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Tuesday, May 22, 2018
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Brandon guitarist Wesley shares experiences via new music

BRANDON – As John Wesley was writing songs for his new record, “Disconnect,” his life — his career, marriage, mother, house and studio – was changing forever in ways he could not control.

“I was fairly happy where I was,” he said. “I didn’t want these changes.”

He was losing people he cared deeply about, the life he was living and the band he was playing with.

“In reaction I found myself disconnecting, as if some sort of protective mechanism kicked in so I would not blow a fuse completely and crash and burn,” he said.

He watched other people to see how they coped as they were forced to disconnect due to physical or mental illness, addiction, apathy for life or habits of avoiding intimate relationships and friendships by diving into virtual reality online.

He saw friends return from serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I watched how they had changed,” he said. “I also learned a great deal about how our government takes care of our returning warriors. ... They don’t take care of them very well. The results of this apathy from the government for these men can be life altering.”

Wesley, who strives to write meaningful stories listeners can connect with and apply to their own lives, created and wrote about characters that mirrored these experiences.

“Those songs became this album,” he said. “‘Disconnect’ is a collective experience. … The metaphors in these songs are not so personal that they are only my story. If you listen and take the ride, elements of the album can become your story.”

He said, “A lot of what the characters on this album go through are global, shared experiences that many of us endure. Some of us will hide, some of us will cave in and some of us will come through stronger.”

Ultimately, “it’s about how you cope with these changes and guide the ship that brings us out on the other side. I lost some very important elements in my life, including my mother,” he said. “But I managed to bump the ship into a new realm that brought me some wonderful new changes, amazing new connections.”

Barbara Routen is a freelance writer. Contact her at [email protected]

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