Writing 'Joliet': On The Subject of Storytelling in Song
3 years ago our band went through a restructuring of sorts. At the time it was a hiatus from what had been a long 11 year effort under several previous names; but what resulted, a year later, was a total reworking of our band’s identity and sound. There was one thing that survived the change though, a song named “Joliet”. It’s a unique song to us because it was the turning point that we didn’t know we had come to. At the time, it was unlike anything else we were writing and the story of where it came from remains dear to us still.
In the fall of 2006 a friend of ours went missing while on a school trip to Chicago. Jesse “Opie” Ross had been a long time fan of the band. He helped us book shows, traveled with us, and always supported in any way possible. Since his disappearance we have traveled to Chicago several times with Jesse’s father Don. Always in the hopes to keep his case alive and present in the public consciousness. Our first trip resulted in the inspiration for “Joliet”.
After a day of putting up posters and handing out fliers, we were on the way back to our hotel via the train system that runs out to the suburbs. A couple of the passengers noticed that we had our acoustic guitars, soon there were shouts to play a song. The shouts grew until we pulled out the guitars and lead the cabin in a few familiar choruses of Sublime’s “What I got”. Within a few minutes a sharply dressed attendant was in our faces shouting for the noise to stop. By all accounts everyone in our vicinity was enjoying themselves, however he was not.
That night, the tragedies of the trip continued as Bryce got word that his uncle had passed away and he would need to fly out the next morning. “Joliet” was written in our hotel room that night, it became the theme of this journey to do something seemingly impossible, facing both certain and uncertain ends for people that you love, while ceasing a moment to celebrate and share music with some random people on a train.
That was in 2009, nearly 7 years ago. “Joliet” has stuck with us through a lot, I think there have been at least 4 attempts to record it, all of which have failed the song’s potential in some kind of way. Not saying this one is perfect, but it’s by far the best yet. Here’s to a lucky 5th.
Our playlist is a collection of materials that each member has contributed to. We feel that these songs have that sticking power, a story that lives in the lyrics and soundscapes, and we are happy to get have the opportunity to share them with you. Enjoy.
'Joliet' is a fantastic depiction of The Invisible World's sound aesthetic: passionate vocals that lead engaging melodies which both ease and invigorate, driving guitar-based riffs serving as comforting base, and a touch of hopeful nostalgia that adds truthful tone to their storytelling.
If you like the infectious folk-rock track reminiscent of Kings of Leon, American Authors and a more twangy Imagine Dragons, be sure to support the band by buying their new record via iTunes, and by following them at the following social links. We cannot wait to hear more from this Kansas City group!