When Jerod McBrayer and his band Worth Taking play Amityville Music Hall on March 13 they’ll be debuting songs from their new full-length album Hangman. The show and their “Pop Punk and Chill” tour isn’t the typical record tour, though. Hangman is a concept album based on the band’s personal experiences with mental illness and addiction and one with a message for anyone else facing troubled times. I spoke with McBrayer about the meaning behind Hangman, the songwriting process and what to expect when the band takes the stage.
Long Island Pulse: Let’s start with the name Worth Taking. How did that come about?
Jerod McBrayer: Well, it’s actually a bit of a secret, but I’d love to talk about what it means now. It’s a name that represents hope in life. Life is a chance worth taking.
Pulse: You have a new full-length album out, Hangman, that has an interesting theme, can you tell us a bit about it and what you hope listeners get out of it?
McBrayer: Well, the concept behind the record is 12 songs walking through the 12 Step Program. Whether you are an addict or not, I would love to know that everyone that listens to it can be inspired by it. It’s truly a story of hope and it’s my wish that everyone gets that out of it.
Pulse: Can you describe one song on Hangman that’s really special to you?
McBrayer: I’m currently really partial to the song “Different Now.” It’s the halfway point of the record and is a song about reflection. It also carries one of the main themes of the record: balance.
Pulse: Tell us about the songwriting process.
McBrayer: The way I write songs is a bit chaotic and haphazard. No two songs really start the same way. However, once I’ve worked out the skeleton (music, lyrics, arrangement), I’ll take it to Chris and Chase and they will really put the meat on the bones.
Pulse: When did you know that music was going to be your full-time career?
McBrayer: I’d like to say I’ve always known; music has always been a big part of my life. However, I didn’t really formulate musical career goals until around high school. Consuming music was my escape during middle school. So, creating it was a logical next step.
Pulse: What other projects do you have in the pipeline?
McBrayer: We have a few video ideas to give people a better visual representation of this record. We also have some out of the box ideas about distributing this record in a physical and meaningful way. Most of the things on our horizon are going to be tangential projects that stem from Hangman. We are really proud of it and want to make sure as many people hear it as possible.
Pulse: You’re playing Amityville Music Hall soon. What can we expect at the show?
McBrayer: It will be a really fun show, for sure. We are playing with The Nightmare Police. Because they are a Long Island band, this will basically be their hometown show. So, I think that already creates a really exciting atmosphere for us. High as it may already be, we promise to bring the energy to this show.