Vanishing Shores (a.k.a Kevin Bianchi) today drops the new single titled ‘Fix Me’ right here! The detail to the guitar and the interaction between the music and the duet style vocals is what is prominent on the surface, however, there is much more lurking here than meets the eye.
As a response to another song, there is an answer and maybe some more questions. Can you truly fix another person? Change starts within. Would you even want to try to fix someone else? When you’re with someone, do they change you or is it the relationship itself that does this? I have been around people who have tried to change me and it usually leads to resentment. Like I said before, change comes from within and that usually starts with an event or learning.
Giving the feel of an anthem musically, the song is solid through to the end with dueling/accompanying vocals that capture that exclamation of personal freedom and choice with the music uplifting that message into flight. This is a perfect example of music and lyrics answering each other.
The song ‘Fix Me’ is about realizing that relationships are not about changing another person. The idea that we can or should change a person to be more like us or to think more like us is a false idea that only causes us to miss true and lasting beauty. The only way to truly love unconditionally is to walk with another person, regardless of their situation or belief system, and be present. I never want to be arrogant or selfish enough to try and change anyone. I just want to learn how to love them for who they are, regardless of any other factor. This is a song of freedom, to accept brokenness, and still love another person in all of its reckless beauty.
‘Fix Me’ is an instantaneous song; from the opening lines to the hook, it’s power-pop at its finest. Who are some of your favorite influences and do you find yourself drawing from any past decade in particular?
I think that influences are a beautiful gift. To think of the way that music has been shared and passed down over the decades is something that is truly inspiring. A lot of artists can try to shy away from their influences, but I think it is something to embrace and explore in every aspect of the creative process of writing and recording music. Every time that you create, it is giving new life to something that was shared with you in the past. As artists, we are continually involved in bringing new life and energy from the things that have inspired us.
Like almost everyone who has ever written a pop song in the last 40 years, I discovered The Beatles at a very early age and continue to be challenged and inspired by them, not only in the quality of their craft but also in the example they set in exploring music beyond the boundaries of culture and their singular moment in history. They didn’t get hung up on labels or a particular style. If it was a good song, they recorded it. I think that is a good model to follow and it provides you with the distinct freedom to take chances and find your own unique voice as a songwriter and performer.
While I certainly have a very strong affection for the music of the ’60s, I think that the main influence on my songwriting over the last 15-20 years has been Neil Finn. For me, Neil Finn is the best example of someone who can consistently bring heart and passion to a lyric and still match it with a beautiful pop melody. That isn’t something that is easy to do; it is more common for someone to either do one or the other well, but not both on any consistent basis. However, he has proven that a good pop song has an almost limitless potential to move, inspire, and create a connection with the listener. This not only inspires me but humbles me as well. Every time I sit down to write a song, my goal is to connect in a real and lasting way with the listener. I don’t want to prove anything. I simply want to create an emotional moment, a bond with the listener in hopes that they will also be encouraged and inspired and be willing to continue the musical journey with me in whatever future path it may take.
There seem to be themes of commitment or marriage throughout the song, especially in the bridge (“this is the final vow”). Does this song tell a story?
As a songwriter, I don’t write story songs in the traditional sense. My lyrics rarely follow any definable narrative format, but they do emotionally respond to events and relationships. I like to say I ‘feel’ my way through a situation in my lyrics rather than ‘report’ it. In the case of “Fix Me,” it started out as a 15-years-too-late response to the song by Coldplay called “Fix You”. The idea that we can in some way ‘fix’ another person really bothered me. The idea that love, true love, has the desired goal of making us more like another person’s beliefs, attitudes, or behaviors is not something that I in any way want to pursue in my own life. I want to be able to love another person regardless of how they think or act. The end goal of love should be to journey with, to support and include, not to change or mold something into our own vision of the world. The more we disconnect the primary goal of love from creating a community, the more we create false divisions and become strangers to those around us. This song isn’t a message song in the strict sense, but it does clearly say that I want to be committed to you regardless of who or what we are now. My vow is to love you, regardless of how messy it is or how difficult it may become in the future. My love for you is for who you are now, not for who you might become. I think that the only way love inspires in any lasting way is when it is unconditional.
What are your thoughts on the current state of the music industry, especially as an independent artist? What needs to change, and do you have hope for this new decade?
I think that without a doubt the music industry is very challenging right now, especially for independent artists. Music has become disconnected from commerce in a very drastic way over the last ten years. People expect music to be free now. Apart from established touring acts, people rarely see music as something that should have a consistent price tag attached to it. This goes for art in general, but perhaps even more acutely in the music business. I think music scenes have also been negatively affected by having too many ‘open mic’ nights or other similar events because this reinforces the idea that music is free and largely a secondary form of entertainment at a restaurant or bar. I’m not in any way diminishing the art or talent of the performers, but simply talking about the overall way that these kinds of things impact an artist’s ability to make a stable income on music alone. So the challenges come from factors within the industry, but also from the choices we make as artists and venues and what is promoted in the local scene.
Now I think the biggest reason for hope is that artists are still creating vibrant and transformative art. The power of a good song will ultimately prevail over whatever obstacle it faces. In addition, I think that artists are now realizing that we aren’t competing with each other in the traditional sense any longer and that we need to form a community of support and encouragement in order to succeed in this new industry. We also need to stop settling for things being ‘good enough.’ I never want to get to the point where I stop wanting to be better, to be able to connect on a greater level in songwriting and performance. This is where the hope for the future lies within the music community. I think we are going to see this positive shift throughout the next decade as artists become more comfortable with the new technology and utilize it for maximum connection.
As a lifelong seeker of truth, Kevin Bianchi has spent his entire musical career embracing and wrestling with the mystery of life and love in song. This has been exemplified by his time as the lead singer and songwriter for the indie rock band, The Chestertons. Having achieved regional success with the single ‘coast road’ and dynamic performances opening for artists such as James McCartney, he now begins a new journey with the formation of vanishing shores.
Vanishing shores strive to deliver passionate, well-crafted rock and roll in each and every performance.
As the band continues to develop, each song points to a future that is filled with limitless potential, founded on the power of music and the community it creates.
Featured image by Anita Schulz.