The loss of a parent, especially for a young child, will seriously alter the trajectory of one’s life. Darren Vorel, a fireball on the Chicago-area punk scene, conveys that message in the premiere of the video “They Say You’re In Paradise,” part of a new project from his punk band Scissors.
“I watched a movie last year about a mother and son dealing with grief and thought to myself, ‘That’s such a story I want to tell,’” Vorel said, having firsthand experience after the death of his father when Vorel was 15. “Living through that time and losing someone and then getting older and having kind of moved on while still using that experience to build your life … It’s all based on my past where I feel like time’s short and you need to do as much as you can to try to give back to the world and also help people who have gone through similar situations.”
“They Say You’re In Paradise” directly explores the darkness and confusion a kid feels dealing with the responses of everybody else trying to make sense of the situation.
“It’s what people tell you at the funeral,” he said. “As a 15-year-old kid, you don’t know what the (expletive) that means. You’ve never experienced death before. This is what it was like to wake up to that. And all these people trying to give you advice, but they don’t really know how you’re feeling … I’m not OK.”
The song fits into the EP’s larger narrative, a six-song “spaghetti-Western” of sorts in which death comes to town to take all the parents, leaving the kids to fend for themselves.
“It’s not gloom and doom,” Vorel explained about “Eulogize,” which is due out later this summer. “It has a really good story … six songs that would tell that story from the moment you experience loss in your life to the end song being about letting go, coming full circle and realizing why that moment may have happened to you and being able to say goodbye to that person you cared about a lot.”
“It’s about finding a way to grow as a person and to use these things that have happened in your life to grow and to be more aware and a better part of society.”
Vorel is no stranger to that process, still working through anxiety issues and dealing with depression since the death of his father. “I’ve used art as an outlet to get feeling better. It takes a lot of time to sort of understand why these things happen and to work through those.”
While “Eulogize” comes from an intensely personal space, Vorel didn’t want the story to be exclusively his. Reconnecting his old crew in Scissors, which hadn’t been active on the scene since 2013, was a way to open it up to the wider audience.
“I didn’t want it attached to me solely like it’s my story to tell,” he said. “I wanted people to be able to put themselves into the position of narrator of the story so they can be part of it.”
“Eulogize,” which was recorded with Matt Allison at Elmhurst’s Wonder Studios, is due out August 14, with a listening party and a record release show in the works. You can preorder the EP at thescissors.com.