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We Caught Up With STRUAN and Talked About "We Broke Up" and Stuff.

So we caught up with STRUAN and talked about a whole bunch of stuff. Let’s get right in The Cage!


Photo by Luke Rogers @lukemrogers

Cage Riot: Hi STRUAN, We listened to “We Broke Up”. I love this song. I love a great story. What feels unique about this track is that it seems like it’s literally your emotions as you are thinking them. I’m not sure you didn’t write this song as your breakup was happening in real-time! I want to hear more about this song. FYI most of the time I have to ask the artist, “Is this about a specific person?”, …but it’s pretty obvious this one definitely is. Are we right?

STRUAN: Hey Cage Riot! First off–thanks for having me. I love your blog and I’m honored to be included with so many other great artists on your platform.

Without oversharing and being disrespectful to any other parties… I was pretty blocked one day and remembered that Hemingway quote on writing, “write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” Normally songs don’t start with me thinking of some author but it did in this instance. For me that day the truest sentence was, “my ex she hates me no change there she just got engaged”. I started messing around with what ended up being some of the chorus. I didn’t think much of it at first but I showed my friend Rikki what I had and we wrote the rest of it.

Honestly, whenever I’m going through something emotionally it’s actually usually hard for me to write about it. This was months after the actual break up and engagement. But I’m so glad it feels real because these were emotions I had felt/still did to some degree.

CR: Wow that’s a well-laid explanation and Hemmingway would be proud you executed his direction so well!

CR: You seem like you still care a little, or maybe A LOT still for this girl, and you got us with the lyric,

“Feels like I’m somehow to blame for her needing someone to save her

I think it’s my fault”

and:

“Guess I can’t really be mad if my own collateral damage comes back and hits me”

This sounds like you are torn, and maybe have made some mistakes but really still feel for this girl. I bet you have some younger or “less experienced in relationships” listeners, and I was wondering if you had any advice for them? As a writer, I hear so often how people need help getting through things. Tell us something about this experience with this break up that can help someone who maybe is having a shit moment too, and maybe your advice will lift them up.

S: Yeah! I definitely want the best for them and am confident they have that. I think this song is definitely me taking a tongue-in-cheek approach to telling the story of a messy breakup, while not just pointing the finger. I think my advice would be to remember that rejection is something everyone experiences. It’s okay to be sad, mad, and let yourself feel the hurt that comes from it, but just remember that you’re not alone. Feel free to scream along to my song if it helps. Also, if someone doesn’t want to be together they will tell you by their actions even if they don’t with their words. This is all coming from someone who has not followed this advice at times so take it with a mountain of salt.

CR: I have to say your honorable demeanor and the “accept your own responsibility” approach is very admirable. The part about actions telling us things is a fantastic point to touch on as well.

CR: What was the process of creating this song that differed from other music you released?

S: Most of the second verse was written via the disappearing voice messages in iMessage. I had to leave Rikki’s for something and still was getting ideas for the second verse in the car so we VM’d back and forth most of it while I was at traffic lights. I co-produced it with my buddy Nick Sainato from Nightly. It took us a while to get the last 10% or so done and we both moved houses while we did it, so it was recorded in like four different places.

CR: THIS NEEDS TO BE THE MUSIC VIDEO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is a super cool visual.

CR: Where are you from? What about this place had any impact on your musical career?

S: I’m from the DC area (Arlington, Va). Such a great question. DC is such a laced-up, by the book place, but at the same time when I was a kid there was a lot going on musically there. Dave Grohl is actually from there (obviously way before my time), but also bands like Parachute,The Downtown Fiction, My Favorite Highway, etc… all who sort of mentored me in some way or who I used to open for when I was in other bands. I think it made me feel like I could do it too. I think the up-tight nature of DC made me feel like I had to go to college, which I did…dropping out once, then going back like a coward (jk it was great). That said, Virginia and DC have been amazingly supportive of my music in the past and have sold out shows multiple times.

CR: When did you actually make the decision to, or feel the moment, that you knew music was going to be a career for you?

S: I grew up listening to the Beatles and fantasizing about singing to my crushes and stuff haha but I think the moment I realized I could actually do it was when I wrote songs and realized they didn’t sound any different in writing quality from the music I listened to myself.

CR: If you had to give us a feel for what your overall vision is for STRUAN how would you describe it?

S: When I started releasing music my main goals were to write songs that I would have fun playing live/would be fun to see live, and other people would be able to sing along to by the second chorus. I also wanted to draw inspiration from bands–primarily the bands that I’ve always listened to.

CR: Give us the scoop on new music coming out. What’s the premise or story behind your next release?

The next song I have coming out is called “Drunk and Emotional” and I’m so excited for you guys to hear it. It’s about only being honest about your feelings when you’re… “drunk and emotional”. Pretty simple premise, but I think we executed it in a way that makes it feel new.

CR: That sounds awesome. Glad we get to hear it first!

CR: I love asking this question. What are 3 artists that you would say influenced you but when we hear them we would say “I never would have imagined STRUAN was a fan of_____”

S: Ashlee Simpson– “Pieces of Me” is still one of my favorite pop songs ever. Sugar Ray–their self-titled album is great and I listen to it unironically, not in a private session on Spotify–all the time. Nirvana–Kurt Cobain taught me that good songwriting is more important than any amount of musicianship or perfectionism in recording quality. Plus Nirvana is just so good.

CR: Full disclosure I like all these artists too. I love everything from pop to Judas Priest. One time I was in a sort of biker-ish bar with my wife and Toxic came on (Brittany) and I said out loud “I love this song” and the bartender goes “Don’t admit that” and she was NOT kidding. 1. Why are you playing it then, and 2. STFU I love her music, it's fun!!!!!

CR: We saw a poster that you are playing JXN FEST in Jackson, MS May 27-29th. Tell us if there are specific dates you will be there and tell us how excited you must be?!?! 1. Because touring is BACK and 2. Because the lineup looks awesome.

S: I actually don’t have the official day that I’m playing just yet, but I think I’m going to try to be there the whole time if I don’t have any other conflicts cause I’ve never been to a festival and I want to see the other artists! SO beyond excited to go to my first ever festival and that I get to play! I’m sooo stoked touring is back. I really want touring to be a big part of 2022-2023. Looking at you to take me out @Chelsea Cutler @LANY @5SOS

CR: We got your back on jumping on those shows!!!!

CR: Spellman Ampitheater - what’s up with your spine! There’s a pic of you going full Dukes Of Hazard flying and then looks like a full blown medical exam … please fill in the blanks here. I’m going to assume you are pretty kickass in concert!

S: The real story behind this is less exciting than doing a stage dive and messing up my back. I have a ruptured disc and a couple bulging discs that were already there before the Spellman show (I think just from running over the years or a skiing injury in the past). The MRI is real and was from October. Jumping off the drum riser was a dumb decision and did indeed rip my jeans, but didn’t cause further injury. :) I think adrenaline kept me from being hurt. If I say so myself, I put on a great show!

That said, you might find this amusing–the line in “We Broke Up”: “I think my back is still hurting from these emotional burdens I carry with me” was inspired because I was in so much pain that when we wrote that song I was literally laying on the floor playing guitar.

CR: Lol that's like a callback in comedy, nice, but I think you need an insurance policy, let’s call Flo!!!

CR: What’s the one thing you KNOW is reckless, juvenile, irresponsible, and just plain wrong, but is the guilty pleasure you plan on indulging in when you make it (we think you are halfway there) to the big time? STOP TRYING TO LIE OR WE WILL BREAK UP WITH YOU AND GET ENGAGED TO ANOTHER ARTIST- lol -

S: You’re so kind! I hope you’re right. If we’re talking I would be somehow stupid wealthy which I don’t foresee…even what I consider success in music is very modest $ wise. BUT say I’m Jeff Bezos rich. I would probably take a commercial space flight. I realize it’s very bad for the environment and unnecessary because I’m not a scientist…but I’m obsessed with planes and space sounds even cooler than regular flying. I’d also probably buy a little plane and get my private pilot’s license.

CR: I want to come! Well, STRUAN, thanks so much, we were so happy to learn all this about you.

Fans… it’s time to check out the music on Spotify and other major platforms today! We think it’s some pretty good stuff and is going to be around a while.

If you listen enough STRUAN's next release will be streamed from Mars!!! Let’s do this


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LYRICS “We broke up lyrics”

My ex she hates me no change there

She just got engaged

Middle finger to my face

We’ve got our own ways of coping

But I gotta say I think she’s making a mistake

Not really sure I’m okay with

How many hard conversations

She’s had to mention my name in

Feels like I’m somehow to blame for her needing someone to save her

I think it’s my fault

We broke up in my best friend’s apartment

Now I’m just the guy she remembers as heartless

Couldn’t even cry I was trying my hardest oh no

We broke up

Look what I started

She’s spreading rumors about me

All of them are true

Whatever gets her through

We’ve got our own ways of coping

I’ve got my vices too

Kissed your friend Anna way too soon

You never knew

Guess I can’t really be mad if my own collateral damage comes back and hits me

I think my back is still hurting

From these emotional burdens I carry with me

We broke up in my best friend’s apartment

Now I’m just the guy she remembers as heartless

Couldn’t even cry I was trying my hardest oh no

We broke up

Look what I started

If you’re so in love tell me why you’re so angry

If you’re so in love you should probably thank me

If you’re so in love tell me why you still hate me

Oh no

We broke up

Look what I started

We broke up in my best friend’s apartment

We broke up look what I started




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