“This is my first day, my second day…” Three days without gas.
Living in a trailer is one of the most amazing things you can do in your life. You’ll feel strangely apart from society, yet somehow more involved in nature and life itself. Especially when you’re a composer there’s nothing greater than spending your time on a campsite. But when I was listening to the song “Street on Fire” by JOHNA for the first time I wasn’t that euphoric about camping yet. It was winter 2014 and my pipes had frozen shut. I ran out of gas, but was unable to drive to town, because – yes you guessed it – the pipes were frozen shut and I was afraid they would burst. So I sat in the back of my RV, buried in coats and blankets waiting for Sunday to pass me by, so I could walk to town and carry the bottle of gas by hand. The only heating device I had left was a tiny 6 inch radiator and it couldn’t even keep the air in front of itself warm.
As I recently spoke to Nadine about JOHNA, their upcoming album and their crowdfunding campaign ( www.pledgemusic.com/projects/johna ) she told me about her original inspiration and the meaning behind her lyrics.
“Street on fire came over me like a storm. I spent a day in Vancouver, enjoying my life after the most impressive concert i´d ever been to: “Sarah McLachlan’s & the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra” at the Orpheum Theatre. I flew thousands of miles just to see my biggest musical hero perform and she put a spell on me. Best performance ever!
Still enthusiastic I was walking through the old part of town the next morning. I was trying to transfer the good vibes into a new song, a positive song. Because that’s what good songwriters are supposed to do. But all of a sudden everything changed. The street remained the same, but both crowd and atmosphere changed.
First I didn´t really notice it: “Just another homeless person sitting at the corner”, I thought. But similar to fog creeping in under a door the image of the street increasingly developed into a feeling that diverged from my good mood. And when I looked up I was in the middle of a big city nightmare. Hundreds of poor drug addicts, homeless and other declassed people filled the streets. A women squatted naked in a corner while five men were giving her a shot. Hookers tried to find a job, homeless were lying in their dirt and junkies pushed drugs into kid’s hands.
This scenery appeared so suddenly and unexpected that it felt like a punch in the face. And while the sun was still up, its sunbeams burned the street. Something every tourist guide would try to hide, what every politican tries to deny and what most people refuse to believe: That’s what I found at a single crossroad in Downtown-Vancouver, Hasting & Main street. They call it “The Horror on Hastings”, it is the home of the poor of the poor, human trash and about 10.000 drug addicts. (…) For me a “street on fire”.