After school, as a furniture designer and set designer, Pete Fallon found himself drawing a lot of tables. It was towards the end of the 2016 campaign that he came back to cartoons.
400,000 (and counting) men, women, and children adorned in pink pussy hats marched together in the most civil foot traffic New York City has probably seen in decades.
intro by Adam Cecil
I’ve known the members of Morning Comes Early for a long time. In fact, I was the manager of David, Patrick, and Jeff’s middle school band The Almosts (later renamed Kevlar Tuxedo). While the line-up has shifted throughout the years, these boys have been playing music together for over a decade. It shows on their latest release, Vision Quest EP. This is their tightest release by far — the songs fit together like puzzle pieces, even when they’re exploring different facets of their sound.
Take a listen. If you like pop punk or have any level of angst, you’ll probably enjoy it.
The title of the EP stems from an inside joke, so I thought it was only appropriate to ask the boys of Morning Comes Early to look into their own mind’s eye and take us on a vision quest through the songs on Vision Quest EP.
Harry Llewellyn Schroeder IV, Bass guitar
Uh, I wrote this song and I recorded a demo of it on a bunch of pirated software.
David Atkins, Guitar / Vocals
I'm not sure how well I'll be able to articulate it — even though it's a feeling all of us have felt at some point, to an extent. Succinctly put, Erase is about a tough breakup, one that the other person doesn't seem too torn-up about. It doesn't make any sense, and it hurts, to put so much into a relationship, only to realize that the other person simply wasn't as invested as you were, and they move on right away. And any time you see her, it strikes a nerve. A cut reopened bleeds.
Patrick Infurna, Vocals
Brooklyn is a song we wrote to kind of take a different approach to our sound. Harry had written that song a really long time ago and it was always one of those songs that we would listen to even before it had any lyrics or any real arrangement, just on Harry’s Soundcloud. It’s funny, we actually had a big debate on whether or not to put this song on the EP and I’m really glad we didn’t put it on the back burner for one of the others. Lyrically, it’s a transitional song; it represents a point in my life where I was moving in both body and in mind. I was in a new place, I was meeting new people, I was falling for someone, someone that made me feel really central and focused and at home. This song makes me feel relaxed, which I think is a big contrast to the energy of our other songs, so this is a personal favorite of mine.
Patrick Infurna, Vocals
Civil War is another one where we just did something different. We grew up playing with hardcore bands and listening to hardcore bands but we’ve never really been a hardcore band. This song is a lot of things: it’s a tribute to a style of music that we adore but don’t usually play. It’s such a perfect song for our live sets because we can just stop everything and go absolutely nuts for a second. We can have a show where everyone’s just nodding along or we can have a show where people are piling all over the place, but no matter the energy, when this song is played live everything goes up a level. We had recorded this really poorly at a friend’s years ago, but we knew that it had to be redone because it’d become such a staple in our live sets. Lyrically, I think this song is really special. We get caught up singing about a lot of things that maybe don’t matter – I mean they matter to us – but this song really hits the larger issues that we as a band aren’t always outwardly thinking about. This song tackles political issues close to us and the themes we see in the political atmosphere: greed, violence, all of that. But the second part of this song is a little more specific; we wrote those lyrics at the height of the Syrian Refugee crisis as well as the Central American migrant crisis that was buried in the news. We live in communities that are literally built by immigrants, and none of us have ever had to live the horrors of displacement. From the soccer stands to our live shows we wanted to make it clear: Refugees Welcome.
Jeff Bruce, Drums
“Resolve” is the final track on our new EP. I wrote the music about two or three years ago. I had originally written lyrics along to it that were based on my personal encounter with being cheated on; however, the lyrics were more about moving on to the next chapter of my life rather than anger towards my ex. When I finally got the song to a place I was happy with structurally, I gave Patrick the reigns to the song lyrically because I feel that his lyric writing is far better than mine. His lyrics describe the winter “tour” (three-day road trip, essentially) that we went on with local hardcore band Get A Grip, as well as reflecting back on the past, most noticeably referencing Sharkfest (Group of kids / punk as hell / screaming out in grange hall heaven). I, of course, can really connect with this song because it describes all of the thing that we as a band have done in the past five to six years (and ten or so years with David and Patrick). I also see it – same as my thrown away lyrics – as a song about moving onto the next chapter as a band. This EP is different for us and we have tried things that we never would have been comfortable with two or three years ago. I think this album is a fitting conclusion to this EP, as it signals a new direction for this band.
You can find more music by Morning Comes Early on their Bandcamp.
Taylor died. I don't know how, or when, exactly. But he is, in fact, dead, and never coming back. I know this because I saw it on Facebook.
We called him "Black Taylor." It was the kind of joke that faux-liberal white teenagers raised in rural Vermont would find funny. Black Taylor wasn't black, but he wore a lot of white t-shirts and loose jeans and loved rap music. He was an amateur rapper himself.
He became fast friends with one of the RAs, which is what the Governor’s Institute of Vermont called their camp counselors. I don’t remember the RA’s name, but he also loved rap music. One day the RAs were allowed to teach their own class, and this guy taught a class on the history of hip-hop. He was also a semi-pro birdwatcher.
It was 2007. Facebook wasn’t really a thing. I only got one because my friend Bailey had one, but all of my friends were still on MySpace. The people I met at the Governor’s Institute were a little older than me - thinking about college, about SAT scores, about sex. I thought about those things, too. The difference was that those things were actually happening to these people.
They all used Facebook. When they weren’t off in the woods making out, they would spend their free time huddled around the few internet-connected computers in the student center. They wanted to know what their friends at home were doing. They felt removed. I felt removed, too, but from the people in front of me, as I stood on the edge of groups and watched them talk and laugh like they had been friends for years when in fact they’d only met days ago. I laughed when they laughed, pretending to feel included.
There was a White Taylor. White Taylor was white, blonde, very skinny with bulging eyes. The popular joke was that he was a crack addict. White Taylor wasn’t White Taylor just because we needed some to complete the nickname yin-yang. White Taylor came from a rich family. White Taylor was going to Bates. White Taylor wore polos.
This was the Governor’s Institute of Vermont on Current Issues and Youth Activism, where we knew enough about racial inequality to make the joke, but never had to confront the realities of it outside of our bubble of white privilege. We were literally up on a hill, at the School of International Training, looking over Brattleboro, Vermont, the city that proclaimed that it would arrest George W. Bush and Dick Cheney for war crimes if they ever stepped foot in city limits. We were morally and intellectually superior. It was implied and we believed it.
I walked in on Black Taylor taking a shit. The dorms we were staying in had communal bathrooms. I pressed open the door to a stall and there he was: backwards baseball cap on his head, loose jeans bundled at his ankles, and his eyes staring at me from his throne up on the hill.
I apologized and backed away into my own stall, right next to his. He laughed. We made awkward small talk. I was done before him, washed my hands, and left. It was the only private interaction we had together, the only time he had really acknowledged my existence in any significant way.
And then Taylor died.
Not right away, but eventually, the same way all of us will. I found this out a few years later, on Facebook, when one of our mutual friends from the Governor’s Institute left a message on his wall. Miss you. Can’t believe you’re gone. Taken before your time. His wall was full of messages like these; some just short sentences and others long essays on their friendship. All addressed to someone who would never read them.
And now they're gone. His Facebook was deleted at some point by a friend or family member.
At the end of the Governor's Institute, there was a bonfire. A girl with a guitar sang Green Day's "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)." Someone played along on a fiddle. It was a tired song then, but the circle of teenagers around the fire, me included, sang under their breaths. It was an amazing experience, we told each other. We would never forget it. We'd stay in touch. Facebook me!
I only found a few pictures from that camp on Facebook. One had Black Taylor standing right in the middle of a big group, me included. He was standing with his chin in his hands, looking up towards the sun.
He used to be tagged in the picture, but he's not anymore.
Adam Cecil is a writer living in Brooklyn. He is the managing editor of this zine. You can find more work at his website.