A little over a year ago, local band Math & Physics Club announced the passing of guitarist James Werle. They were kind enough to share him with KEXP during last year's #DeathAndMusic event. Today they allowed us to honor him by allowing The Morning Show to debut this new song, called "In Dreams," and bandmates Charles and Ethan shared the story behinid the song, and his loss.
If John hadn’t reached out to invite us to play the Death & Music show last year, this song probably wouldn’t have happened. Once we agreed to play the show, that meant picking up the guitar to practice, which I hadn’t really done since James died. This song came out of that process, and we’d only played it together a couple of times before we did the Death & Music show. It felt fitting to record a proper version as the flip side to Indian Ocean.
Ethan from Math and Physics Club here. Thank you so much for your support through the years, and especially in the aftermath of James’ death. Playing at the Death and Music show last year gave the three of us a reason to play together again, when it would have been easy to isolate ourselves. So I wanted to share just a little about how we’ve dealt with his passing over the last year.
James loved the Hoh rainforest. Last summer a small group of some of his closest friends, along with his sister, went camping together in his memory. Some of us had known each other for decades, and some had only met once or twice, but we all had James in common. And everyone fit together, because he’d personally selected us all into his life. But his absence was an inescapable ache. At every turn, whenever something happened, someone would say, ‘Jim would have said...’ or ‘Jim would have done...’ and we’d nod and chuckle. It was incredibly healing, for me, to share our experiences and stories of him, while creating new memories in his name.
It was a good reminder to gather all your people around you when you can, because none of us knows how much time we have left.
At his memorial service last year, his pre-teens daughters were asked to select a song to play that reminded them of their papa, and they chose Blonde on Blonde by Nada Surf. Would you play it for them, and for us?
And of course, we recorded a final single in his honor, with Jackson Long and Chris Hanzsek. In Dreams was written as a reaction to James’ passing, and which we played at the Death and Music show last year.
Thank you, John.
- Alternative Rock