By Nick Wiley (featuring Cameron Fitzpatrick)
See the Triumph Guest Bloggers
Amongst an ocean of infinitely more well-qualified authors, I’ve found myself the recipient of an open invitation to write about something I hope will be fresh and interesting to the readers of See the Triumph. In that vein, I’d like to begin with a quick disclaimer: I am, by no means, an expert (or even mildly knowledgeable) on the subject of sexual assault. Rather, I am a musician who has found himself in the midst of a project that has been fortunate enough to catch the eye of some local charitable organizations and I’m here to tell the beginning of our tale.
I believe a little back-story is in order. My name is Nick Wiley and I’ve been a semi-professional musician for around half of my twenty-six years on earth. When I’m not playing guitar, I make a living as an IT professional and help out when I can at a small Anglican church plant in my home of Asheboro, NC. Since 2006, I’ve played in bands with my brother Stephen (drummer) and, by way of several projects along the way, we reconnected with bassist/vocalist Cameron Fitzpatrick about a year ago and formed our current band, Kindler.
Early this year we began exploring the possibility of producing a music video for one of the tracks from our debut EP “Afterglow.” It was decided very quickly that “Shifting Ground” would be made into our first video because it has an immediately palatable and vivid story along with catchy melodies. Cameron, who wrote the lyrics, had this to say about it:
“’Shifting Ground’ is a song about triumph. I took inspiration from a true story and my distance from the event gave me the idea to tell the story as if the narrator was watching things take place from afar. Lyrically, I did not want to focus on the event or the trauma it caused; rather, I wanted to highlight the strength of the main character throughout her story. She finds herself dealing with a terrible course of events and falling into despair, but her eventual triumph is what matters. My hope is that the song speaks to anyone who has experienced violence or trauma, either directly or through a loved one, and that it will give them some comfort and strength in knowing that they are not alone in their struggles and that the end is always in sight.”
On April 25, 2014, we released our debut music video “Shifting Ground” at a live premiere in Greensboro, NC and made it available via YouTube.com to the free world. Right before the release we showed the video to some local charities and ended up partnering with the Randolph County Family Crisis Center to dedicate the video premiere to National Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
See the YouTube video below, or click here to watch “Shifting Ground.”
Click here for lyrics.
As artists, we often find ourselves the recipients of varied opportunities to use our platform as a voice to speak out about political and social issues. Much like Switzerland, Kindler’s default policy is to remain quiet and neutral in an effort to not isolate potential fans or make them feel uncomfortable. Sexual assault is an issue that is so innately senseless and wrong that we immediately made the choice to abandon our policy of neutrality without hesitation.
I heard the other day that there is actually someone on staff with the state who crunches numbers and probabilities to determine an acceptable number of casualties when road construction is necessary. I don’t need a degree in civil engineering to be able to look at that situation and say that something is wrong and broken. When did it become socially acceptable to put tax dollar savings and driving inconvenience above human life?
For me, sexual assault is the same way. I don’t have to be an expert on the subject to know that it needs to stop and that there is no point at which we should become satisfied until sexual assault has become a historical fact and not a present reality. There is no set of statistics that we should look at and be satisfied with until the numbers begin to look a whole lot more like zeros.
To victims, families, professionals, and anyone affected by sexual assault and domestic violence: it is my sincere hope that this music video will serve as an inspiration to you and provide you with comfort and solace. To the perpetrators, enablers, and criminals: I hope this video conjures a never-ending and undeniable feeling of discomfort like ants beneath your skin. One day this fight will end and you are fighting on the losing side.
Nick Wiley (guitar) and Cameron Fitzpatrick (bass/lead vocals) make up two-thirds of Kindler, a progressive/experimental rock band in the style of Rush, Tool, Mastodon, and YES. The trio was founded in 2013 and is completed by Nick’s brother, Stephen Wiley (drums.) Kindler’s well-reviewed debut EP “Afterglow” was released in August, 2013 and was followed by a heavy tour schedule beginning in early 2014. In April, Kindler released its debut music video “Shifting Ground” in association with several local charities as a vessel for their promotional efforts during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Kindler will return to the studio in late June, 2014 to record their first full-length LP. For more information, visit http://www.kindlerband.com