies (a local skate/BMX store). I spent my teens watching his band(s) and he’s watched me grow up from around the age of 13 when I first started going into his shop to buy skateboard decks and music.
11. I’m Only Happy When I’m Miserable
This song is about a 24 hour drinking bender I had in Bury St. Edmunds one Friday night. I met up with an old friend I hadn’t seen in a while, both us of were going through a very stressful period in life, and we decided to meet up and let off some steam in the form of Sambuca shots.
I don’t remember much of the night after midnight, but we ended up in this crappy nightclub in the middle of town. Whilst there some bloke was being a real creep, giving my friend unwanted attention and being a general prick. Eventually, after biting my tongue, he pinched her arse and in a moment of drunken heroicness I punched the guy in the face. Whilst being thrown out by the bouncers, I was told I was barred and they’d be pressing charges. I responded; “Do that and we’ll have a sexual harassment case against your premises.” I never heard anything else from it. There’s not a lot of moments in my life where I feel I’ve stood up on my own and done the right thing, the heat of the moment is a scary place after all, but I’m proud of that one. In fact, I’d say it’s one of the proudest moments of my life I can’t actually remember very well.
Anyway, after that I went back to my Nan’s house thinking I had a key. Turned out I didn’t and she was away so I slept on her doormat for 2 hours in the freezing February cold. I woke up at 6am still drunk, went to get a coffee and then went back to the pub, where I continued drinking until finally heading home at 4pm Saturday afternoon.
There were also some other weird details to the day that made it all a bit surreal. I ended up getting home to seven Facebook messages from different people asking if I was okay because my Instagram feed was a total disaster. The whole time walking home after finally getting a train from BSE I kept thinking “Did that all just actually happen?”
I also ended up in the Abbey Gardens feeding peanuts to squirrels at one point after a couple of jugs of cocktails. As I said, it was a weird weekend.
12. Terms & Conditions May Not Apply
This song is a rather narcissistic look at myself, taking remarks from others as well as self-criticisms head on. I’ve often battled with myself, trying to perfect negative aspects of my personality and build on the positive ones, and at this point in my life I simply didn’t care. In fact, I’d go as far to say that I genuinely believed I was a terrible person because I’d let the negative criticism from others take over my life, but I embraced it.
No one is perfect, and I suppose you could call this my awakening and acceptance to that fact.
13. Writing A To-Do List
This song was one of our earlier ones that has stuck about mostly because we like the ending and the way it builds up to finish our live set. If I’m honest, I find the first half of the song a bit “wet” (as our former bassist Boli recently described it) but it has a shit kicking ending. I’m not one to big up my own music in a personally enjoyable sense, but the way this one goes off on a tangent is a testament to the rest of the band and their energy.
The topic of the song again covers an earlier mentioned break up. It’s about being stuck in a dead-end relationship for both parties and carrying it on for way WAY longer than it should have lasted. We both ended up miserable, hating the sound of each other breathing and bringing out the worst sides in each other. I do hope she’s doing better and much happier 2 years on, she was a lovely person but we simply weren’t compatible in hindsight.
‘Everything I’ve Ever Loved Has Either Died, Broken, Left Me Or Let Me Down‘ by Cheap Heat is available now for free on Bandcamp.