AWOLNATION’s “Kill your Heroes” Has struck chords deep within my being that I cannot even begin to describe. The original, genreless instrumentation and smooth-and-choppy ocean-like vocalization breathing life into such powerful lyrics complimenting everything inside itself like an everflowing complete circuit.
the song begins with a small, upbeat interval pattern, with subtle hints possibly to ELO’s Mr. Blue Sky, giving it a Morning radio alarm clock feel, upon interpretation, introducing the main message of the song: To get up off your ass and do something with your life. The sound gets bigger and more layered with different electronic patterns and a drum beat that just, kicks ass.
...And then the lyrics start. These lyrics are very very powerful and not only tell a personal story, but really provoke a larger message, totally following the whole “think global, act local” thing, while creating such a spark running through the wires of society, which will ring within the catacombs for all time. The story begins with an old man, dying, with nowhere left to go, with a feeling of unrelenting regret. And in this old man’s dying moments- he spreads a maxim, a mantra, a few words to fucking live by: “Never let your fear decide your fate.”
And then the chorus comes in, and oh dear god what a chorus that is, with a very shocking statement at the beginning, like a contemporary communist mani-fucking-festo. “I say you kill your heroes and fly.”
…WHAT?! KILL MY HEROES?! BUT I LOOK UP TO THEM- I WORSHIP THE GODDAMN GROUND THEY WALK ON WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? What the statement “Kill your heroes” actually means, to me, anyway, is to break away from the idolizing ritual and do your own thing, achieve what you want to achieve, not what the powers that be want you to. It means to become an individual, to have your own beliefs, values, goals, to follow your dreams, whatever the fuck they may be. and in believing in those beliefs, holding these values, and meeting these goals, you reach your ultimate level of success and excellence as a person. You follow those dreams till they just give up the chase, you become an inspirer, and believe me, I know a lot of you, and there are people reading this who are among the most inspiring people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, others, are among the ones that are to be inspired by these people, nothing wrong with that, you’re all fantastic some of us are leaders, others followers, but were all necessary, but I digress. “No need to worry, cause everybody will die.” This is a gimmie, life is short, you, as a person are given a lot of potential, but a small amount of time to use it, don’t let things like fear stop you from doing everything in your power to be the best fuckin you you can be, get the fuck on following those dreams, because you don’t have a lot of time to do it. “Every day we just go go, baby don’t go” Kinda talks about as a society, we are all too accustomed to letting other outside forces and fear take control, we are too scared to break the mold, too worried about falling on our faces, we let fear dictate where we go how people get stuck in this perpetual funky downward spiral, we let these things decide our fate. We forget that we can pick ourselves back up and try harder if we rally want to (and believe me, we do) Fuck that, right?! Don’t go! Dont follow! Be you, do your own thing! “Don’t you worry we love you more than you know!” this is a message to everyone, yes, being an individual, a maverick, a pioneer, being your own person, following your dreams can be very overwhelming, fear can creep up on you, but were all in this together, as individual as we are trying to be, we need to look out for eachother. We need to take that fear, and spartakick it off of a goddamn cliff. Giggle at the ghosties, Fus-Fucking-Ro-Dah that motherfucker, I don’t care what analogy you use, kill it fucking dead, knock it out of the park, kick ass like you were put on this world to do, and don’t be fuckin scared of yourself, be proud of your potential and what you now know you can become.
The second verse talks about the inevitability of death, kinda piggybacking on the second line of the chorus, we don’t have a lot of time here, we gotta make the most of it with all the ability we got. And sure, we feel kinda bad for bringing this heavy shit up, but you gotta rise above, its not a put down, it’s a pick up, a medkit, fuckin motivation, a reason to keep moving, keep doing, thinking, building, bigger, better, harder, improving improving improving. Chasing those dreams hard.
…And then that chorus and first verse come back, with that line, “Never let your fear decide your fate.” Leaving a lasting silly putty impression on me.
That line means the most out of any other in the song, really. Why? Because Ive seen both sides of that sword, man.
Ive seen people take that fear and punt it into the ocean, Ive seen people let that fear possess them. Ive seen people that got dealt with a shit hand at the beginning, and ended up becoming fucking doctors because they wanted it that bad, Ive seen people throw their lives to the corporate monster and become minimum-wage slaves, not that theres anything wrong with minimum wage, I just see it as like giving up on whatever goal you had before concerning your future, its like you got to the first stair of five thousand, and just decided to live there. You people were put here to change the fuckin world. Do it. I know youre all fantastic individuals on the inside, with bright light in their head, brains overflowing with ideas and dreams. And all I can hope is that I’m there to see what you guys create, because to be honest, I’m fucking stoked.
There was this one case, this guy, was the biggest, toughest, smartest motherfucker I knew, he had his head on straight, his bolts tightened, he knew what was up, and I looked up to him as hard as I could. But then he let the fear get to him, he got stuck in a spiral, stuck in that rut of letting fear decide his fate, he worked his ass off, he almost graduated, he had big dreams, but they got crushed by fear, its like he tripped at step 250 and hit ever stair on the way down. He lost his touch, his spark, and he got caught in the fuckin’ depressing maelstrom we call life, and It wasn’t that big a deal to me then, but looking back, it fuckin kills me, it kills me to see that potential go to waste, this guy, essentially, through thick and thin, was my hero, and it was a rarity, like watching lead turn to gold, that I be living with him for the better part of sixteen years, but when he got caught in that spiral, I was just startin highschool, shit was startin to matter, and I thought, I couldn’t end up like him. I couldn’t do that to myself, so I had to kill my hero, I had to try as hard as I could to do what I wanted me to do, and now I’m here, presenting this to you, throwing myself all out in the open for you to enjoy or detest, I don’t give a fuck either way. This speech, if it moved you or not, doesn’t matter, I got this all off my chest. You guys, if you payed attention, you know what you need to to, get out there, rise above your fear, do everything you can, fucking win at life, chase those fuckin dreams, whatever winning looks like to you, go after it, it could even be completely dominating the minimum wage cycle, and that’s condtradictory, youre a rebel, I respect that, anyway, go out, do what you do, thank you, its been a pleasure, im out.