“I wrote those songs because I needed to …” Blazina said. “(I’m) not sure what would have happened without them.”
He and the Chicago-based band — Mark Tatara, Travis Fleckenstein, Alan Shinkunas, Dustin Herres and Brett Hartwell — continue that narrative with the recent video for “Give It Up,” adding visuals to the second track on last November’s album.
“‘Give It Up’ is a pep talk of sorts,” he said. “I started writing it as a reminder to myself that, for all my anxieties, and for all the mistakes I’ve made in my life, all it takes is one foot in front of the other.”
Blazina, who now lives in Nashville, wrote the song in conjunction with Nashville musician Ethan Hulse as a call to action.
“Instead of waiting for some nebulous time in the future to start living a full life, to stop punishing myself for past misdeeds, why not now? Why not let the past be prologue?”
“One of these days you’re gonna get brave, you’re gonna get used to saying… ‘one of these days, when I get to my grave, I’m gonna be used to living…’”
“Just give it up,” he said. “Accept grace for yourself so that you might be able to extend it to others.”
The band has championed mental health issues and social causes in the past. The recent full-length album lays bare Blazina’s struggles with his own psychological demons, while at the same time the band was helping to raise money for a friend’s medical issues through a benefit show. Dispelling the stigmas around mental health issues remains at the forefront of their work.
The video, shot by Chris Mullins, Kyle Dunleavy and Becki Pikula, gets right up in the face of the band up as they perform the song. Up close and intimate, where it’s hard to hide imperfections.
“We’re all flawed in our own ways,” he said. “Learning about my own patterns and tendencies and addictive personality traits takes time. But I’m human, and mistakes are necessary.”
By shining a light on the cracks in his own facade, Blazina hopes to help others see they aren’t alone in their flaws.
“Light implies dark,” he said. “For as good as any of us claim to be, there’s always a shadow. None of us is perfect, so why get too down?”
See the band perform live when they play Short Fuse Brewing Company’s second anniversary celebration June 15.
State and Madison, Marina City, Modern Vices, Glory Days, Microcosms
When: 1 p.m. Saturday, June 15
Where: 5000 N. River Road, Schiller Park; (847) 260-5044; shortfusebrewing.com
Tickets: $5-$15 for general admission; VIP packages also available; etix.com