The Story
"Hope" is an unusually structured song, beginning as it does with an almost two minute, forty-five second instrumental section. However, when Fred began composing it, it followed a much more traditional format. What follows is the story of how "Hope" morphed into its present form.

"Hope" is the epitome of Equiliberation. More than a signature song, its development as a composition illumined Fred's, Ryan's, and Elliott's direction as a musical entity and paved the way for songs such as "Equiliberation" and "All The Time."

"Hope" started as a progression of four three-note arpeggios that popped into Fred's head while he was driving home from work. The chord progression struck Fred as derivative of U2 -- especially since he heard the arpeggios repeating and echoing through a delay effect (which U2 guitarist The Edge uses heavily) -- but the notes stuck in his head until he got home and preserved them on tape.

Like a majority of musical ideas that ultimately grow into songs, the arpeggio progression suggested tangents and subsequent parts. Before long, Fred had arranged a full verse and composed music for a pre-chorus. At that point, he sought Ryan's and Elliott's opinion of the tune -- mainly to see if they felt he had managed to rescue the song from the "U2 rehash" category -- and he was delighted to hear that they found it compelling. In fact, they particularly liked the ascending chord progression in the pre-chorus. Thus, the three immediately began jamming on the nascent song.

Rocking out to a chord progression that didn't have a release spurred Fred to write a chorus, and with its addition, the song only lacked a bridge. Fred didn't have any ideas for a bridge section, but one afternoon while driving to pick up his sons from their babysitter, the music came to him. Fearful he would lose it, he sang the bassline into the voice recorder on his cell phone. Then, he brought it to Ryan and Elliott.

When the three jammed on the song's new bridge, they quickly realized they had stumbled onto something powerful. It was as if their playing of the part unleashed a hidden energy source that drove them to new creative heights. It was an altogether euphoric and liberating state, and, ultimately, experiencing it forged a unifying focus for the trio.

Although the bridge was the most transcendent piece of music Fred, Ryan, and Elliott had ever played together, it did not follow neatly from the existing verse and chorus music of "Hope." Fred made a number of revisions to the post-chorus music to facilitate the transition to the bridge, but they all felt artificial and forced. On December 20, 2006, at Equiliberation's first club gig, the band actually performed one of the "forced" versions of "Hope," giving the song a verse-chorus-bridge-verse-chorus structure. The performance confirmed the importance of the song, but it also confirmed that more work remained to finalize the composition.

Fred struggled with "Hope" for several weeks without success. Then, as the band's second scheduled club gig approached, Ryan and Elliott began lobbying Fred to include it in the set list. Fred balked because "Hope" was a long song and the gig only allowed for a forty minute set. Due to the time constraints, Ryan and Elliott suggested they start the song with the bridge and only play one verse and one chorus. Fred was leery of truncating the song, but after rehearsing the shortened version, the trio played it live in that form on January 9, 2007.

On stage, the newly-rearranged "Hope" blossomed. It was the most successful song of the set, and opening it with the bridge section brought to life the magical intensity Fred, Ryan, and Elliott had experienced in rehearsal. After the show, Fred decided that the song had found its intended form, since starting it with the bridge section (now officially the "intro" section) eliminated the need for the transition that had eluded him. Thus, "Hope" acquired its atypical structure of long instrumental intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus.


Another morning breaks
The solace of my sleep
Awake, I'm forced to face
The promises I keep
I've got the standard bills
I've got the loving wife
I've got the precious kids:
These engines drive my life
They drive me off to work
Where I spend every day
Wishing a better job
Would come along my way

Each day I trade for pay
Turns my hair a bit more gray
And as my minutes drain
I sense I've spent my time in vain

But one day I'll find
That this is all behind me
In the wider scope
'Til that day arrives --
When this is all behind me --
I just have to hope

Another Sunday night
Out on the Interstate
The work week looms ahead
Like a condemned man's fate
I feel the mortal weight
Of all the years misspent
And all that I foresee
Compounds my discontent
There should be something else
Something more to sustain
The sparks of happiness
That always flare and wane

Each dream I leave behind
Leaves my face a bit more lined
And as my seconds burn
I wonder if I'll ever learn

But one day I'll find
That this is all behind me
In the wider scope
'Til that day arrives --
When this is all behind me --
I just have to hope

2008 Mighty Tasty Music (ASCAP)